At the onset of the book Orwell describes Oceania, the setting of 1984. Specifically, Airship One, one of the larger provinces of the country, which includes modern-day London. In Airship One resides the main character, Winston Smith. From Winston’s perspective the reader gets a taste of his dull city. He mentions the houses on his block are “rotting . . . their sides shored up with baulks of timber, their windows patched with cardboard” (5). Winston’s residency, the Victory Mansions, has the same miserable appearance. The building, constructed nearly fifty years prior, is crumbling. Contained in the second chapter, inside the Mansions, the flats are in appalling condition, the ceiling and the walls are coming part, the internal piping repeatedly causes issues, and the central heat rarely functions (27).
Compared with the environment, Winston’s body is equally battered. A thirty-nine-year-old would generally be in good health, in fact, in a normally a man like Winston would be in his physical prime. Unfortunately, for this character, the nature of 1984 is not perfection and definitely not “normal”. Over the years, Winston has grown keen to alcohol, regularly downing “V...
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...went to work at twelve . . . they married at twenty, they were middle-aged at thirty, they died, for the most part, at sixty” (91). These people are a literal slave class, with no other purpose than to live and die laboring. Truly, these are an oppressed people. No freedoms exist for either the middle or the bottom class. People like Winston live under constant fear of the manipulative Party and Big Brother, while the Proles have absolutely no other opportunities set before them.
While each facet on its own is fearsome, collectively these points make Orwell’s 1984 the most intimidating example of the word dystopia. The objects humans need to survive: food, clothing, shelter, are completely worthless. Oceania’s citizens would be logical in thinking they had no substantial reason for living. Orwell has truly forged in his novel the ideal model of a dystopian future.
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