1984: A Rhetorical Analysis Of 1984 By George Orwell

1225 Words5 Pages
1984 was written in 1948 and published in 1949 by Eric Arthur Blair under the pen name ‘George Orwell’. It is set in the year 1984 in Airstrip One, which is a province in the country of Oceania. The world is in a constant state of war between Oceania, and the other two countries, Eurasia and Eastasia. Oceania is controlled by English Socialism, or INGSOC in Oceania’s language, Newspeak. The powerful Inner Party controls the country using omnipresent surveillance, and manipulation. Every part of life is regimented and controlled, but the only crime is ‘thoughtcrime’: independent thinking and individualism. Big Brother is the figurehead of the Inner Party, and throughout the book, it is heavily implied that he may not really exist. The people…show more content…
Since the rise of totalitarianism in Europe and Asia was the cause of World War II (Perry, 2002), naturally many people such as Orwell feared and despised it. In this way, 1984 was most likely written solely because World War II occurred, and was effective and remains effective because of the memory of the horrors of World War II. Orwell starts the book as Winston is getting home to his apartment. He utilizes strong but vague descriptions of the world around Winston to hint at the state of the world without directly saying it. He describes a bright cold day, which seems to perfectly depict the worlds bleak state in a sort of indirect way (Orwell, 1948). By writing the setting in this way, Orwell causes the reader to subconsciously associate the world of 1984, totalitarianism, The Party, and Big Brother with negativity; they begin to see Winston as a victim of the regime. Another excellent example of this is the way that Orwell describes the standard issue lunch. Orwell writes, “Onto each was swiftly dumped the regulation lunch – metal pannikin of pinkish-gray stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one saccharine tablet.” (1948) The most poignant description is obviously that of the stew, but describing the bread as a hunk and noting the lack of milk in the coffee helps to get his point across further. The…show more content…
For example, he describes a poster of Big Brother as “… a colored poster, too large for indoor display … the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features.” (Orwell, 1948) Orwell makes it clear by the description of the poster as too large, that the man is very important; he is so important that his poster was put up with total disregard for whether it would fit, spanning multiple stories. By making it obvious that the figure is very important without providing additional information, Orwell causes the readers imagination to run wild. Another example is the casual mention of Hate Week early in the book. The reader does not know what Hate Week is, but from the name can infer that it is negative. However, it is mentioned as “… in preparation for Hate Week.” (Orwell, 1948) This implies that Hate Week is a bit of an event, it almost implies celebration. Orwell deliberately uses this to confuse the reader as to how something called ‘Hate Week’ could even be neutral, much less good. This is an example of Orwell’s use of ethos because it calls the morality of Hate Week into
Open Document