George Orwell's Symbolism In 1984 By George Orwell

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McKemey Page 1 As a country it’s hard to imagine life in a totalitarian society, yet we may be closer than you think. At first glance, George Orwell’s novel 1984, is a tale brimming with propaganda, hunger, manipulation, torture and behind all of this - a sadistic, power hungry government. Furthermore, it is believed that behind every great pessimist, is an even greater optimist. Thus, the two sides to every coin theory. Could it be that Orwell, a man living and writing in the time of World War II, could be an idealist? In 1984, George Orwell expresses his inner optimism symbolically through his characters and themes. The historic era of this piece was a time of war and propaganda. Orwell was born in 1903 and grew up to live in the time…show more content…
Keep in mind, Winston was used as a pawn throughout the novel for the reader to replace with him or herself to empathize and understand the social constructs throughout the piece. From the very beginning, Winston’s foremost admiration for O’Brien is made very clear, “In spite of his formidable appearance, he had a certain charm of manner. He had a trick of resettling his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming - in some definable way, curiously civilized …- He felt deeply drawn to him” (Orwell, 10-11). The author establishes this intense connection to firstly root trust with this character, and to foreshadow and set red flags off in the reader 's mind that this character will be brought up again. To really establish the bond between Winston and O’Brien, after he betrays Winston, Winston still believes in his hero, the mighty O’Brien. Winston starts by meeting O’Brien again, and is elated. He cries out to him, “‘They’ve got you too!’ He cried. “They got me a long time ago.” Said O’Brien with a mild, almost regretful irony” (Orwell,238).Yet again, in the end, at Winston’s lowest state, he has an intense and almost fatherly/paternal connection to O’Brien. During his visit in room 101, Winston is faced with his worst fear - and in that moment, all he can imagine is “He was falling backwards, into enormous depths, away from the rats. He was still…show more content…
O’Brien is the darkness, and Winston is the hope and desire for the darkness to be lightened. Orwell is showing us wrongful and displaced trust through Winston, by warning his audience not to trust everything you hear, feel or see. Most people would see the relationship between these two men as unhealthy, and rightfully so. This symbolizes the connection between government and the individual. One always has more power, no matter how you look at it. However, the individual in numbers is worth far more than the singular concept of government. In the end, what characteristic marks true value of one 's life? Inner Party vs Outer Party? Party member vs Proles? None of these labels matter, and Orwell wants us to see

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