How Orwell Creates a Believable Setting in 1984

How Orwell Creates a Believable Setting in 1984

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How Orwell Creates a Believable Setting in 1984

Written in 1948, George Orwell created an anti-Utopia novel and
foresaw that the world will be divided into three great powers;
Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia. The book is set in 1984 and Winston
Smith, who is the main character, plans to overthrow "Big Brother"
with his two members of the Brotherhood, Juliaand O'Brien. Orwell
created a setting that has many similarities with our world, whilst
giving warnings to the reader of what may happen if no precautions are
made beforehand.

One of the main similarities is the details of the landmarks, the way
the characters live and the technology mentioned. In the book, Winston
decided to meet Julia, for the first time in "Victory Square, near the
monument". However, Julialater said that there are many telescreens
there. In other words, that place is very important and therefore
requires a lot of security. In our world, Victory Square is actually
Trafalgar Squareand that the statue of Nelson there is replaced by a
statue of Big Brother. Also, the place where Winston worked, the
Ministry of Truth was described as "an enormous pyramidal structure of
glittering white concrete". This could possibly be the University of
London Senate House.

For the way of living, we can see that Winston life is controlled by
Big Brother in many ways. For example, Winston was not even allowed to
think about rebelling, as Winston knows that "even a back can be
revealing" and this can lead to being caught by the thought police. It
is this fear of the Government which all of us have. We may fear that
if we think about betraying our nation, our nation would act first and
punish us. We can see this happening from the way Winston chooses to
rebel against Big Brother: he joined the rumored Brotherhood and acted
against the restriction in the greatest number of ways he can. For
example, he had an affair with Juliaand made love with her without
getting married and having permission. In other words, even though we

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know that it is very difficult to fight against a nation, some of us
still try to test the Government's strength. However, those who do
rebel may live in fear of the Government, as one day, they will be
caught. Telescreens are mostly likely something George Orwell created
himself, as it did not exist at all in 1948. They are actually
surveillance cameras combined with a television screen, used to
eliminate privacy of the citizens. The Thought Police, by using this
sort of equipment, can arrest thought criminals secretly and the
result is, most cases, there is "no trial, no report of the arrest".
By using the similarities listed above in the 3 different fields, we
can say that Orwell used facts, objects and places which have already
happened or existed to create a world where only minor changes have
been made from our world, for example names, and that no extreme
events occur.

Although the setting seems believable to us, not many countries which
have a totalitarianism society existed when Orwellwrote this book. He
actually showed the people the potential of the world being full of
totalitarianism, by writing this book and using countries which are
not created, for example, the United Kingdom, and revealing what those
countries may do to eliminate those who betray them. As mentioned in
the book, the United Kingdom was called "Airstrip one". This means
that in the future, capitalist countries may control its people with
more restrictions and rules and therefore, make its people become more
scared and obedient.

To conclude, Orwell created a believable setting by using similarities
in the way people feel, for example, being scared of totalitarianism,
making alterations to the landmarks of the United Kingdom, for example
Trafalgar Square and by using ideas which he created himself. The best
example of this would probably be the telescreen. In other words, he
changed events, facts and places in a way that readers will be able to
recognize straight away, as well as using elements of his own mind.
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