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1984 Analysis

1432 words - 6 pages

The idea of the future has been explored for as long as writers have been writing. The interesting concept about the future is that it will always remain a mystery. The future is always changing and never ending. In George Orwell’s 1984, Orwell ruminates on his thoughts and ideas of what the future will be like. Orwell wrote the book around 1950 during the writing era of postmodernism. Postmodernist books often expressed thoughts of the future, as well as other themes. 1984 describes the future as a place where the Party has taken over and controls everything and everyone. The residents of Oceania have no control over their bodies, their relationships, or even their thoughts. Oceania is a place of war and control. The protagonist in 1984 is a middle-aged man named Winston. Winston is one of the only living people who realize that the party is changing the facts, and he wants to do something about it (Orwell). Winston deals with the struggles of hiding from the law and who to trust. In 1984, George Orwell uses the themes of physical and mental control, forbidden love, and a “big brother” figure to exhibit characteristics of postmodernism.
In the 1950s, authors tended to follow common themes, these themes were summed up in an art called postmodernism. Postmodernism took place after the Cold War, themes changed drastically, and boundaries were broken down. Postmodern authors defined themselves by “avoiding traditional closure of themes or situations” (Postmodernism). Postmodernism tends to play with the mind, and give a new meaning to things, “Postmodern art often makes it a point of demonstrating in an obvious way the instability of meaning (Clayton)”. What makes postmodernism most unique is its unpredictable nature and “think outside of the box” mentality. Common themes of postmodernism are questioning reality, knowledge vs. emotion, making sense of the world, and messy endings.
Many postmodern books exhibit the theme of questioning reality (Postmodernism). In 1984, reality is questioned by Winston when he begins to realize that reality is being altered by the party. There is no foundation of facts to fall back on; the Party controls everything, “who controls the past…controls the future, who controls the present controls the past” (Orwell 37). Winston has to deal with the struggles of distinguishing between what is true and what is false. Anything that seems to be the truth later disappears as if it never existed, "Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten…” (Orwell 50). The definition of reality is everything that actually does or could exist or happen in real life. When reality is no longer absolute or true, many things begin to not make sense. Reality can be altered at the ring of a bell, along with the past, the present, and the future.
Postmodern books also tend to have messy endings. Stereotypically, books end with a picture perfect ending and a happily...

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