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1984 Analysis

2286 words - 10 pages

George Orwell’s 1984 is a dystopian novel that shows the dangers of a completely totalitarian government. When put into context, Orwell’s novel has many similarities to the world he lived in. By understanding Orwell’s experiences and the historical context behind the novel, we can interpret the meaning and purpose behind his writing. From this knowledge, we are able to see how his arguments apply to the world today.
As a young adult, Orwell went to Burma and served as an assistant district superintendent in the Indian Imperial Police. In reference to his writing, his time in Burma made a significant impact on his life. Spending time in Burma, he realized how much the Burmese people were ...view middle of the document...

In addition to Burma, Orwell also spent time in Spain. During this time, he noted the campaign of lies and distortion carried out by the Communists. This had a dramatic effect on Orwell. He wrote “no one who was in Barcelona then, or for months later, will forget the horrible atmosphere produced by fear, suspicion, hatred, censored newspapers, crammed jails, and enormous food queues and prowling gangs of armed men” (George Orwell Novels). Clearly, this can be seen in 1984. The way Oceania is described, it seems as though the typical citizen lacks many if not most of the material items they would have had before the revolution. Yet, the distortion carried out by the government in the novel tries to instill the belief that the revolution is responsible for giving them what they have, which the government says is more than what they had before. This government also changes writing to the point of changing the history that has been recorded. Even Winston’s job is a part of systemized distortion and lies. Furthermore, the gangs of armed men in Spain can be seen as the Thought Police and other government agencies in the novel. The narrator of the novel does not clearly state how the typical citizen feels to be in such an environment, but we can see that Winston views it as terrible. He constantly thinks about being caught and must go out of his way to think and act freely where he believes he is safe. The many similarities between the government of Spain during this time and the government in the novel show how Orwell’s experiences can be seen throughout the novel.
Orwell’s 1984 is a warning after years of worrying about Nazism and Stalinism. The novel “extends the premises of totalitarianism to their logical end: the love of power and domination over others has acquired its perfected expression in the perpetual surveillance and omnipresent dishonesty of an unassailable and irresistible police state under whose rule every human virtue is slowly being suborned and extinguished” (Britannica). By doing this, Orwell shows the dangers of totalitarianism. Written not long after World War II, totalitarianism was a serious threat that could have taken over the world. If totalitarianism was not opposed, the world of 1984 could have been our reality. Through his novel, Orwell gives a powerful warning and message. Under totalitarianism, beyond the oppression and subordination, is a loss of individuality and free-thinking. In the novel, the Party sought to change the beliefs of all people and have everyone conform to acceptable standards. Winston’s ability to think for himself throughout the novel contrary to what the Party exuded shows how he was different. But, the constant worrying about what if his thoughts and beliefs are discovered and his eventual capture show how a totalitarian government can tear away one’s humanity and individuality.
Understanding Orwell’s background and the historical context of the novel is necessary to understand the events and...

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