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A Dystopian Society In George Orwell´S 1984

1844 words - 7 pages

Dystopian novels are written to reflect the fears a population has about its government and they are successful because they capture that fright and display what can happen if it is ignored. George Orwell wrote 1984 with this fear of government in mind and used it to portray his opinion of the current government discretely. Along with fear, dystopian novels have many other elements that make them characteristic of their genre. The dystopian society in Orwell’s novel became an achievement because he utilized a large devastated city, a shattered family system, life in fear, a theme of oppression, and a lone hero.
Orwell’s novel begins with a horrid description of the living conditions of his main character, Winston. He explains that the “hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats” (Orwell 19) which immediately strikes the senses and repulses the reader. Upon deeper examination, this portion of the story is intended to generate feelings of distaste in the reader in order to get them pondering why Winston is in this situation rather than improving his conditions. As the reader continues on in the novel, they find that Winston has no option to better the environment he lives in and the strict government he is controlled by is to blame. Winston’s deteriorating home is only one example of the degeneration of his surroundings. His home city of London is decaying with “crazy garden walls sagging in all directions” (Orwell 23) and “rotting nineteenth-century houses” (Orwell 23). An article analyzing 1984 by Sean Lynch better describes Winston’s view of London as “dark and isolating”. This devastated city creates a mind-numbing sensation in its population because there is no one that finds beauty in where they live or even a trace of hope that things could improve. Little do the people of Oceania know, but that is exactly what the Party wants because it prevents their members from rebelling. London, the devastated city, is a trait Orwell added in order to develop his dystopian society and it helped establish a scene in the reader’s mind that is considered deplorable by the standards of modern society.
Dystopian novels commonly include a failing family element in order to strike straight to the heart of its readers. Orwell used children against the parents in his novel with the intention of making his society a frightening place to be. Innocence in children is lost when they “were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them…” (Orwell 294). As an article discussing the elements of a dystopian society says, “the institution of family has been eradicated” so as to be “in service of the State” (“Dystopian Elements”). In this case, the Party is the state and the Party aims to turn all children against their parents to virtually eliminate the possibility of anyone slipping out of their sight. The children are even rewarded by the Party for turning their parents in to the thought police whether or not they actually committed the...

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