Deconstruction Through Symbolism In George Orwell's 1984

1626 words - 7 pages

Everything is a symbol. Everything has a deeper being in which it represents once it is unlocked. The father of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, was quoted in an interview saying that deconstruction is “to not naturalize what is not natural”. Therefore symbolism is deconstruction in its rawest form. Symbols beg to not be taken at their natural face-value, but rather dived into to reach their deep inner-core of true meaning. One must use every element of deconstruction to unlock the true meaning of a symbol. Symbolism in literature allows the author to express his thoughts and motives in a way that is engaging and entertaining to the reader. The reader must dissect every bit of knowledge ...view middle of the document...

Even more is lost as the reader translates the “text” back to “thought”. Deconstruction does not accept what text is saying because the language the author used to translate his thoughts to physical words on paper could not be trusted. The words of the author are not loosely expressing what the author had in mind. That is where Nietzsche’s quote comes into play. It is up to the reader to translate and make connections from the text, interpret it, and discover a meaning they hold true to their own thought, and true to the author’s original thought. Jacques Derrida believed that language prevented an exact thought from being expressed. “Perhaps we cannot make either positive or negative definitive statements.” stating that words were left to the listener to decipher its definitiveness. There are no rights and no wrongs in interpretation because language prevents it according to Derrida.
The same ideology applies to symbolism. The author presents something physical as a symbol; may it be an item or an act, and it is up to the reader to deconstruct the purpose of the symbol. The symbol has no right or wrong definition. In fact it is impossible to define the symbol simply because language does not express what the author intended. Therefore, the reader must use prior knowledge and references gathered throughout the text to understand the meaning that the symbol is trying to represent. A deconstructionist will see everything as a symbol. They find themselves believing that everything has a deeper idea that the symbol is being used to represent. This allows for a deeper connection to the text as the reader is not only finding symbols and what they represent, but forces the reader to locate clues that would trigger these thoughts. Since there is no right or wrong interpretation, every individual will have experienced the same plot, but each individual will make different engaging connections thanks to deconstruction and symbolism.
In George Orwell’s 1984, the reader is presented with many symbols that both further the plot and force the reader to understand what Orwell wanted you to connect with. George Orwell does a fantastic job of forcing the reader to connect issues presented in his dystopian novel to issues happening today. Just exactly what are you supposed to be connecting the issues in the novel to? Orwell does not out the weakness of government so easily. It is up to the reader to make that connection. This also allows the story to be connected to many governments in many nations of past and present time periods.
In 1984, the main character, Winston Smith is employed in the Ministry of Truth. The Ministry of Truth is in charge of altering past publications of any medium to be compliant with the image of the party today. If something was said in a paper written five years ago that did not agree with how the party acted today, then the paper would be removed from the public, revised, and then replaced. The party had complete control over...

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