It has always been man’s dream to see and understand the future in an attempt to prepare himself for events which will eventually unfold. This hope is the premise for futuristic novels like George Orwell’s 1984, which, step by step, moves through the life of a rebellious citizen trapped in a world of deceit and propaganda. Very few people have been exposed to such a treacherous environment as Oceania, where Winston, the main character, resides. Therefore, it was necessary for the author to interject certain literary devices to allow for the ability to better relate to a character in Winston’s situation.
To accomplish this, Orwell utilizes the theme of individuality versus tyranny, foreshadowing, and irony, in order to fully extract all possible motives behind Winston’s actions.Many countries, such as the United States, are founded on principles of individuality reigning over tyranny, more specifically, the freedom of choice. However, in the futuristic Oceania, run by “Big Brother”, such freedom and individuality is, for the most part, completely suspended. To act impulsively, or choose to oppose Big Brother, is a “thoughtcrime” of dire consequence. This is the basis behind the Inner Party’s control of Oceania. Winston however, from the commencement of the novel, showed that he was not willing to conform to such a tyrannical society. From his writing “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his diary as the novel opened, to his relationship with Julia, which was considered sexcrime in Oceania, Winston proved his thoughts were antiparallel to those of the Inner Party.
The fact that Winston was so ready to rebel was quite courageous in that he knew people who opposed The Party, or were to educated, like Syme, were vaporized. The members of the Inner Party recognized the abilities of an educated man to see through the propaganda of Oceania, and would therefore tolerate nothing but ignorance. Winston, however, continued to oppose the state, and commited, in many ways, both thoughtcrime and sexcrime. He joined the Brotherhood, run by Oceania’s first public enemy, Goldstein, and even reads a book published by the man. This action follows Winston’s open attempt to befriend O’Brien in a society which would not condone such outward behavior.
The reasoning behind the condemnation of friendship was that it was believed that friendship could lead to alliances that would threaten the reign of the Inner Party. Winston’s barrage of individualistic actions lead The Party to arrest him, as they witnessed his actions from a hidden telescreen behind a picture. Mr. Charrington, the local store manager, who appeared rather genuine, led the arrest, for he was a member of the unknown thoughtpolice. Julia is killed, and Winston is taken by the thoughtpolice to the ministry of love, where he is to be held for his crimes.As is the basis for futuristic novels such as 1984, Orwell foreshadows much of the events that occur, through vague or inanimate objects.
The most noticeable...