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Symbolism And Imagery In 1984 Essay

1265 words - 5 pages

1984 is, without doubt, a very complex novel. The subjects tackled by Orwell in the novel are indeed complicated and dangerous. To get these across to the reader, Orwell often uses symbolism and imagery. In order to completely investigate this, it is necessary to look at the main characters, names, places and the various symbols that pop up throughout the novel. This will help to give a better understanding as to why and how Orwell uses these.Some of the most obvious symbolism comes in the names of the main characters. [It is worth noting that there are only a few characters named in the novel; this helps to give the air of a distant and private society]. Our hero, Winston Smith, provides some useful insights. The name Winston was probably picked with Winston Churchill in mind. This would symbolise Winston's fight against the Party, just as Winston Churchill fought his country's enemy [fascism] in WW2. His surname, Smith, can be interpreted as Orwell trying to convey to the reader that Winston is simply an ordinary man [who simply dared to think]. It could also be seen as representing a link to the proles that Winston finds himself drawn to at various points in the novel. It is clear that this name was chosen for a reason, and overall it helps the reader relate to the themes and the character a little better.Emmanuelle Goldstein is also a name that has symbolic value. It becomes clear from this name that Orwell is relating the political situation in the novel to that of Nazi Germany. This is because the name chosen for the sworn enemy of the Party is a Jewish one. This links directly to the anti""semitism of Nazi Germany. This is an example of Orwell using symbolism to refer to one of the main themes of the book, propaganda. All over Oceania there is Party slogans and propaganda ["On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall"]. Also their slogans [War is peace et al.] along with the concept of doublethink fit in well with the wall of propaganda that hit the residents of Germany under Hitler. This shows how Orwell uses a single name to convey the complex themes of the novel.There are also other names that have a slightly hidden symbolic nature. Room 101, for example. 101 is the code for basic information, which links into the point of the room. Room 101 takes you back to one of the very simple aspects of human character, fear. This shows Orwell putting across the message that in the end it's the simple things that will make you crack. This could be linked with his experience in the Spanish Civil war, and what he saw there. Also, when contemplating names, it is also worth noting then name Big Brother. It was chosen because of the parental nature. The citizen is Oceania need something to look up to and protect them, and the name "˜Big Brother' does all this. These two names once again show how Orwell uses a seemly simple thing, such as a name, to put the themes of the novel across to the...

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