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The Permanency Of Death Essay

1378 words - 6 pages

It is common knowledge that every living thing must die eventually; death is inevitable. Some people die earlier than others, while some live long, prosperous lives. Death, however, does not always refer to the physical body. Many notable authors examine the many different “deaths” that are possible. Death could be used to refer to the death of the soul as evil takes over, or the death of hope as one is unable to cope with a loss of child. George Orwell is one of these authors, as he demonstrates death in various ways. Death is a complex theme in Orwell’s novel, 1984, as it examines the atypical “deaths” that humans can experience. Orwell examines the death of social order when the Party takes over in a totalitarian manner. He examines the death of the family unit, the death of rebellion, the death of individuality, and the death of language. The most evident death, however, is the death of the mind. He demonstrates this sort of death through Winston’s complex character as he meets his eventual fate. Throughout his novel, Orwell foreshadows Winston’s eventual “death” through his word choice and tone, through Winston’s childhood memories, and through Winston’s surroundings.
Word choice and tone of voice are very important in the novel. Orwell uses tone as a means of emphasis; throughout the novel, the tone is generally pessimistic, unless he is writing about the government. Right from the beginning, Oceania is introduced as an overly-military society; “the clocks were striking thirteen” (3), not one. Orwell already introduces Hate Week and Big Brother to the reader on the first page, introducing the reader to the complex governmental issues the novel covers. 1984 serves as a warning to communism and as a result, the novel is written to purposely leave the reader irritated as they come to the end; due to the fact that the novel was written as a warning, it is safe to assume that there will not be a happy ending. Through tone, the reader is able to understand this warning. Thus, Orwell’s motivations for writing the novel, in itself, foreshadow Winston’s fate.
It is also through the word choice of O’Brien’s message that Winston’s fate is foreshadowed. Orwell decides to phrase the massage as, “the place where there is no darkness” (27) rather than writing in the positive. When one thinks about the place where there is only light, the reader assumes that this is a sort of paradise- heaven perhaps. This assumption is what initially leads Winston to trust O’Brien; through O’Brien’s “disarming friendliness” (165), Winston eventually meets his doom. And as the plotline progresses, Winston begins to trust O’Brien; he assumes that O’Brien is nonthreatening because “by sharing a small act of thoughtcrime [O’Brien] had turned the two of them into accomplices.” (165) By examining the phrasing of the message, one can conclude that the negative was intentional. If the message was phrased in the positive, then the image of heaven...

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