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Title: 1984 Author: George Orwell Topic: Emotional Response

1215 words - 5 pages

George Orwell's 1984 evokes a powerful contrast of repulsion and pity in his readers in order to convey the true corruption of the totalitarian government. Throughout Winston's experience at the Ministry of Love, the author exposes the readers to the darkest aspects of human nature. His descriptions of the thought criminals' behaviour in response to the torture imposed by the Ministry are so despicable that the readers first feel disappointed, and then even ashamed to be a member of same race. These strong emotions are manipulated to create a powerful contrast between the readers' repulsion and the heart-wrenching pity they experiences at the end of the novel. By subtly compelling the readers to conclude that the most sickening elements of man are still better than the inhuman shell that Winston later becomes, Orwell successfully insinuates the extent of the Party's debasement. This contrast is set up with the reader's appalled reaction to the description of a lady at the Ministry:The woman hoisted herself upright and followed them out with a yell of "F------ bastards!" Then, noticing that she was sitting on something uneven, she slid off Winston's knees onto the bench. "Beg pardon, dearie... they dono 'ow to treat a lady, do they?" She paused, patted herself on the breast, and belched. "Pardon," she said, "I ain't meself, quite." She leant forward and vomited copiously on the floor. "Thass better," she said, ... breathing beer and vomit into his face. "Wass your name dearie?"... "Smith? Why, I might be your mother!"The woman's rude and inarticulate speech immediately suggests that she belongs to a lower class, and thus evokes disdain from the readers. To amplify their feelings of distaste, the author uses the woman's belch and vomit to disgust to the readers' sense of sound and smell. Because they are so repulsed by the woman's atrocious mannerism, the revelation that she may be Winston's mother comes as a harsh and unexpected shock. The stark change from the earlier portrayal of Winston's respected and self-sacrificing mother to the blubbering mass that she has become causes the readers to question the existence of human dignity. This transformation even forces the reader to doubt the true integrity of humanity. Orwell intensifies the reader's disappointment in human nature through further description of the prisoners within the Ministry of Love:The door opened. With a small gesture the officer indicated the skull-faced man. "Room 101," he said. The [skull-faced] man flung himself on his knees on the floor and clasped his hands together. "Comrade! Officer! You don't have to take me to that place! Haven't I told you everything already? What else is it you want to know? There's nothing I wouldn't confess, nothing! Just tell me what it is and I'll confess it straight off. Write it down and I'll sign it- anything! Not room 101!... Is there somebody else you want me to give away?... I don't care who it is or what you want to do to them. I've got a...

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