- Published: January 25, 2022
- Updated: January 25, 2022
- University / College: University of Reading
- Level: Bachelors Degree
- Language: English
- Downloads: 10
How the Author Warns of the Potential Futures in the Novel 1984
George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a dystopian story about a dictatorial future society that features a man (Winston) whose daily occupation is rewriting history. This is because the author says that Winston concentrated on how to correct the system by highlighting areas where people need to understand. He later tries to rebel his daily task by falling in love with a woman. Winston’s perceptions about the government changes and he starts against the revolutionary “ Brotherhood” because he thinks they are manipulating the system through the Thought Police wing. In this regard, the warning that the author intends to communicate in the creation of this dystopia is the denial of freedom through surveillance systems across the cities. Although the story is in Winston’s perspective, the author uses various elements such as tone, symbolism and themes to warn readers of potential futures.
The tone of the novel is gloomy with a simple style that illustrates Winston’s concerns against the Big Brotherhood and the totalitarianist activities. The portrayal of the environment and setting is not appealing and the citizens are under restrictive rules of obeying the system. For instance, the author states, “ the people are always excited about the government, but some like Winston feels something is wrong (Orwell 17).” The style also complements the tone with the use of the long manifestos read by Winston as he rewrites history.
Similarly, Big Brother is the dominant symbol in Orwell’s novel that represents the face of the party. The citizens believe that he is the leader of the country and the political head, but others cannot prove his existence. This symbol is the manifestation of the future political parties that do not exercise their powers in the correct manner. The party believed that ‘ Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past (Orwell 36).” For instance, dictatorial states use bureaucratic organs to oppress the citizens and this is the concern of the author. The other symbol is the Telescreens that represent the media houses that parties and Big Brothers use to monitor their subjects (Orwell 39). The Telescreens can also show how the dictators abuse technology to satisfy their interests of monitoring the people instead of using it to improve the knowledge of the citizens of conducting scientific experiments.
Orwell sufficiently warns of potential futures through the themes of technology and tyranny dangers. The literary development that falls under the theme is the use of motifs such as telescreens to monitor people’s intentions. This indicates that government projects have hidden significances in the society. Technology approval, comprising of surveillance systems is among the probable aspects that governments use to monitor the activities of their citizens. Additionally, “ the Party employs complicated mechanisms to exert large-scale control on economic production and sources of information (Orwell 61).” The author uses the concept of Telescreens to try to warn of how technology in the futures will control human activities and liberty. In the novel, technology is revealed as a tool that can facilitate the most wicked crimes. The author paints a perfect totalitarianism community by comparing it with a modern-day government that enjoys absolute power (Orwell 77). It uses this power to monitor and control every aspect of human activity that makes opposition to be a criminal offense. For instance, Winston and Julia (Winston’s girlfriend) were prosecuted for their thoughts that the Party was always monitoring their activities. This affects the readers because it shows how opposing government projects may land someone into troubles or prosecution. Winston tells Julia, “ You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person (Orwell 87).
The effectiveness of the novel is that it indicates the various ways that governments oppress their citizens through technology and terminologies. The Big Brotherhood confuses the citizens because they do not understand the head of that unit and his roles. As a result, the author uses Winston to warn the readers of the dangers of autocratic state rulers that blindfold people using technological adoption that only makes their lives miserable.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Fairfield (IA: 1st World Library – Literary Society, 2004.
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