August 2, 2010
DYP English III
The ability to see patterns in everything became Foster’s vision while reading novels. Three of the main patterns that are demonstrated in Orwell’s 1984 are politics, seasons, and violence. In the chapter “It’s All Political” from Foster’s novel How to Read Literature Like a Professor, the main concept of his thinking is that “nearly all writing is political on some level” (Foster 111). Applying this idea to Orwell’s 1984 gives the reader the opportunity to see the theme of the novel: “the sexual act...was rebellion” (Orwell 68). By having sex with another citizen was one way of showing emotion and passion which the Party and Big Brother cannot control. Due to the threat of emotions overtaking the citizens, the Party has discouraged family life and ultimately taken away privacy by placing televisions in homes, in the ...view middle of the document...
Foster gave the reader a reference point that most people have heard of. “...spring has to do with childhood and youth, summer with adulthood and romance and fulfillment and passion, autumn with decline and middle age and tiredness but also harvest, winter with old age and resentment and death” (Foster 178). Once we realize that there is a pattern in this cycle within a novel, we look for more clues that lead us to a conclusion. Orwell set the tone for his novel by beginning his book with “it was a bright cold day in April” in order to introduce the setting and beginning of the plot. The cold could also have an underlying meaning of the character that he is a sad and apathetic citizen who does his job because he has to. On the other hand, “one had the feeling that she would have been perfectly content if the June evening had been endless...” (Orwell 141). The months of June and July ignited a passion between Winston and Julia, in which both of the characters could have cared less about going back to work and the thought of being together would be the happiest thing that could possibly happen to them.
In his book, Foster bluntly states that “violence is everywhere in literature,” (Foster 89). He is saying that there are two different kinds of violence; one concerning the physical harming of somebody or something, and the other the sufferings and deaths the author makes the characters experience. In Orwell’s 1984, once someone was convicted as a though criminal they were tortured beyond their wildest nightmares. “Sometimes it was fists, sometimes it was truncheons, sometimes it was steel rods, sometimes it was boots,” (Orwell 240). Either way, the violence did not subside until the “guilty” person confessed something he did or did not do. Although physical violence broke bones and bruised the convicted, “their real weapon was the merciless questioning that went on hour after hour...” (Orwell 241). After being beaten repeatedly, the slightest thought became a difficult task and was even worse than being physically harmed, which is why violence is a very prevalent theme in Orwell’s novel 1984.