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Dystopian Tradition In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four

4652 words - 19 pages

Dystopian tradition in George Orwell’s
Nineteen Eighty-Four

Course paper

Introduction 3
1. The protagonist versus the world of dystopia 6
1. The last freethinker in the world 7
2. Struggle against oppression 9
2. Political aspect of Nineteen Eighty-Four 11
1. Government 11
2. Allusions to reality 12
Conclusions 13
References 14


The object of this course paper is to discuss and analyse the main aspects and elements of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four which retain the ...view middle of the document...

Tasks for achieving the purpose of the research:
• To distinguish the key aspects of the novel which helped popularise the novel;
• To give a rough comparison with other famous dystopian novels;
• To compare the book with the traditional structure and elements of dystopian novel.

Author and literature review. Eric Arthur Blair (better known by his pen name of George Orwell) was an English novelist, journalist and essayist of the twentieth century. Although he wrote for more than ten years, and has published six books and a number of essay collections, he is best remembered by his last two books: Animal Farm, published in 1945 and his best known novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, published right before his death in 1949. The latter one coined such terms and concepts as newspeak, Big Brother, and thoughtcrime. Both of Orwell’s novels pay a lot of attention to criticism of totalitarian state and government, particularly satirising Stalin’s era of Soviet Union. Through the years Orwell has gained a cult following by history buffs and readers alike for his subtle use of fable, satire and just plain ridicule of the hypocrisy and deceptiveness of dictatorship government system. Orwell did not belong to a particular literary movement or school, instead he, in a way, revived the spirit of Enlightenment epoch, mainly by mimicking Jonathan Swift’s use of political satire. Also, Orwell and Swift shared same views on writing; they concentrated on the deep meaning, which was created by using a veneer of fantastical, magical events or things, rather than realism of the story. For example, in Orwell’s Animal Farm sheep, like humans, talk and can even read, but this animal is just a representation of a type of humans in real life, the naïve, spineless working class, who cannot stand up for themselves. That way the reader is always contested to spot the allusions and metaphors to real life. Nineteen Eighty-Four, on the other hand, is a totally different beast. There are no anthropomorphic animals, there is considerably less symbolism and the atmosphere of dystopia is grim to say the least. In his essay Why I Write, Orwell mentioned that he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, because he wanted to “try and show how political systems can surpass individual freedom”. More than analysis of a current situation in a particular country it was warning and prediction what could happen if socialism, or any authoritarian government for that matter, took absolute power and evolved into something grotesque and menacing.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is written from a first person narrator perspective. The reader follows the life and eventually downfall of a central character and narrator, Winston Smith, who seemingly is the last person who is capable of critical thought and doesn’t view The Party and Big Brother in good terms. Through secrecy Winston leads a secret rebellion of one man and tries at least in minor ways oppose the party and its forced social and political...

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