George Orwell, 1984 - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-03
George Orwell, 1984 - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature 1984 George Orwell
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1740 words
15 min read


The book explores an exciting yet sad story of a dictatorial government in a dystopian society. It is narrated in the future, 1984 in an Oceania nation with a ruling party in London that has taken over the government and the people's freedom. The party controls most of the issues of life, such as the history, language, thoughts, and social lives of its people. The party is controlled by one supreme leader known as the Big brother, and he ensures that the party is in charge of history and the language such that it can be manipulated to suit the selfish interest of the party to dictate the people. The leader is believed to be omniscient and can monitor every progress and thoughts of its members. One of the notable characters, Winston Smith, is a member of the ruling party, and all his progress is monitored. Smith is tired and frustrated by the oppression of such a government that desires a change. The novel is a typical portrayal of a dictatorial government both in the past and present. Totalitarian leadership has suffocated the freedom of the people, the media, and every other aspect of life. George Orwell has extraordinarily crafted different literary elements to convey his message through various characters in his piece. Therefore, the paper will explore the literary features by discussing symbols, themes, images, and discourses.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The novel uses wartime themes and the Soviet Union's dominion in Great Britain as its literature source. A good example to indicate the similarity between the Soviet Union is the statement “2+2= 5” was one of the Communist slogans in one of its plans. The information has been used in the novel to torture Winston Smith. In the old times, it was a slogan that was publicly displayed to emphasize the five-year plan of the Communists, and in the novel, it is used a mechanism for torture and emphasis of dictatorial rule. It indicates the passing of rules and laws that put the citizens at a low position and as subjects to their masters. They were not supposed to exercise any form of freedom, and if they rebelled like Smith, they would face the consequences. It is a novel that has been to act as a warning to the totalitarian governments, especially in the west, about the way of ruling. It was written after witnessing other nations such as Spain and Russia suffer consequences of dictatorship, which the western world was first approaching. The central theme is exploring the risks of totalitarianism. The author depicts the cruelty of dictatorial rule in the communist nations and sounds a warning to the western countries which intended to use technology to control the freedom of the people and subject them to modern-day slavery leading to mayhem.

Another theme that defines the novel is that of psychological trickery through the use of items such as giant screens in the rooms of every citizen. The screens are meant to manipulate them and instill fear of being monitored by the government to not turn against its dictatorial rule. The screens are also said to scan the code of conduct so that every individual went their behavior could be seen. One of the significant warnings was writings on the screen, for instance, one who said Big brother is watching you. By seeing such reminders every time, they would be scared and eventually obey the rules to avoid being in trouble with the authorities.

Besides, another way through which the government manipulated its people's psychology is through the use of children whore in groups termed as junior spies, and they were supposed to spy on their parents and report. In case the parents were doing things that were contrary to the government regulations, then their children would report them. It was brainwashing that was meant to put every person under control, both young and old. Additionally, the party forced people to suppress their sexual desires and regard it as only meant to be for procreation, and this meant giving birth to new members of a party. Such acts were not only dictatorial but also against humanity.

Similarly, the theme of control of history and news is also a theme that the author uses to show the adverse effects of a dictatorial rule. For instance, it rewrites all the content of history in various newspapers and other materials. Besides, it forbids people from keeping any documents or records of their past so that they are not able to get archives of information that they can use against the party's oppressive rule. It does it because memory cannot be relied on regarding the history, and as such, the citizens will be left with the only option of relying on the government's records. The party changes all the historical content of the nation to suit its interests. Also, through the use of technology, the government can monitor its people all the time. It even makes the situation tighter by introducing complex mechanisms to control economic activities.

The author has dramatically used symbolism to depict the rot and unfortunate circumstances that people in the Oceania nation experience. One of the most significant symbols that has been used is the term, big brother. In different places of the cities, there are posters with a person looking at the words Big brother watching you indicate that the citizens were being monitored. The people are being told that the person who appears in the posters is the party leader and the nation. Winston is, however, not sure whether he exists. It is a way of instilling more fear and manipulation to be obedient to the current totalitarian government. Although the picture might be confused to show the leader's goodwill and warmth to his subjects, it is a disguised threat for continuity of ruling. It also symbolizes the ambiguity in the Oceania nation's leadership as it is not clear who rules the country. It also portrays vagueness on why such a state of ruling exists where the leadership structure is not well known. Still, a series of threats and strict regulations can psychologically manipulate the people to be obedient and not rebellious to tyranny.

Another symbolic word or expression is the terms, a place where there is no darkness. Winston dreams of meeting O'Brien in this place, which looks like a paradise, and it sticks in his memory for the longest time until he meets O'Brien but not in a place where there is no darkness but instead in a cell which is the opposite of his dream. Instead of being the paradise he desired, it turns out to be the cell where the lights are never turned off. He falls into a trap because he trusts O'Brien, who turns out to be a traitor and betrays him. It depicts how the government brainwashes its people, lures them into believing that they are the rulers, and serves the people, yet they manipulate them to be better subjects.

Another way symbolism has been used is through the telescreens, where the totalitarian government manipulates the people. It is a symbol of how the dictatorial government has misused technology so that instead of it helping the people, it is used to oppress them. Winston hears the red harmed prole woman singing, and this symbolizes his last hope. He hopes that the proles will one day listen to his plea and rebel against the oppressive government. The woman is also a symbol of the reproductive system for children and a new nation.

Foreshadowing plays a critical role in depicting the events that would occur in the future through the prediction of a coming Totalitarian government. It is was foreshadow how the western world would turn into because of its actions about how the government was being ruled. The popular songs in the novel, such as "they have stolen my heart away," indicate what was to come. Also 'I sold you, and you sold" is a warning song that portrays the nature of the dictatorial government that would come. Winston's betrayal of Julia shows how the people trusted quickly betrays, for instance, the government that the citizens.


In summary, it is essential to note that George Orwell, 1984, is a piece that plays a critical role in exposing the political rot in the dictatorial governments. Through the novel, it is an event that history can be repeated and mistakes made again. Orwell used the communist nations as an example of how tyranny can be disastrous to a country. He wrote his novel to sound a warning to the western nations, which were gradually going towards the direction of dictatorship rule. The author uses the old time's slogans used in the Soviet Union, for instance, the "2+2=5" utilized as a slogan for the five-year plan of the communist nation.

Orwell has used various themes to rely his message on the adverse effects of a dictatorship rule, which is gradually being adopted by the western world. One of the most significant pieces is the dangers of totalitarianism, which is evident throughout the novel. It has affected the freedom of the people, and they live like slaves in their own countries. They are not allowed to express themselves, have a record of their past to make memories, freely enjoy bodily pleasures, among other freedoms. Private life has been reaped from individuals as the government rules over every aspect of their endeavors. They are monitored and controlled through screens, which are meant to instill fear for the government's sake to subdue. Besides, psychological manipulation is also meant to create more fear and make citizens law-abiding.

The symbolism used by the author is also critical in supporting the themes and revealing the various ways through the dictatorial government rules over the people. A good example is a big brother representing the authoritarian leader who is not known but is believed to exist and is omniscient. The place where there is no darkness symbolizes how the people are longing to be free and from dictators. Being in an area with no night symbolizes freedom, but unfortunately, it meant Winston's opposite.


Saravayskaya, Y., Zilberstein, G., Zilberstein, R., Zilberstein, S., Maor, U., D'Amato, A., & Righetti, P. G. (2020). ‘1984’: what Orwell could not predict. Proteomic analysis of his scripts. Electrophoresis.

Votinova, D. O. (2018). Comparative Analysis of the Genre and Stylistic Dominants of the XXth Century Dystopian Novels in the Light of Translation Studies. Science and Education a New Dimension. Philology, (49), 57-61.

Cite this page

George Orwell, 1984 - Paper Example. (2024, Jan 03). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism