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Is there any relief to the grimness in section 1 of 1984

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Is there any relief to the grimness in section one of 1984? In the dystopian society Orwell creates in 1984 there is an overwhelming, yet unsettlingly familiar sense of irony; the omnipotent leaders of Oceania, Big Brother and the inner party members, claim to be controlling the everyday lives of the citizens in order to bring them a better life, 'for the good of the party' and 'our new, happy life'. However, this is the distinct opposite to the reality Winston Smith lives in; a totalitarian state which professes to bring hope and happiness, yet in actuality drains any sense of optimism and joy. In a place bereft of any hope, Winston Smith finds himself desperately searching for a sense of individuality and relief. It would be wrong to assume, however, that Orwell's society is completely and utterly deprived of solace, there are, at least in section, one faint glimmers of hope, small fragments to which Winston clings; a person he sees in the corridor, the masses of lower classes, the diary in which he writes. ...read more.


"Proles and animals are free" states the party slogan, and Winston believes with conviction that the only prominent hope are within these 'swarming disregarded masses'. The proles seem free, whereas the rest of the population is indoctrinated and docile. The proles can express themselves, they are allowed to be passionate even if it only about beer and the lottery. It is ironic that passion can also be evoked in the outer and inner party members, yet this passion is in relation to 'the two minute hate' and to Big Brother, rather than a passion for freedom and for hope. Thus continuously Orwell writes that 'if there is hope, it lies in the Proles'. Orwell himself states that the proles "represent real human beings with their emotions intact and not driven out of them." Winston recognises that the Proles are the key to change, as they are the only people capable of thinking for themselves. However this is only a limited relief, the proles have been tamed and occupied by the party, they are allowed certain freedom because ...read more.


Perhaps hope can be drawn from Orwell's footnote in the beginning pages, stating that 'newspeak' was the official language, the past tense suggests, as propounded by Margaret Atwood, that the dystopia was not eternal. For Winston Smith, in the immediate present of Oceania, there is a small sense of relief, yet only perhaps because he is looking for it. He perceives himself to be different from the rest of the outer party members and this helps him to find some relief, yet at the same time also mentally tortures him as he wonders if he is a lunatic, ' a minority of one'. Although there is some relief to the grimness in section one, there is not quite enough to combat the totalitarian control of Big Brother, it seems that Winston Smith eventually starts to take risks, not because he is hopeful or experience relief, but because he becomes even more apathetic towards his own existence. ...read more.

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