• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Orwell make the introduction to 1984 alarming?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Orwell make the introduction to 1984 alarming? Orwell immediately introduces the setting of the book; the title, 1984, reveals (or would have done when it was published in 1949) that it is set in the future. Orwell uses paradoxes to illustrate how different this world is from reality; in the very first line, he describes "a bright cold day in April" and clocks "striking thirteen". Orwell introduces Winston, along with the feelings of discomfort that always accompany him - the "vile wind", "gritty dust" and the smell "of boiled cabbage and old rag mats". Throughout the extract, the only emotions described are negative ones, those of discomfort and fear. ...read more.

Middle

This simple commanding statement reveals a lot about the setting - it is the first hint at the political state of Winston's world, a dictatorship where one man is all-powerful. It also hints at the way that the party invade the public's privacy with the patrols and thought police. This caption is repeated in the extract, emphasising its influence in society. In fact, the urban setting is important, symbolising the world itself. It is repeatedly described as "cold", both in a literal and figurative sense, making it seem uncomfortable. Furthermore, "there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere", placing further emphasis on the party's influence. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The patrols did not matter" - "only the thought police mattered". What is especially alarming about this is the fear that Winston feels in his own home - he keeps his back to the telescreen because "it was safer" - and the idea that the government are controlling and policing even people's thoughts. Finally, the extract ends with another paradox - the slogans of the party. "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH". This seems strange; the first two are completely contradictory, since the words have opposite meanings - the party are advocating war and ignorance, while refuting freedom. What is alarming about this is that, while a political party should be doing what the people want it to, this one tells the people what to want. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 1984 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, looking beyond the plot to the techniques Orwell uses to make the opening alarming. There is a clear awareness of how structure becomes important in making the novel seem alarming, and I like ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, looking beyond the plot to the techniques Orwell uses to make the opening alarming. There is a clear awareness of how structure becomes important in making the novel seem alarming, and I like how there is a balance between analysis of language, setting and structure. This shows that the candidate is able to discuss a breadth of topics contributing towards a convincing argument. Although the essay makes it implicit that they are referring to the reader when saying "it is alarming", I would've made the reader response more prominent. Phrases such as "this technique forces the reader to question" or similar would show the awareness that the audience response is the most significant part here. If I were answering this question, I would've discussed in a conclusion why Orwell chooses to have the first chapter become alarming, looking how it sets up the rest of the novel and its significance.

Level of analysis

The analysis here is strong. What I particularly like about this essay is that quotes aren't just used, they are always analysed. For example they mention the "gritty dust" but go further to say that the only language used in the passage is negative. I would have liked to have seen the essay go that bit further with each point. After saying the language is of discomfort and fear, I would make an explicit reference to the question and say this makes it alarming. It was nice to see the paradoxes discussed, as this is a clear technique Orwell uses in his famous opening. Once again, the essay could've discussed how the surreal world affects the reader. The analysis here is fluent, and I put this down to the way they address the plot and its characters. Rather than saying "Winston is mundane" the essay writes "Orwell introduces Winston" showing the understanding that he is a construct. Once this foundation is built, this naturally forces the essay into discussing the effect of techniques and why they are used, and this is why the analysis is strong here.

Quality of writing

The essay doesn't have the clearest of structures. For example, the first paragraph jumps straight into a point rather than forming a coherent argument. There isn't a conclusion to weave together the points or make a justified judgement of why the opening is significant. It is a conclusion where the final marks can be gained, and I would always advise making a new comment in one! Some of the paragraphs seem to be a bit short, so I would recommend trying to gather some of the points together. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are strong and the style is good.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by groat 07/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE 1984 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How is Orwell's attitude towards totalitarianism personified through the characters of Winston and O'Brian ...

    4 star(s)

    O'Brian also repeats words such as "power" and "no" which also symbolise the ethics of the totalitarian ruling which Orwell was strongly opposed to. Like a civilian in totalitarian state Winston is defenceless, dominated by O'Brian who pushes his views on to Winston in an attempt to make him absorb and adapt them to Winston's own.

  2. Compare the Relationship and Characters of Winston and O'Brien

    However he soon puts Winston straight indicating that he is Winston's incarcerator and telling him "You knew this Winston" and adds "you have always known it" (both Page 251). After a series of beating that degrade Winston to a state of almost complete humiliation, O'Brien begins to interrogate him.

  1. In the handmaids tale and 1984, compare their use of the dystopian genre.

    All these can been seen as quite feminim qualities. Atwood gives women a much more positive light, some argue that atwood is doing the same as orwell but simply reversing the roles and portraying men in a negative light. However I do not feel this as been correct. Orwell/winston never has anything postive attitude to women throughout the novel.

  2. Compare and contrast how Orwell and Huxley present Sexuality in '1984' and 'Brave New ...

    John's constant battle is slowly driving him wild and causes him to execute the one thing that he once thought he firmly believed not to do-sleep with Lenina after a wild and passionate soma-induced, crazed exhibition. John's character is an important one when looking at how a totalitarian state effects

  1. "Compare the ways in which each author uses language and structure in their dystopian views of ...

    An example for non-human nature would be: " I sink down into my body as into a swamp fenland, where only I know the footing" An example of the language used for the body is: "Each twinge, each murmur of slight pain, ripples of sloughed-off matter, swellings and diminishing of tissue, the droolings of the flesh..."

  2. Comparison of Offred and Winston in 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale

    The key theme of language in both novels where the government aims to prevent independent thought puts Offred and Winston in another state of rebellion. They never adopt in Offred's case, linear thought processes on simple topics in Gilead such as her role to reproduce and Winston fails to use Newspeak in thought and speech to abandon shades of meaning.

  1. Discuss the way 1984 either challenges or supports the values and attitudes of its ...

    But people are forced to believe in a truth that is untrue when they know a truth which is true. Thus people have two truths to believe or know in. The people who follow the Party and respect them will believe in the untruth and forget the real truth, and

  2. A key feature of a dystopian literature, such as "1984" and "Hunger Games" is ...

    The phrase ?dumb masses? could be an indication to the readers that the proles are seen as the inferior population because we associate the word ?dumb? to be someone stupid. If we were to picture a pyramid structure for the hierarchy of Oceania; at the bottom would be the proles, who can be seen as the working class.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work