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How does the opening chapter of Nineteen Eighty-Four(TM) represent a dystopian world?

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Introduction

How does the opening chapter of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' represent a dystopian world? The author, George Orwell, creates an extremely realistic vision of a dystopian world. The story begins in London on April 4, 1984. London is the capital of Oceania which is run by INGSOC. The novel is set in a British society, years after a nuclear war has occurred. The opening image of Nineteen Eighty-Four sets a bad omen that prevails throughout as the reader is introduced to Winston Smith, the fatalistic protagonist of the novel. It starts off on a "cold day in April," when "the clocks were striking thirteen." Immediately, the author portrays a society in decay by describing a setting of "gritty dust," and "hallways of boiled cabbage and old rag mats." Elevators are not working and there is an electrical current that is turned off during daylight hours. The setting that is established is depressing, dull and diseased. This is also interpreted in the example used before, "it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." Instantly the imagery is calm and bright however it is then brought down to being dull and depressing by the use of the word 'cold' and the fact that it says "the clocks were striking thirteen" gives it a sense of paranoia. ...read more.

Middle

Images of his face are omnipresent in society. The words 'BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU' is a use of control as the citizens very much fear it and are very paranoid by this therefore they listen to the orders they have to follow, they don't make mistakes because if they do they know there will be consequences to their actions. The telescreens, helicopters, guards and the 'thought police' are also a use of control from the party as they watch the peoples every move every minute of the day. Additionally, the form of language that is used as a control mechanism is Newspeak which broadens the party member's vocabulary. Finally, every aspect of a party members life is controlled by the party, individual freedom does not exist therefore the party have a very effective use of control amongst the society. In the opening chapter of this novel, the first character to emerge is 45 year old Winston Smith who is the protagonist in the story, a party member who resents the control that the party exerts. Winston works in an office where he retires the newspapers. Winston is a very frustrated and depressed person as he always brings the depression from the outside inside with him therefore it's like the depression is stuck with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Smith was the name of common men in England at that time. Lastly, George Orwell is very clever as everything links together. He relates the past with what he writes in this novel which makes it very effective. In the opening we get the idea of a nightmare world however by making the main character Winston a hero it creates some kind of hope and faith that there could be another side to this story. There are many themes that emerge from the opening chapter of this novel. Governments manipulating mind and body in a variety of ways to get what they want and control over the society is the main theme. Also the party controls everything in 1984, e.g. Winston wakes up, exercises and goes to work all while Big Brother is watching him. The telescreens, thought police and ministries of truth, plenty, love and peace all contribute to the government manipulating the mind to get what they want. Another theme is that the ruling class controls citizens by taking away their ability to think for themselves. There are also many similar themes such as destruction, disappearance, paranoia, fear, war, death and violence. All these words fall into the lexical field of death which highly summarises a dystopian world that George Orwell creates from the opening chapter. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Simarpreet Kaur Bhamrah ...read more.

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