Conception of the Future in 1984

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Conception of the Future in 1984

"I do not believe that kind of society I describe (in 1984) necessarily will arrive, but I believe... that something resembling it could arrive. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere".   George Orwell,1949

The conception of the future portrayed by Orwell in 1984 is one of grim cautionary warning. The world of 1984 is vague enough to, still today, cause a feeling of dread at what might be. The future of 1984 is one vastly different from many previous attempts to predict the future for it does not give the future the present’s prejudice about many things such as expected technologies or events. The world is recognizable using no outlandish inventions to give across the idea of a future; instead the future is represented by society and the individual. Orwell knowingly writes a future that could not be, that he knew would not come to pass as he had written it for the purpose of making it all the more enduring and the message all the more chilling.

I believe he exaggerates aspects of the post-WW2 world, trends he notices and makes a general outline of where the world was, or mayhap still is, possibly headed. The oppressive nature of communism and the totalitarian regimes which had caused WW2 are oft said to be the sole or primary basis for Oceania. While this idea holds merit, I believe Orwell to have written the novel in a more general manner, speaking of the world’s fate in a more general manner, encompassing both communism and capitalism. He wishes not to denounce the future he expressed as a product of the communist powers only, but also as the same end where western society is headed. The warning he tries to get across comes into play in this aspect for though the democratic world believes itself free from all worrying aspects expressed like doublethink, and the devaluation of the individual into a tool, it suffers the problem as well.

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Doublethink is rampant in the bureaucracy of the Western world, where the opposition is wrong, and your side is right. Another example is the way most people will defend to death their belief that drugs such as cocaine are illegal yet stutter when confronted with the fact that alcohol is a drug as well. In this note the prohibition of these substances is, in and of itself, a violation of an individual’s freedoms yet now it seems like it has always been the way it is an hence a part of freedom. Doublethink in action by the free world which ...

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This essay lacks any structure as there is no focus on the task. I would've liked to have seen an introduction exploring the techniques, whereas this essay focuses on the content. I liked how this essay underlined every reference to the novel's title. Examiners like to see this, and it contributes to your ability to structure a coherent and proper essay. This is an easy way to get the examiner on your side from the introduction! The style here seems completely wrong. Rhetorical questions and sarcastic comments have no place in a strong argument, and these seem more fitting for an English Language piece. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine, and this essay reads fluently - it just needs to focus on the literary techniques.

The analysis here is poor. There is a great discussion of how the novel can be interpreted, which is fantastic only if the analysis is there before it. This essay shows incredible knowledge, but in an English Literature piece this must be coupled with numerous quotations. Comments such as "Doublethink in action by the free world which could not ever end up like Winston’s London" add very little to the argument as you are simply retelling the plot. A discussion of how Orwell uses the language effectively to show the Party's control would be more appropriate. Examiners want to see how critics respond to the text, but this is only one assessment objective and unfortunately there must be a progression from evidence to even warrant these arguments. Many of the comments would be unfounded in an examiners eyes, and once again irrelevant to the task of looking at how Orwell's conception of the future is effective.

This essay engages at an okay level, looking at how effective the conception of the future is in 1984. This essay has an incredibly critical voice, but I think this is not appropriate at GCSE level. GCSE coursework pieces are built upon analysis as the foundation, and then the argument can be formed around this. This piece seems more of a book report, featuring very little analysis but commenting on the plot. I liked the incredibly vast knowledge of contextual features, and these would be beneficial if weaved in with analysis. However, this becomes the substance of this essay, and so will gain little credit for exploration of language, form and structure. This is an essay which reads well, but is a great example of how an examiner would give it a low mark.