1984 critical analysis essays


Higher English sample critical essay George Orwell's 1984 and 'A

Those at the top have no strong motive for staying on the top, and though everyone is happy in a vacuous way, life has become so pointless that it is difficult to believe that such a society could endure. It is easy to recognise in this the leitmotif of In Oceania technological development has reached so high a level that society could well satisfy all its material needs and establish equality in its midst.

But inequality and poverty are maintained in order to keep Big Brother in power. In the past, says Orwell, dictatorship safeguarded inequality, now inequality safeguards dictatorship. But what purpose does the dictatorship itself serve? The party seeks power entirely for its own sake Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution The object of power is power.

He was not sure of this:. What Zamyatin seems to be aiming at is not any particular country but the implied aims of the industrial civilisation It is evident from We that he had a strong leaning towards primitivism We is in effect a study of the Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again.

Though Zamyatin was opposed to the Soviet regime, it was not exclusively, or even mainly, that regime which he satirised. At times he seemed half-reconciled with the Soviet regime when it was already producing its Benefactor in the person of Stalin. In so far as he directed the darts of his satire against Bolshevism, he did so on the ground that Bolshevism was bent on replacing the old primitive Russia by the modern, mechanised society.

Curiously enough, he set his story in the year ; and he seemed to say to the Bolsheviks: this is what Russia will look like if you succeed in giving to your regime the background of Western technology. In Zamyatin, like in some other Russian intellectuals disillusioned with socialism, the hankering after the primitive modes of thought and life was in so far natural as primitivism was still strongly alive in the Russian background.

In Orwell there was and there could be no such authentic nostalgia after the pre-industrial society. Primitivism had no part in his experience and background, except during his stay in Burma, when he was hardly attracted by it. Orwell knew well that newspapers of this sort did not exist in Stalinist Russia, and that the faults of the Stalinist press were of an altogether different kind. It is easy to tell which features of the party of satirise the British Labour Party rather than the Soviet Communist Party.

Big Brother and his followers make no attempt to indoctrinate the working class, an omission Orwell would have been the last to ascribe to Stalinism. Like the rubbishy newspapers and the films oozing with sex, so gambling, the new opium of the people, does not belong to the Russian scene. But in the vogue which has enjoyed that aspect has rarely been noticed. It is a cry from the abyss of despair. What plunged Orwell into that abyss?


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It was without any doubt the spectacle of the Stalinist Great Purges of , the repercussions of which he experienced in Catalonia. As a man of sensitivity and integrity, he could not react to the purges otherwise than with anger and horror. His conscience could not be soothed by the Stalinist justifications and sophisms which at the time did soothe the conscience of, for instance, Arthur Koestler, a writer of greater brilliance and sophistication but of less moral resolution. He was outraged, shocked and shaken in his beliefs. He had never been a member of the Communist Party. But, as an adherent of the semi-Trotskyist POUM, he had, despite all his reservations, tacitly assumed a certain community of purpose and solidarity with the Soviet regime through all its vicissitudes and transformations, which were to him somewhat obscure and exotic.

The purges and their Spanish repercussions not only destroyed that community of purpose. Not only did he see the gulf between Stalinists and anti-Stalinists opening suddenly inside embattled Republican Spain. Like most British socialists, Orwell had never been a Marxist. The dialectical-materialist philosophy had always been too abstruse for him. From instinct rather than consciousness he had been a staunch rationalist.

1984 - Summary & Analysis - George Orwell

The distinction between the Marxist and the rationalist is of some importance. Contrary to an opinion widespread in Anglo-Saxon countries, Marxism is not at all rationalist in its philosophy: it does not assume that human beings are, as a rule, guided by rational motives and that they can be argued into socialism by reason. The class struggle, as Marx describes it, is anything but a rational process. This does not prevent the rationalists of socialism describing themselves sometimes as Marxists. He may feel upset or mortified by them, but he need not feel shaken in his Weltanschauung , while the rationalist is lost and helpless when the irrationality of the human existence suddenly stares him in the face.

If he clings to his rationalism, reality eludes him. If he pursues reality and tries to grasp it, he must part with his rationalism. Orwell pursued reality and found himself bereft of his conscious and unconscious assumptions about life. In his thoughts he could not henceforth get away from the Purges.

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Literary Analysis Essay: 1984 by George Orwell

Directly and indirectly, they supplied the subject matter for nearly all that he wrote after his Spanish experience. This was an honourable obsession, the obsession of a mind not inclined to cheat itself comfortably and to stop grappling with an alarming moral problem. But grappling with the Purges, his mind became infected by their irrationality. He found himself incapable of explaining what was happening in terms which were familiar to him, the terms of empirical common sense. Abandoning rationalism, he increasingly viewed reality through the dark glasses of a quasi-mystical pessimism.

It has been said that is the figment of the imagination of a dying man. There is some truth in this, but not the whole truth. It was indeed with the last feverish flicker of life in him that Orwell wrote this book. Hence the extraordinary, gloomy intensity of his vision and language, and the almost physical immediacy with which he suffered the tortures which his creative imagination was inflicting on his chief character.

Writing A Great Essay On Interesting Topic Suggestions

He identified his own withering physical existence with the decayed and shrunken body of Winston Smith, to whom he imparted and in whom he invested, as it were, his own dying pangs. He projected the last spasms of his own suffering into the last pages of his last book. Winston Smith knows how Oceania functions and how its elaborate mechanism of tyranny works, but he does not know what is its ultimate cause and ultimate purpose. The Thought Police descends upon him just when he is about to begin reading the chapters which promise to explain why ; and so the question remains unanswered.

He asked the Why not so much about the Oceania of his vision as about Stalinism and the Great Purges.

1984 Thesis Statements and Important Quotes

He found in Trotsky the answer to How, not to Why. But Orwell could not content himself with historical agnosticism. He was anything but a sceptic. His mental make-up was rather that of the fanatic, determined to get an answer, a quick and a plain answer, to his question. He was now tense with distrust and suspicion and on the look-out for the dark conspiracies hatched by them against the decencies of Billy Brown of London town.

To analyse a complicated social background, to try and unravel tangles of political motives, calculations, fears and suspicions, and to discern the compulsion of circumstances behind their action was beyond him. Generalisations about social forces, social trends and historic inevitabilities made him bristle with suspicion. Yet, without some such generalisations, properly and sparingly used, no realistic answer could be given to the question which preoccupied Orwell.

1984 - Literary Analysis

In the case of , Orwell touches on several themes, but one that strikes me is the use of language to control people. Try one of these posts for additional guidance and tips:. Outlines are maps that guide you much more easily through the writing process. Without all the detours into unnecessary rambling , you can write faster and make your analysis a lot clearer. The example below is based off the discussion above about themes:.

You can have as many or as few body paragraphs as you need, and as many or as few supporting details as you need. But with a strong thesis statement , you set yourself up for a strong essay. My thesis statement for the analysis essay outlined above might look something like this:. In , George Orwell shows how language can be used as a form of control.

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After you write your thesis statement, just follow your outline. Flesh it out with full sentences, details, and references to specific parts of the book. With a strong thesis and detailed outline, you can keep your momentum going until you wrap up your essay. To give you a little more inspiration, here are some analysis essay examples you can look at:.

Compare and Contrast: 1984 Essay Topics

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1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays 1984 critical analysis essays
1984 critical analysis essays

Related 1984 critical analysis essays



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