Symbolism And Irony In 1984 Essay, Research Paper
Imagine a cold, dark world with horrible living conditions and never quite enough to eat. A world of Decaying, dingy cities where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes, in patched-up nineteenth-century houses that smelt always of cabbage and bad lavatories. Picture bombs dropping on playgrounds, blowing children to pieces. Imagine what it would be like if the government knew your every move, your every thought. This is the world of George Orwell s Nineteen Eighty-four. Nineteen Eighty-four is a novel about a society completely different from present day. Because the government constantly monitors what one is thinking or doing, the people of this society have very little freedoms. Orwell gives the reader a view of what hazards the future may hold. Orwell s use of literary elements, such as symbolism and irony, are very important to the plot and the theme of this novel. The symbolism in the novel helps to better explain Winston and Julia s relationship and predicament. Inside Mr. Charington s antique shop, Winston is intrigued by a small paperweight. It is clear glass with a small piece of coral suspended inside. “The coral was Julia’s life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity in the heart of the crystal The relationship of Winston and Julia was beautiful, but was also trapped and suspended in the world of Big Brother, like the coral. The name Julia is symbolic because it represents Juliet, a name that has a connotation of romance and love. This also gives significance to the passage where Winston wakes with the word ‘Shakespeare’ on his lips.”
In the beginning of the novel during the two minutes hate , Winston is introduced to two important characters. The significance of these first two characters ironically changes as the novel progresses. Momentarily he caught O Brien s eye. But there was a fraction of a second when their eyes met, and for as long as it took to happen Winston knew yes, he knew! From this point on in the novel Winston believes that O Brien is against The Party. In the end though O Brien turns out to be working with the Inner Party. There is another character, a dark-haired young woman that Winston becomes aware of. “Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy” This woman is Julia, who unknowingly to Winston and the reader, is in love with Winston. Later, because of his love for Julia, Winston makes the risks that cause his capture by the Thought Police. Because of the irony, the story has two twists in the plot where Winston falls in love with Julia and when he learns the true identity of O Brien; this gives the plot suspense and drama. Allusions to Shakespeare and other symbolism also add to the novel. Nineteen Eighty-four was and still is completely ahead of its time and should not only be read for pleasure but also for warning of what the future might hold.