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1984 by George Orwell

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Essay title: 1984 by George Orwell

1984, by George Orwell, comes off as very bleak and grey, as it was intended to be portrayed to the reader. This helps us to understand that the world Winston Smith is living in is grey, depressing and overall quite commonplace. A place where he always has to look over his shoulder to make sure that the omnipotent Big Brother won’t catch a minor slip of a few choice words or see him flirt with the woman across the way. Orwell successfully accomplishes this through his use of literary methods.

The diction Orwell uses to describe Winston’s life throughout the novel is a means by which this gloomy tone is portrayed. “Like a leaden knell the words came back at him (114)”. A knell is the ominous clanging of a bell, like that which would be played at a funeral. Orwell undoubtedly used this word to give the reader a look into Winston’s life. His choice of the words “leaden” and “knell” give the sense of an inevitable end. Even such small details as Winston’s name, Winston Smith, fittingly hint at this bleak and boring world. Smith is merely a common name, nothing special, nothing colorful. His name is by no means an accident. The life Winston leads is anything but exciting; his life is almost metaphorically described when he has nothing to do, as shown by this next example. “As Syme had done earlier, Winston had taken up his spoon and was dabbling in the pale-colored gravy that dribbled across the table, drawing a long streak of it out into a pattern. He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of life (66)”. Orwell’s use of alliteration draws the reader to these nondescript, boring words, “dabbling”, “dribbled”, and “drawing”, making Winston just another ordinary drone of Big Brother. Here, he is also giving his life a physical texture, making it a concrete object instead of making it the hope-filled dream that it should be. He also compares his life to gravy. However, it’s not the thick, delicious sauce which we all enjoy, but, rather, a “pale-colored” gravy that “he dribbles across the table”. This gives the reader the sense that he is not at all excited about his life, and it is, in fact, dull and bleak.

Orwell also effectively delivers the tone through various situations that genuinely portray a bleak and pitiful existence. Occurrences such as the Two Minutes Hate, a ritual that the citizens of Oceania religiously take place in, are common in 1984. “The next moment a hideous, grinding, screech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst

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