Topic: Politics & GovernmentGovernment

Last updated: April 2, 2019

The novel 1984 is centered around the life of a man named Winston Smith who has great trouble conforming to his society. Winston then meets Julia and they have commonalities in their ideas of the government and have an affair as an act of rebellion. Ultimately Julia and Winston get caught due to them entrusting information about their unorthodoxy to a man of high power named O’Brien and in the end, they are defeated.

The author of 1984, George Orwell, expresses his idea of rebellion in society as a desire which is greatly sought out but never obtained but instead destroyed by means of physical and mental torture. Orwell shows that people look for any way to find some action even if it is so small it is noticeable to rebel against the government. This idea is portrayed when Winston is writing his rebellious thoughts in his diary, “And it was no longer the same cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals – DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER.

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.. over and over again, filling half a page.” In this section from 1984 Orwell specifically shows how before when Winston was writing his handwriting was “cramped” and “awkward” but once he wrote “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” his handwriting was neater and more confident than before.

This change in neatness symbolizes Winston’s hateful passion directed towards the Party and Big Brother’s regime. Orwell also displays this with the motive behind Julia’s decision to choose Winston as her partner, “‘It was something in your face, I thought I’d take a chance, I’m good at spotting people who don’t belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them the Party'”(page 122).

When Julia says this she puts a lot of emphasis on how the only trait she liked in Winston was his unorthodox view towards the party, “I knew you were against them”. Both Winston and Julia have committed crimes against the Party though they were unnoticed at the time they would have their repercussions.Secondly, throughout the book Orwell describes rebellion is never truly obtained in the society of 1984. He does this in the section when all of Julia and Winston’s efforts are wasted and they were caught, “‘We are the dead,’ he Winston said. ‘We are the dead,’ echoed Julia dutifully. ‘You are the dead,’ said an iron voice behind them.

They sprang apart… ‘Remain exactly where you are. Make no movement until you are ordered.’ It was starting, it was starting at last!” (Orwell 221). In this section Orwell uses specific phrases like “We are the dead” and “It was starting” to emphasize how everything is coming to an end everything that Winston and Julia have developed in their relationship is ending and all of their actions The last thing Orwell exhibits to his readers about rebellion is how it can be destroyed through the torture of both the body and the mind. Physical punishment of Winston is shown on page 240, “Always there were five or six men at him simultaneously. Sometimes it was fists, sometimes it was truncheons, sometimes it was steel rods, sometimes it was boots. There were times when he rolled about the floor writhing”. In this section, Orwell repeatedly uses the phrase “Sometimes it was” fists, truncheons, etc, implying that Winston has been beaten many times but trying to endure the pain just for his belief of rebellion.

The destruction of Winston’s mind is conducted by O’Brien whom Winston had believed was a friend


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