1984 by George Orwell

The effects of totalitarianism are explored in George Orwell’s “1984” when his nightmare vision of the future is created through a tyrannical government, controlling the past, future and everything else. The effects of totalitarianism are explored in George Orwell’s “1984” when the concept of hope is portrayed as both sustaining and misleading. Orwell utilises symbolism, setting, tone and metaphors to convey the variances of hope. Through these techniques, Orwell successfully exposes the two-sided nature of hope to his readers to show the triumph of unbeatable totalitarianism.Through the use of symbolism, Orwell shows how having hope is both satisfying and deceptive. For the duration of the novel, Orwell continuously portrays the colour white as a weakness to Winston. This is proven in the last chapter as Winston says “white can never win” as an unsuccessful game of chess is played with a white knight, while this is a reference to the use of “white” symbolizes all good as being hopeless. The white colours are represented as a feebleness of strength just as the “bright white walls” of the Ministry of Love inhabit Winston’s mind with a wariness of weakness.The white surroundings cause Winston to sleep, eat and breathe through the brightness, longing for peace “in a place with darkness”. Winston continuously hears O’Brien’s words to him stating that they will “meet in a place where there will be no darkness” causing Winston to expect that the darkness refers to totalitarianism rule, but in reality, O’Brien’s definition of the place with no darkness is the all-white Ministry of Love. This creates a misguided hope for Winston that he will get away from the government, when in fact, he will be jailed in the white cell in the Ministry of Love, which does not show a hint of literal darkness.There is, nonetheless, symbolic darkness found in the drained souls of the Party members, and because Winston was such a miserable party member, he is only finally happy once he endures and conforms to the regime of the Party, therefore losing his old soul and becoming a “dark” soul. This reinforces that white, symbolising good, can “never win” and shows how his “white” soul is tinted with deceptive hope. Similarly, Orwell includes O’Brien’s wine to symbolise the two-sided nature of hope. “It had a sour sweet smell” and according to Winston, “it belonged to the vanished, romantic past”.Winston expects the wine to be sweet like blackberry jam but the taste actually disappoints him. His false hope in the wine symbolises overall hope as being disappointing but, however, also optimistic due to the fact that Winston is important enough to even have a chance at tasting wine, considering he is an outer party member. Winston’s diary also symbolises misinformed hope as Winston continuously writes in his diary with the hope that it will send out the message which will lead to his freedom, but it falls into the hands of the party and is written proof of his thought crime. To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free…” Winston doesn’t know who he is writing to but he always knows why he is writing. He is writing to express his thoughts, with the hope that whoever reads his diary will help him to break away from the party. Therefore, his hope is misguided and leads to his doom as the party uses his diary against him. “Down with big brother” he writes; only to find himself conforming to the party by the end of the book. And thus, through the use of this technique, Orwell is able to show how hope is both misleading and sustaining.Orwell’s description of the Golden Country portrays his hopefulness of the freedom it offers, and so the use of setting also setting also explores the nature of hope. Through vivid description of the Golden Country, he gives the reader the sense of the sight, sound and feelings Winston has. It appeals to the readers senses and demonstrates the hope Winston has. The “Golden Country” is the only place Winston is free and supposedly in the absence of telescreens. “The slanting rays of the sun gilded the ground…….. heir leaves just stirring in dense masses like women’s hair”, Orwell’s description of the Golden Country depicts Winston’s hopefulness of the freedom the Golden Country has, but because Winston never gets freedom, this hope turns out to be false. When Winston visits the Golden Country physically, he is able to have sex, be youthful and commit thought crime, however, the party knows he is there and knows what he is doing and why he is doing it. They watch him for many years and so whilst Winston thinks he is able to be free in the Golden Country, he can’t possibly be free. His thoughts are based on a deceptive hope.The presence of the red-armed-prole-woman also provokes Winston to feel to feel hopeful about freedom, but again his inability to obtain freedom demonstrates the invalidity of this hope. The use of language deriving from Winston’s thoughts portrays false hope. Orwell’s description of “Her voice floated upward with the sweet summer air…” has a positive effect on Winston and Orwell describes her warm hearted soul with a sense of freedom and comfort to him. This hopefulness is misleading because seconds after Winston and Julia talk about her they are caught in their rented room demonstrating their end of hope.These examples, of sensory description, show how Orwell uses setting to create the concept of hope being misleading. Orwell uses tone, particularly in his last chapter, to show how hope can be sustaining. The entire novel is completed with “He loved Big Brother” which directly conveys Winston’s change of character. The ironic and bleak tone Orwell uses shows the contradicting form of Winston’s new soul. Finally he conformed to the party and truly loves Big Brother after his rebellion. This shows how Winston’s new hope of conformity with the Party, is sustaining because it is realistic to his new soul.The bluntness and the directness of the concluding sentence reinforces to the readers that Winston now an honest Party member and his new soul is loyal to Big brother. He has hope to continue living this way. Through the use of the sarcastic blunt sentence, and immensely desolate tone Orwell successfully demonstrates how hope is sustaining. Orwell correspondingly uses metaphors throughout the novel to show how hope can be deceptive and sustaining. The most obvious portrayal of this is the metaphorical concept of the bullet explained in the final chapter.Orwell reveals “the long-hoped-for bullet entering Winston’s brain” was never actually a physical bullet served to kill the subject, but a metaphorical term of their ‘new’ soul; a soul which is reborn and loyal to Big Brother. The thought of the bullet used to frighten Winston, but by the end of the book, “the bullet entering his brain” completes him, showing a nourishing hope towards conformity with the party, but at the same time, a misleading hope to Winston wanting his life to end after being caught by the thought police.His original hope for freedom is a false one but his new hope, to be content in conforming to the Party regime, is sustaining and Orwell effectively shows this using the metaphor as a technique. With the use of symbolism, setting, tone and metaphors, Orwell effectively proves that hope can be misleading and sustaining. This novel, about Orwell’s frightened vision of the future, is able to convey the two-sided nature of hope, to the audience. Through the portrayal of this hope, Orwell provokes the readers to comprehend the nature and effects of totalitarianism.

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