1984 by George Orwell explores the challenging relationships between different sets of powerplay. It ultimately maneuvers subordinates into positions where it is able to hold power against them, shaping the wants and desires of the powerless. The public awareness of this use of power is nil, as everyone struggles to be the perfect party member, yet as individuals, the desire to hold what is beyond their grasp calls them, and members of the public strive to find the pieces of their independence.
Orwell places a normal character into a world where every aspect of life is dominated by a power so indestructible, hope created is scarce. The protagonist, Winston, is concerned with individual freedom and expression, and these two issues control his journey through the book. Winston struggles to discover his individuality, with the knowledge that the moment he began to separate from the public thought, he was a dead man. Winston holds onto hope, writing in his journal towards the beginning of the text, ” If there is hope, it lies in the proles. The unsatisfying reality hits Winston the moment he realises the proles (short for proletarians, the lowest class in this society) are of no hope at all. The statement, that the proles ” can be granted intellectual liberty because they have no intellect„ , brings the truth to light. If we view the entire lower class in 1984 as one individual, it portrays the helplessness of the proles against the Party, against Big Brother, the larger powers of society.
The manner in which Winston describes the lower classes, it is not difficult to view them as one whole, one more character in the text. Another failed idea of hope is that of the younger generation. Often used in other texts as a positive change in regime, 1984 turns the children into the armours of betrayal, abandoning even their own families to the Thought Police, as Parson#s children do to their father while he sleeps. By creating a situation which mocks reasonable hopes, 1984 alludes to the issue of vulnerability of the individual once again.
This irony is similar to that in the poem ” Ozy Mandias„ by Percy Bysshe Shellie, who creates an irony through change in history. The persona declares ” I am Ozy Mandias, king of kings/ look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair! „ These two lines juxtapose the next, which simply states ” Nothing else remains„ . Just when a power thinks it can survive even God, shown through the capatilisation of the ”M„ in ” Mighty„, time destroys his works, leaving ” Two vast and trunkless legs of stone„ standing ” in the desert“ . Although the irony is cutely different in technique, the emphasis remains in the power driven manners they are obtained. Through the systematic indoctrination of the children in 1984 to preserve Big Brother for the future, leaving no hope of change, so too does Shellie through writing this poem preserve the legacy of OzyMandias. And so sure is Ozy Mandias that his image will survive that of God#s, so too is modern society#s hope in their children. This irony leads the individual on, leaving the reality of the situation too late to escape it.
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