1984 is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell.
The novel takes place in the year 1984, where the government uses media to manipulate and control people under its command. In 1984, Orwell makes excellent use of symbolism to further enhance the novel’s themes. There are often symbols present that stand for something’s abstract whether a force of nature, conditions of the world, or an idea. Through the symbols found in 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith’s lack of freedom acts as a catalyst for his obsession with the past. George Orwell starts by pointing out the big screen, which depicts an enormous face that represent Big Brother whom is always watching. The omnipresent telescreens represent the aspect of physical control the party has over its citizens.
The telescreens monitorizes its citizens which depict a world with full control and no privacy. According to Orwell, “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard” (p.3). According to this quote Winston expresses how much the government is watching and knows about each individuals life. Another example would be the physical jerks which were carried out by the party members. These exercises were organized by age group and are taught through the telescreens.
These exercises shows the control the government has over the people to what they do, think, and even believe. 1984 is depicted as a world controlled by the government with no freedom whatsoever upon the people in Oceania. Winston has a dream where he sees this place called Golden Country which goes on to symbolize the opposite world of 1984. A world where everyone is able to speak their minds, act upon their own actions, and not be controlled or monitored by anyone. According to Orwell, “The landscape that he was looking at recurred so often in his dreams that he was never fully certain whether or not he had seen it in the real world.
It was an old, rabbit-bitten pasture, with a foot track wandering across it and mole hole here and there. In the ragged hedge on the opposite side of the field the boughts of the elm trees were swaying very faintly in the breeze, their leaves just stirring in the dense masses like women’s hair. Somewhere near at hand, throughout sight, there was a clear, slow-moving stream where dace were swimming in the pools under the willow trees” (p.30). According to this quote the Golden Country is presented as Winston’s dream world, where he can stand among nature and appreciate the darked haired girl’s gestures.