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1984 by George Orwell: Personal Analysis

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Words: 2093 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Mar 28, 2019

Words: 2093|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Mar 28, 2019

Every individual is shaped and molded into who they are through their experiences and surroundings. In a dystopian society, citizens are incapable of being themselves and are forced to integrate into society. When people are not given the right to think, speak or act freely, their basic right of freedom is being violated by others. This can be seen in “Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell in which the authors’ purpose is to inform the readers about the loss of freedom associated with a dystopian society. The authors use diction, simile, and symbolism to depict their purpose.

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To begin with, Bradbury and Orwell apply diction to inform the readers about the lack of freedom in dystopian societies. Diction is a tool used by authors to help create the atmosphere in a story using specific words or phrases. It influences how the reader perceives a story and it aids the author in portraying his or her message. The diction of “Pedestrian” and 1984 uses colloquial words to create an unwelcoming and dark atmosphere. The atmosphere that is presented helps the readers understand the feelings of the people in a dystopian setting. Both Bradbury and Orwell use words and phrases that help emphasize the lack of freedom which can be reflected in the atmosphere. This can be seen in the short story, “Pedestrian,” when the protagonist, Leonard Mead, self-reflects about the other resident’s tedious nights, he thinks to himself, “Everything went on in the tomb-like houses…the tombs, ill-lit by television screen [the people’s face and] the gray [lights hit their faces]” (Bradbury 1). Bradbury uses words like “tomb”, “ill”, and “gray” (Bradbury 1) to portray the dark atmosphere, these words evoke the image of a graveyard into the reader’s mind. His diction helps one connect the feeling of darkness from the quote to a graveyard giving the reader an image of an eerie, gloomy and grey town with no civilization present. Mead is the only one out on the street going for a walk, while the rest of the population follows the same mundane task of sitting inside and constantly watching television. Readers can see the extent of the dystopian society’s effect that makes sure that everyone’s individuality is suppressed.

The fact that Mead lives in a dreary city in which everyone follows the same action of watching the viewing screen proves to readers that the no one can do something different outside of the society’s norms. If one decides to act differently like Mead does, they are thought to be an “outsider” because they are not following the same actions as others. Citizens’ individuality is being contained in the unwelcoming and dark atmosphere, no one is willing to step outside of the societies norms besides Mead. This can be seen through the diction of Mead’s thoughts. He knows that he is going against the societies norms when he decides to take a walk every night, but he is not willing to sacrifice his individuality to be like everyone else. Regardless of this, he is not allowed to be his own individual and therefore is arrested by the officer. This violates his freedom because everyone should be allowed the freedom to be their own person and not be deprived of being able to do things that they desire. Nevertheless, through the diction of “Pedestrian” the author reiterates the lack of freedom that people have to think, speak and act. In alike manner, in 1984, Oceania is a dystopian country that restricts the citizen’s individuality, hence, leading to a lack of freedom. O’Brien, the antagonist, tells Winston Smith, the protagonist, about the truth behind The Party’s power and the use of it for Oceania. Upon Winston’s capture, O’Brien informs, “[The world we live in] is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias…a world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being tramples upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless…” (Orwell 336).

Orwell’s uses harsh words like “fear”, “treachery”, “torment”, “trampling” and “merciless” (Orwell 336) to show the dark and unforgiving atmosphere of Oceania. These words bring out a feeling of despair and fear in the readers, which is exactly the emotions that the dystopian country engraves in its citizens. The diction of this quote shows that the people of Oceania have no individuality, they have no rights and most of all they have no freedom. They must think, speak and behave how the totalitarian government wants them to. Free will is not allowed and Smith is tortured because he dares to go against the government. Smith along with other citizens are restricted from their freedom and The Party as described by O’Brien will tighten its already tight hold on the public, disallowing any form of individuality. Through the diction and the use of words such as “torment” and “merciless” the illusion of a cruel and oppressive governing body, who will not tolerate any free will is perceived. Nobody is allowed to experience joy, as the country is full of “fear and treachery” (Orwell 336) according to O’Brien’s words. The society will not allow anyone to act as they feel according to their own decisions, everyone has to be “merciless” (Orwell 336). By disvaluing the importance of joy and having no mercy, the dystopian society of Oceania, restricts the public’s choice in making their own decisions and feeling individual emotions. The civilians of Oceania should have the right to be merciful and experience joy, however, preventing them from doing so, is not respecting their individuality. Individuals in a society should have the ability to be their own person as it is the foundation of one’s freedom. To summarize, Bradbury and Orwell effectively portray the lack of freedom in dystopian societies through their use of diction.

Furthermore, Bradbury and Orwell inform readers about the lack of freedom in dystopian societies using similes. Similes are incorporated into writing to portray a comparison between two different things. This leads to the readers being able to create an evocative and clear picture in their minds. Similes add to the author’s purpose by showing the extent of control that society’s norms possess in a dystopian setting. As can be demonstrated in the short story, “Pedestrian,” there is an accurate use of simile, which accentuates the author’s purpose. The main character, Leonard Mead, describes the society’s norms as a rigid hold and control over the city’s inhabitants, Mead states, “the people sat like the dead” (Bradbury 3). This quotation illustrates that the people of the city resemble “the dead” (Bradbury 3), therefore, pushing the readers’ to visualize the severity of the scene. This scene proves that the norm is to control everyone to be obedient. The ghostly society that Mead lives in enforces the citizens to remain watching television at night, as opposed to them being able to act freely. The civilians of the city are not free to express themselves through engaging in activities that interest them as it goes against the norms, thus, taking away their freedom.

The author’s purpose behind the use of a simile, in this case, directly shows that the civilization’s norms force one to act a certain way. It is expected that everyone does the same mundane task making people appear as if they are “dead” (Bradbury 3) because they are not able to act how they choose. Individuals are deprived from the freedom to choose what they want to do, as they are trapped in the mentality that one cannot stray away from the norm. Similarly, in the novel, 1984, the protagonist, Winston Smith, thinks to himself about his feelings towards being conformed into a supporter of The Party, Smith explains, “It was like swimming against a current that swept you backwards however hard you struggled, and then suddenly deciding to turn round and go with the current instead of opposing it” (Orwell 350). Smith’s thoughts reveal to the readers that society’s norms must be followed in a dystopian society. Smith expresses his fight for freedom as “swimming against a current” (Orwell 350), this stresses the fact that no one can defy the society’s norms, everyone must “turn around and go with the current” (Orwell 350). Smith, himself, was forced to believe in the ideology that The Party works for the benefit of civilians. The author’s purpose is proved using a simile because The Party solidifies society’s norms by converting people from rebels into obedient supporters, as can be seen with Smith; he is robbed of his freedom, he cannot follow his own beliefs and stand against the norms of the society. The government tortures Smith into becoming compliant to the society’s expectations, hence, reinforcing the author’s intentions behind writing the book. To encapsulate, Bradbury and Orwell employ the help of similes to inform readers about the lack of freedom in dystopian societies.

Moreover, symbolism assists the authors, Bradbury and Orwell, in informing readers about lack of freedom in dystopian societies. Symbols are used to represent an unique idea in stories, these ideas are displayed through many different ways such as a person, object, or thing. The reader can understand the author’s thought-process behind writing the story because symbolism effects how one perceives the story. A symbol can change an individual’s outlook regarding matters in the society. As is evident in the story, “Pedestrian,” Leonard Mead’s house symbolizes hope. Hope that one day things will change and that everyone will have the freedom to be themselves. Mead’s house is described as vibrant and luminous unlike the other houses, the narrator observes, “[all the houses in the city were dark, except] this one particular house had all of its electric lights brightly lit, every window a loud yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool darkness” (Bradbury 4). The narrator highlights the fact that no other house is filled with lights in the whole city, the only house that has lights and provides a sense of comfort and positive light is Mead’s house. A spark of hope is portrayed through Mead’s house, this house is different from all the others. It is not affected by the society in which all the lights are turned off and the houses are dark and dreary, it has its own image. It emits the remnants of hope to readers by verifying the lack of freedom in the city, everyone’s house is kept in pitch-black darkness, whereas, Mead’s house stands out providing warmth and hope to others. Mead’s house being the only “warm” (Bradbury 4) house, it supports the author’s purpose that dystopian societies diminish freedom by preventing the civilians from having light in their houses at night. Essentially, erasing any signs of hope for change in citizens. One’s freedom entails that they can make their own decision, this is not permitted in the dystopian society in which Mead lives in.

Likewise, in the novel, 1984, Winston Smith describes the hope that is ignited through a prole woman singing and the defiance of this act against The Party, he states, “[The woman’s] voice floated upward with the sweet summer air, very tuneful, charged with a sort of happy melancholy… [Winston ponders about the] fact that he had never heard a member of The Party singing… [singing is] slightly unorthodox, a dangerous eccentricity…” (Orwell 178). Smith realizes that dystopian Oceania prevents one’s freedom, by not even allowing one to express themselves through their actions. Even singing is frowned upon by The Party, so, when Smith hears the prole woman’s singing, he realizes that the women’s singing provides him with a small surge of hope that things could get better. The author’s purpose is illustrated as no one is allowed the freedom to express themselves through their actions, such as singing. No one sings in Oceania because singing gives civilians the freedom to express their feelings and emotions through lyrics, hence, freedom of speech is eliminated. The limited-nature of hope shown through the prole woman makes the readers understand that hope and freedom are not valued in dystopian environments. To summarize, symbolism effectively attests to the authors’ purpose to inform the readers about the lack of freedom in dystopian societies.

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To conclude, Ray Bradbury and George Orwell’s purpose for writing their stories, “The Pedestrian” and 1984, is to inform the readers about the lack of freedom that accompanies a dystopian society. The authors use diction, similes, and symbolism to emphasize their purpose. Freedom is essential to run a successful society, an individual should have the right to speak, think, and act as one deems correct, this should be incorporated in society’s norms.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

1984 by George Orwell: Personal Analysis. (2019, March 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/1984-my-essay-analysis/
“1984 by George Orwell: Personal Analysis.” GradesFixer, 27 Mar. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/1984-my-essay-analysis/
1984 by George Orwell: Personal Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/1984-my-essay-analysis/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
1984 by George Orwell: Personal Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 27 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/1984-my-essay-analysis/
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