1984: The Ultimate Parody of the Utopian World

"When Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1515, he started a literary genre with lasting appeal for writers who wanted not only to satirize existing evils but to postulate the state, a kind of Golden Age in the face of reality" (Hewitt 127). Unlike a Utopian novel in which the writer intends to portray the perfect human society, a novel of dystopia does the exact opposite: it illustrates the worst human society imaginable in an effort to convince readers to avoid any path that might lead toward such societal degradation. George Orwell's 1984 is one such novel, a novel that "completely takes the images and ideas with which the utopian imagination had worked in the past and turns them upside down" (Fortunati 116). Orwell does so primarily through the use of setting, themes, and characters, all these literal elements making it clear that 1984 is a parody of the utopian principle.

The typical utopian city, ordered, harmonious, and perfect in all facets, in 1984 is represented by a decaying, ruined London where completely dilapidated buildings lack windows. Victoria Mansions, the residence of Winston Smith, the protagonist of the novel, is shabby and rundown. Elevators never work, plumbing is extremely unreliable, and...

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