1984

Family in 1984 and Persepolis 12th Grade


In the two texts, the notion of family is greatly influenced by an external factor, which is the political party in control of the population. In Persepolis, this would be the Iranian government in power during the post Cultural Revolution, while in 1984 it is the totalitarian party, referred to as ‘Ingsoc’ or simply ‘the party’. In Orwell’s novel, the party’s concept of family is defined as the people whom you share a household with, where every member is stripped of affection and comfort, and restricted of every possible aspect of freedom. Orwell depicts this through the melancholic relationship between Winston and Catherine, in which the sexual relations were referred to by Catherine as “their duty to the party”. During the coupling, Winston describes his wife as “cold and rigid” to his touch, mirroring her inability to express pleasure or any emotional response. The relationship reflects the extreme control that the party have manifested over people, who are ultimately reduced to detached machines. Furthermore, it appears like the party are ‘breeding’ the lower class together, which dehumanizes them, making them comparable to caged animals that are experimented on. Therefore it is seen that Orwell manipulates the theme of...

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