1984

Imagery of Totalitarianism in Nineteen Eighty-Four 11th Grade

In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell uses several literary techniques to develop the theme that totalitarianism is destructive. He does so by using extensive imagery, focusing on the deterioration of the Victory Mansions, the canteen where the Party members eat lunch and the general discomfort of the citizen’s lives to show the reader how totalitarianism has destroyed the quality of life in Oceania. Orwell also uses the characterization of the general population to demonstrate how the totalitarian government has destroyed their sense of individuality and common sense. Finally, Orwell uses the characterization of the main character, Winston Smith, to show that a totalitarian government can destroy one’s morals, beliefs, and self-worth. These three techniques are employed throughout the novel to warn us of what could happen if a totalitarian government was to take over.

The quality of life in Oceania has been greatly impacted by the ruling totalitarian government. The Party purposely keeps the standard of living dangerously low so that the people of Oceania feel like they do not have the power to stand up to the Party and make a change. The Party knows that one can’t help but be “sickened at the discomfort and dirt and...

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