George Orwell Essays
1984 by George Orwell and Allegory of the Cave by Plato: a Comparative Study
Comparative Text Analysis
The two stories, “1984” by George Orwell and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and “Meno’s Slave” are different in settings and thematic concerns but converge on the issue of the conduct of the characters and their focus on reality. Orwell tells the story of Winston Smith who lives in London, Oceania. Orwell notes that Oceania is under control of the ‘Big Brother’ that consists of the elite that monitors the events in the country using listening devices and cameras. Winston Smith works at the ministry of truth and is involved in altering the history of Oceania and public records to brainwash the citizens. While at work, he falls in love with Julia, a coworkers and they move in together before he is arrested and tortured. In Oceania, the ruling party prohibits free speech, thought, and sex.
On the other hand, Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” is a description of the lives of prisoners that once lived in a cave. The prisoners were chained to a wall and could see shadows of different things projected on a wall. Interestingly, the slaves give names to the things they see without considering their reality. The Allegory of the Cave features the conversation between Socrates and Glaucon, his student. In the “Meno’s Slave” Plato writes about the conversation between Socrates and a slave in Meno’s house. The slave comes out as ignorant but one who can comprehend geometry. A close reading of the three stories reveals similarities and differences among the characters. Based on the similarities and differences of the characters in the three stories, and their discovery of reality, one can see that their behavior confirms Orwell’s and Plato’s position on critical thinking.
The characters in the three stories portray naivety given their acceptance of the status quo. For instance, in Orwell’s book, the citizens of Oceania are naive in that they believe that they are being monitored by their government. Interestingly, the supporters of the Party do not question the possibility of the government’s power to even monitor their thoughts. The Oceania government, through the Big Brother, had mastered the approach of intimidating people. For instance, the government had put big billboards in the streets with the messages “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Orwell 4). Police in Oceania carried out patrols to confuse people that they were being monitored. Given their naivety, the characters in Orwell’s 1984 could not rebel against the government that had curtailed their freedoms.
The naivety of the people of Oceania is revealed in the early life of Julia, Winston’s secret lover. Julia had accepted to join the ministry of love. She had agreed to follow the policy that prohibited the people from engaging in sexual affairs. Julia belonged to the anti-sex league at the time she met Winston (Orwell 12). Thus, she was brainwashed to stay away from men and lead a chaste life. Similarly, before he rebelled, Winston was naïve in that he agreed to the policies of the party that prohibited sexual encounters. Orwell describes Winston as a person that “disliked all women and especially the young” one (12). By disliking women without any reason apart from wanting to adhere to the policies set by the ministry of love, Winston shows that he was naive.
O’Brien also portrays naivety by pretending to be rebellious as a way of tricking Winston. Instead of joining the movement to overthrow the Party, O’Brien accepted to be naïve and tortured Winston as a way of making him denounce his love for Julia. Earlier, Winston writes a diary to O’Brien, but the latter does not want to interpret the contexts since he is too naive to comprehend (Orwell 103). The naivety of O’Brien is seen in his action of torturing Winston while believing that his action will scare other dissidents. The expectation is that O’Brien should have tortured his victim in front of the screens that relayed information to the citizens of Oceania for them to be scared and continue obeying the oppressive laws of the Party. Interestingly, O’Brien’s actions pay off when he influences Winston to love the party without questioning its ideologies. O’Brien is also naive since he believes in the existence of the Big Brother even if he has not seen him.
Similarly, Meno’s slave is naïve in that he imagines that he is smart, but he is not as Socrates finds out after the interview. The slave imagines that he can speak fluently and that is a measure of his abilities to solve problems. He compares the mathematical knowledge to the knowledge to speak (Plato 17). By imagining to do something that he has not done before, the Slave shows naivety.
The prisoners described in Plato’s “Allegory of Cave” are also naive. The slaves only assume what they see even without looking keenly into it. For instance, since they see images of flames projected on the wall, they only imagine the possibility of other things passing near the fire and whose images could be projected on the wall (Plato 6). They fail to discuss the shadows they see but only give names to the images. Without discussing or learning from anyone, the slaves show naivety by naming what they have not seen.
At the beginning of Orwell’s book, Winston is seen as ignorant. He fails to question the government’s move to spy on the people of Oceania. Winston seems to feel comfortable in spying on the people and advancing propaganda on behalf of the Party that rules Oceania. He commits to working for the Party without knowing that one day he could become the victim of its cruelty. By engaging in altering historical account of events in Oceania, Winston seems to be ignorant of the harm he causes to himself and his people (Orwell 9). The outcomes of the ignorance catch up with Winston when he is arrested and tortured and the information is concealed from the public.
Julia is also ignorant since she reveals her secrets to Winston even before she knows him completely. For instance, she reveals to Winston that she obtained chocolate from the black market. Julia’s actions are against the laws of Oceania could land her in jail but she reveals that to Winston as an indication of ignorance of the outcomes of her actions. Also, Julia reveals to Winston that she has been having affairs with other men. Winston declares his love for Julia even after she confesses to have slept with other men (Orwell 158). He tells her that his love for her equals the men she has had in the past. Although the two declare their love for each other, they are ignorant of the possibility that they could be spying on each other. Winston is also ignorant by telling O’Brien that he was convinced by Julia to join the rebellion against the Party.
The slaves in Plato’s allegory of the cave are ignorant in that they fail to question why they are held captive. They do not demand justice and that shows that they are ignorant of their rights and freedom. By failing to imagine that they can be free, the slaves portray their poor judgment that reveals their ignorance (Plato 4). They do not even question the nature of the things whose shadow they see being projected on the wall but assume that there exists freedom of movement outside the cave.
Also, Meno’s slave is ignorant in that he tries to solve a mathematical problem using his oral skills. Socrates indicates that the slave could have remained “confident in his ignorance” (Plato 16). By assuming that he knew when he did not understand, the slave did not attempt to learn. However, the slave later confirmed that he was knowledgeable since he tried to solve a problem using his past experience.
The characters in Orwell’s book are conscious of their situation and understand that they are being oppressed by the Party. Some of the characters are willing to secretly disobey the Party as an indication that they are rebellious. For instance, various officials in the ministry of love are engaging in extramarital affairs even when the Party prohibits them from engaging in such affairs. Julia reveals the secret rebellion to Winston when she tries to convince him to love him to love her. She claims that she knows people by looking at their eyes and she can tell that Winston is not a diehard supporter of the Party (152). Julia’s confession that some people in Oceania are secret rebels shows that the characters are conscious of their situation and are waiting for the right time to overthrow the government. The rebellious supporters of the Oceania government are secretive and do not show their rebellion to the authorities. For instance, O’Brien keeps the secret about Winston’s rebellion for a long time until the latter is arrested and apprehended.
On the other hand, Meno’s slave is unconscious of his situation. He believes that he is knowledgeable and sticks to his belief. He does not show any signs of rebellion and always obeys the decrees of his master. The slaves described in Plato’s allegory of the cave are also unconscious of their situation and obey what they are told by their master without questioning his orders.
Characters’ Truer Understanding
Winston and Julia are supporters of the Party as seen at the beginning of Orwell’s book. However, they understand their situation when they begin questioning their beliefs. Winston questions why the Party mistreats the people. He sees the Party as a cult that was hiding iniquities that it committed against the people (Orwell 158). Similarly, Julia questions the role of government in her private life and thereby she begins to exercise her sexual rights secretly. The two discover the true understanding of their situation by seeking to know what is right for them and the Party.
O’Brien can discover a true understanding by questioning what he gains from torturing people that rebel against the Party. He is yet to discover himself and his separation from the state. O’Brien feels as if he is the government and that clouds his imagination such that he cannot seek to understand of reality. Also, O’Brien can discover reality by questioning the efficiency of the Big Brother in spying on the people. The big brother does not apprehend any person for rebelling against the government. Therefore, he might not exist in reality. O’Brien should demand the audit of the efficiency of the big brother to know whether he is real or fiction.
Meno’s slave can discover reality if he tries doing what he believes in and what he is capable of doing. Socrates reveals that the slave did not understand mathematics as he claimed (Plato 16). Thus, the slave can discover the true reality by trying to practise his skills.
The slaves in Plato’s allegory can discover reality by getting out of the cave. The slaves should try to rebel against their master and get out of the cave and investigate whether what they saw in shadows represented real objects. When one slave is set free, he discovers that what they were seeing were shadows of flames and not real objects (Plato 3). The slaves can also discover reality if they question the possibility of seeing objects while in a cave. They should try to see real objects and not their representation for them to differentiate reality from illusions.
Based on what the characters should do to discover reality, one can see that Plato’s and Orwell’s idea of reality is based on questioning one’s beliefs and objects surrounding him. For instance, Winston begins to believe that Big Brother does not exist when he questions his beliefs regarding the actions of the big brother. In the past, Winston believes that he is being watched (Orwell 11). However, as he engages with Julia, he is not caught by the Big Brother. O’Brien can discover reality about the existence of the big brother if he demands to see his actions. The failure by O’Brien to abandon sycophancy and pursue truth blinds him. Orwell’s idea is that critical thinking is based on questioning beliefs as a way of establishing reality.
Plato’s allegory and the story of Meno’s slave reveal that his position that one can discover reality if they see, touch and do what they claim is real. By presenting the slaves that see reality as illusions, Plato seems to suggest that reality can only be discovered if people get out of their comfort zones and look for reality in the conduct of the objects that they claim are real. Socrates questions the slave as a way of establishing whether he can think beyond his assumptions (Plato 16). Plato’s idea of critical thinking is that one can only discover reality if they think beyond their imagination and use examples and interact with real objects for them to discover reality.
Critical thinking can reveal reality when one questions their beliefs. Thinking critically requires that the thinker tries to answer his assumptions and convictions (Paulson 21). By questioning one’s beliefs, it becomes possible to differentiate between reality and illusion since it leads to a critical investigation of the beliefs and objects. Therefore, critical thinking that examines the outcomes of beliefs and actions can lead to the discovery of reality. The critical thinking of this nature should be based on one’s experience and interaction with physical objects.
George Orwell’s 1984 and Plato’s allegory of the cave and Meno’s slave revolve around naïve characters that believe in what they are told without questioning. However, some characters in Orwell’s book such as Julia are conscious and rebellious in that they defy authorities. Based on the tree stories, it is apparent that Orwell sees critical thinking as a way of questioning beliefs while Plato stresses the need to differentiate reality from illusion as a way of discovering reality. In essence, critical thinking helps in discovering reality by questioning the beliefs that one possesses about an object, person or situation.
“1984” by George Orwell Review
In the Novel “1984” by George Orwell, the story “Once Upon a time” by Nadine Gordimer, and the story “The Children’s Story by James Clavell the theme throughout all is fear.
“Once Upon a time” by Nadine Gordimer starts off a little cloudy by her explaining how she doesn’t need to write a children’s story, and then it cuts off to later on that night when she was startled by an unusual noise. Her brain then goes on a ramble about what the eerie noise could possibly be. Once Nadine has relaxed she starts to imagine a story to help her fall asleep. Throughout this story Nadine provides imagery of a modern fairytale home. Just like every fairytale there’s a evil villain and in this case the father/husband’s mother is a wise “witch”, and she gives advice to the family not to take anyone off of the street. As the story develops the family’s expectations on safety increase, they take all kinds of security measures to ensure their safety but also their demise. Later in the story the parents minds create a false insecurity about the neighborhood that they live in, so they end up making a seven foot wall around the house, and also having a electronic gate. Adding on to the lock down house the family needed one more touch to keep the world out. They put up barbed wire on top of the fence that later on caused their son with deep wounds because he wanted to be adventurous.
This story along with the rest has a recurring theme of fear because the people in the development have been trained to be scared of outsider no matter who they are. This fear made them feel unsafe which then caused them to amp up their security measures. An example of fear in the passage is “Yet she was afraid that someday such people might come up the street and tear off the plaque YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED and open the gates and stream in…” This conditioning has a sort of control over they way they live their lives. They live their lives in fear. The author uses fear to express what lengths people go to for a safe feeling.
This short story was a plot twist, in the introduction the family and others were being described by positive words like “happy ever after” Or “loved” and even “trustworthy” . This had gave me false representation of how the story was going to continue or even end. The story then shifts to a more anxious and serious tone when Nadine talks about what is on the outside of the suburb. They’re riots and burglaries happening “buses were being burned, cars stoned,
and schoolchildren shot by the police in those quarters,” then another houses maid had got tied up and shoved in a cupboard. Seeing this happen has given them fear for their living situation, which then gives them motivation to block that section of people out of their happiness. And the consequence from trying to cover up the situation one of their own was hurt from the parents superstition. And the irony that was played out from the story is that the parents tried to protect each other but ended up hurting their son in the end.
Next is “The Children’s Story” begins with a teacher who is upset and fearful because of the “New Teacher”. When the new teacher enters the room the children are scared, but the new teacher reassure them everything is fine. As the story dives deeper the children are persuaded to start praying to their leader instead of their normal religion. The end result is they start praying to the leader only because the leader provided them with candy. But Johnny is the only one skeptical to accept the teacher theories. But Johnny does give in and learns to believe whatever his teacher says.
An example of fear that is provided in “The Children’s Story” is when the “New Teacher” is coming and the old teacher along with the students express fear everyone but Johnny isn’t scared. The reason Johnny isn’t scared is because his dad always said “Don’t be afraid, Johnny. If you fear too much, you’ll be dead even though you’re alive.” Maybe this is why Johnny’s father went missing. The author uses fear to show how dangerous it can be in society.This story shows multiple examples of fear being used.
Lastly is George Orwell with a book named “1984” where Winston Smith is a low rank member of a Party in the oceania area. Wherever Winston wonders the Party watches.,One of the main ways are through the tvs which are placed mostly everywhere. Even on the walls of London the Party’s leader Big Brother is plastered on the walls. This society is controlled from the past all the way to the newspeak. But the twist is thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal, just thinking anything with emotions is the worst crime. In the end thoughtcrime can lead to immediate exile. And Winston finds himself being rebellious at the worst time.
Symbolism pops up throughout the story and one of them is Winston diary. His creamed paper journal has caused a stir within Winston’s diary represents rebellion. This dairy has caused Winston to go against Big brother, he starts to express his feelings more. This diary soon gives him freedom, he can write whatever and doesn’t care. Some examples of fear in 1984 would be the fact that no matter where you go there’s always someone watching whether that be the telescreens or the thought police. “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.” Another example of fear in 1984 is the fact big brother has signs that say “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” With moving eyes that follow you. The way the author uses fear in “1948” is to make people behave in a way maybe they wouldn’t if they weren’t being watched all the time.
In conclusion all three of these pieces of literature have the common theme fear. They all use in in different ways though. Fear expressed in these stories helps thrive the plot, and it adds more depth to the story.
Symbolism and the Depiction of Author’s Own Personal Experience in Animal Farm by George Orwell
George Orwell’s Animal Farm publication debuted on August 17,1945. Orwell’s inspiration was a reflection upon his own experiences during the transition period between the Russian Revolution of 1917 and into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Animal Farm is full of allusions and symbolism among the characters relating to this time period. This further concludes George Orwell’s depiction of this era through his eyes.
An explanation of Animal Farm without all of the symbolism or in a literal sense is a book about farm animals starting a revolution for their own freedom from humans. Throughout the book characters like Napoleon and the other pigs show how having too much power results in greed and arrogance. At the closing of the book the last paragraph compares the pig’s supremacy to how the humans used to be. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (George Orwell, 1945, pg.141) From my perspective this comparison is significant to Orwell’s book in many ways because not only does relate to human absolute authority over all animals but the leaders in the Soviet Union during the Russian Revolution. Napoleon the “Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings’ Friend, and the like.” (George Orwell, 1945, pg.93) traits resemble Joseph Stalin or the “man of steel”. Stalin was the dictator of the USSR and he had the same intention of Napoleon in transforming a poor civilization into a military superpower.
All things considered my view on Animal Farm is the same as how the sheep feel about four legs-, good. (“Four legs good, two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!”-George Orwell, 1945, pg.34). Animal Farm was a good book to me because of character development in relation to real historical people. In addition, it was a very interesting story line due to the true events through symbolism. I liked how all of the farm animals had their own personality which is important because it showed how they all fit in the puzzle. Like Boxer the horse, he portrayed the loyal working class which is confirmed by his motto; “I will work harder”. Or even the objects that aren’t animals like the windmill in the story which represents the legitimate Stalin five-year plan which was implemented between 1928-1932. On the other hand, there are a few adjustments and questionable ideas that are being presented in the plot. Firstly, why didn’t the rebellion start earlier, to me it is a little off that they didn’t do anything sooner about their living conditions especially because they have leadership skills and the smarter animals can read while all of them talk. Major the pig is he first one to bring it up because he is the wisest and he has lived he longest life. But there were plenty of other animals that came before him so why was he the ‘first’ to come up with this great idea. Furthermore, I think that the plot gets a little corrupted because of the extreme repetition, it lost my focus and interest frequently. Predominantly when Napoleon keeps on changing the rules to his liking even though it is a big component to the plot which occurred on a variety of different occasions.
Weighing up both perspectives, I suppose that overall the book was good. Despite the minimal flaws nevertheless it was very enjoyable. In addition I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read yet, it has many climatic cliffhangers that’ll keep you reading.
Physical Control and Psychological Manipulation by George Orwell
Through the Interactive oral, I deepened my understanding of the cultural and contextual considerations of 1984 by George Orwell. By discussing the themes of physical control and psychological manipulation, we gained an insight into Orwell’s warning about totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism is an official ideology to find the “perfect” state of a human with the hierarchy of one superior leader: Big Brother. Orwell was a propagandist during the World War II, working for the British government. As he wrote the book, the government had him under surveillance in precaution for his socialist opinions. This is reflected in 1984, as we explored the theme of physical control. Just like Orwell, the citizens are constantly being watched. Whether it was through the telescreen or through a microphone, there was no sense of freedom, for “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!”.
Where the two main characters, Julia and Winston, are together in a room, persuaded through their trust into Mr Charrington that there isn’t anyone watching them. As they admired the bed in which they were going to sleep in, Julia says that the bed is “full of bugs”, foreshadowing that they are being listened. This is true because, in the end, they get caught by Mr Charrington himself, the store owner and a thought police. This is significant because this reflects the characteristics of totalitarianism that Orwell is trying to warn the readers about, that if it comes over power, there is no such thing as freedom.
In addition, just like Room 101, there was a conference room at the BBC Orwell worked for during his propagandist career. It was known for some of the most horrifying scenes he did, just like in 1984. Room 101 contained one’s greatest fear that was unbearable to endure. This reflects the theme of psychological manipulation, where the Party would torture one until they give in to the Big brother, just like Winston. With his strong love towards Julia, he was determined to not betray her. However, he was unable to when he was threatened by rats, screaming, “Do it to Julia! Not me!”.
This was the Party’s way of brainwashing their citizens. By Winston accepting Big Brother as the Government, Winston is no longer had the individual thoughts that made him human. With “the long-hoped-for bullet entering his brain”, it metaphorically emphasises that he is now dead. Throughout the book, it was assumed that once you have been caught by the thought police, you are sentenced to death after confessing the crimes. However, just as it describes with Winston, they are now one of the Party’s figures, dead in the soul, fully supporting the Party.
Thus by discussing the themes of physical control and psychological manipulation, I was able to delve deeper into the novel. Taking into consideration the cultural and contextual factors, I was able to grasp Orwell’s perception of totalitarianism, a corrupted nation that is overpowered by power itself over the citizens.
The Purpose Behind Writing Shooting an Elephant
Orwell is a writer with purpose. He strictly believed that writing serves a purpose and this can be seen throughout almost all his works especially in his essay Shooting an Elephant, he writes to show. This essay was published in 1936 and BBC Home Service broadcasted it in 1984. Orwell believed that writing should always hold a message. He did fulfill this goal. However, his views are nonetheless vague. And one of the things he is trying to convey in this essay is the fact sometimes things have multiple sides and layers. Orwell did serve as a Burmese police officer, but the fact if the event in the essay happened or not remains a mystery, but we can safely assume that something similar must have happened. The essay’s content is straightforward enough to get the idea with the first reading. The narrator is a British police officer who served in Burma during British rule and the British Raj. And understandably the people there do not like him around and they do not treat him well. This officer does not believe in what he is doing. He is philosophically against the British rule there. He is against Imperialism as he states in the first paragraph. And he continues to explain his situation in that same paragraph. He was with them but also against them. This the classical case of being torn between duty and what you believe.
And it’s quite interesting for Orwell to mention the Buddhist monks who stood at the corners of the streets mocking the Europeans. Although that is not the topic of the essay, it does not only show Orwell’s disappointment at the peaceful religion of the Buddhists, it also says a lot about the practitioners of the religion. Orwell was not a writer much concerned with religion. His main focus has long been on politics. However, in this essay he also gives us a small comment of what he, or in this case, the narrator saw on the streets of a place that’s supposed to be known for peace, from people who are known to be the advocated of peace. It’s almost like Orwell is trying to say that even religion is not an answer in some cases, for if that scene of the monks held no importance, Orwell will surely not have mentioned it. Whether fact or not, this essay goes deeper into what one goes through internally through an event that happens on the external. And it portrays what people see and how they react, and most importantly what value those reactions have. The story that Orwell is attempting to retell starts in the fourth paragraph where he talks about the elephant. In that paragraph, he talks of how information is perceived in the East. He goes as far as to describe the way they gave information about the elephant was more like prophesizing. Orwell portrays how the sudden death of one of the Indians caused by the elephant suddenly made him realis what was happening was actual fact. Orwell doubted the existence of the elephant in the first place, but seeing the man lying on the ground stepped on by the elephant became evidence on how the physical proof had more effect on him.
Here is the paragraph: “We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies when we heard yells a little distance away… I rounded the hut and saw a man’s dead body sprawling in the mud… The people said that the elephant had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth… He was lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side. His face was coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony. (Pg. 4). Now, this paragraph is very important. It is not the introduction of the essay, but the introduction to the story which Orwell wants to retell. The paragraph attracted my attention for multiple reasons. First is the writer’s understanding of information and how stories get around in the East. Second is how the East treats information as in how they give information. The third is how the narrator makes up his mind about information. Fourth is the image of the dead. The fifth is how the story can be a metaphor, or even looked at as an allegory for many of the political situations in the East, or even throughout history.
The Analysis of Figurative Devices Used in Shooting an Elephant
If a person would think of shooting an elephant in his life and that was not impacted by other individuals, he would settle on a choice, not to do himself. As the human conclusion is essential to us, Orwell demonstrates the authenticity of this thought through the tone of the story in “Shooting an Elephant”. This essay talks about a British police cop and his journey of killing an elephant. Neighborhood individuals loathe him, however, when the elephant keeps on rampaging, they seek his help. George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” gives an amazing experience to the human mind. This article introduces a ground-breaking topic of internal conflict. Orwell felt an inner conflict between his thinking as a human was and what he ought to accept as an empire’s cop. By clarifying his sentiments about his circumstance and providing an anecdote to explain his situation through splendid pictures, the creators clarify this conflict by giving a solid case of unpredictable feelings. The focal point of the story occurs in our typical life, and in fact every day. Individuals act insane, in some cases illogical and sometimes do not realize what they are doing and how they are reacting to a perceived situation. George Orwell clarified his internal logical inconsistency between his interior morals and its nation’s duty and white individuals’ reputation.
Regardless of the analytical simplicity by which the writer becomes confined into some classification, there are gigantic hopeless breaks between them. To sum up, such a decent variety of work is to lose the egocentric subject, as far as anyone knows share. A more intensive look at the composing style, subject, and the experiential segment of the works dissected demonstrate that the term confessional writer is unreasonably shallow as a description. Thin strings tie a gathering of general colossally differing writers.
Throughout the narrative, it is clear how Orwell did not want to shoot the elephant, and that he in fact only did so “to not seem a fool.” This predicts the way human mindset works, the pressure of not being liked and the era in which this situation occurred encouraged Orwell to shoot the poor elephant. The essay portrays the killing of the animal in a descriptive form showing empathy towards the animal. The passage depicts how Orwell gives up initially by thinking about how the people in the East always fail to provide any definite information about the location of the elephant. The form in which the essay is presented accompanies a style of language, a method which explains the minute details of the ongoing. The unusual form of paraphrasing holds the reader’s attention, as well as the tone of the essay, gives a flow to the writing.
So as to experience shame, you should have mindfulness and self-awareness that others are making decisions or judgments about you. You are on the ‘spotlight.’ You know about a lot of guidelines (or social standards) that decide if your activities are ‘correct’ or ‘wrong.’ The first paragraph of the essay explains the hatred of the people towards Orwell and how he was affected by their view of him. He explains in clarity the way he and other Europeans were treated in Burma, where he was the sub-divisional police officer of the town. He makes it clear throughout the essay about the differentiated power divide between the Indians and the Europeans. The dark view of people spitting betel juice on a European woman gives the readers an idea about the colonial setback and how people were treated. This story is set in the pre-World War II, before the postcolonial movement, in 1936. Orwell’s story functions as a kind of allegory, it serves as a travelogue between the British colonialism and imperialism. It becomes clear that the sense of ‘shame’ is present in the author since the beginning of the narrative when Orwell says, ‘- all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt’. The guilt here means Orwell felt a kind of sense of shame. The shame of witnessing the dirty works of the Empire which he did not wish to see. Because he was a police officer, he saw the dirty and stinking cages of the lockup. He felt he was not doing what he wanted to because he was not accepted by the masses.
Shame is a sense of feeling in which a person feels unaccepted, hatred for oneself and the feeling of doing something bad and regretting it. Shame and Guilt aren’t the same, but they are related to each other. Orwell did feel guilty of his job and wanted to quit. He also felt shameful as he was ravaging between the empire he served and the people who made his job even more difficult.
To ‘confess’ means to proclaim or reveal something which one has kept as a secret. It is to recognize, claim or concede a weakness. Confessionalism is a style that developed in the late 1950s. The poetry of this sort will, in general, be personal and enthusiastic. Numerous confession poets and writers managed and dealt with topics that had been forbidden: the death of an individual, injury, psychological sickness, suicide, and self-destructive ideation, self-brutality, familial clashes and misuse, sexuality, drinking, and various different themes coursed through the verse from this development. This kind of confessionalism was not absolutely self-portraying yet did immensely express disturbing personal experiences. Confessional poetry or confessional narrative, as the name explains means self-revelation. Confession poetry or a verse serves to uncover a creator’s curbed anguish or saddest feelings through sections about the most personal subjects. Despite the fact that sentiments and feelings have, for quite some time been viewed as a center tropical component of verse. The scandalous substance conveyed on in confession poetry, sets it far separated from progressively conventional genres.
As this narrative is set in the pre-colonial era, it explains the situation in a different form, the explanation of the dead man’s body and the comparison of its back to skinning a rabbit shows the intensity and the depth of the author’s observing and realizing behavior. The sense of detailing the scenario gives the reader a picture of the scene.
Why does Orwell ask a friend to get an elephant rifle? What made Orwell do so? Here, Orwell experienced what is called ‘getting carried away’. He witnesses the dead man’s body and the impact of the elephant’s strength, the people around him and how he is a ‘fool’ for the people. All these factors encouraged Orwell to react immediately to the situation. In the narrative, he explains his initial plan was never to kill the animal instead he wanted to let the animal go, but he was treated as the puppet of the people. The narrator confesses his intent to not killing a huge animal like an elephant, then why does he kill the elephant? The crowd followed him as he approached the beast, he saw the excitement in the people’s eyes all marching together.
The moment Orwell saw the elephant, he was clear in his head what he wanted to do. He had two options, whether to wait for the mahout to come and tame the elephant or to shoot it if it comes after his life. Orwell compares the elephant to a cow, where it explains the animal seemed no more dangerous than a cow using figurative language and forms depicting comparison. The way the sentences are presented shows the transition from Orwell’s willingness to not kill the elephant to eventually killing it. By the use of literary devices and techniques, the narrator explains in brief detail the killing of the elephant, the use of similes and repetition enhances the paragraph by emphasizing the death of the elephant. The text emphasizes the way the elephant’s bodily movements changed when Orwell shot him. The texture of the animal’s skin by the effect of the bullet the showed intensity of the act. The brief explanation of the timing and number of the bullets explains how important this seemed for Orwell, not that he wanted to kill the elephant but what was people’s reaction to this act of his. The paragraph explaining the elephant’s demise stands out from other paragraphs as the climax. The description, visual imagery makes the death look more intense and the audience more sympathetic.
Does Orwell pay detailed attention to the elephant’s death and him shooting by the rifle and the crowd’s reaction to this event? Was Orwell feeling a sense of sympathy towards the animal while shooting the bullets into his body? Did Orwell encounter shame? I believe the answer to these questions is -Yes, Orwell did ‘confess’ to being in a shameful situation where the circumstances forced him to change his reaction according to the situation. The sentence where he says he could not stand it an went away denotes shame. Orwell was ashamed of his act as he realized he had done the right thing to kill a mad elephant as it had killed a coolie. But that is what he didn’t want to do willingly. The spectators enforced a sense of behavior towards the narrator in a way which made him feel shameful. They treated him in an unjust manner which made Orwell feel unhappy about his job and encouraged him to quit. This ordeal of the elephant killing changed the way people perceived Orwell. Initially, Orwell was hated by everyone, but the ‘magical’ rifle and the power of his position created a sense that he had to live up to the expectation of the crowd. I personally feel if Orwell was treated in a lawful manner and given the respect he deserved from the beginning, the scenario for Orwell would have been different. How would it be different? Orwell would not feel shame, he would have killed the animal for ‘his’ people, for their safety and not for the sake of doing his duty and/or just reacting to the situation with no real emotions. He was going through a series of emotions while killing the beast- guilt, humiliation, mixed feelings and shame of killing an animal which could have been more useful if it was tamed. Did the people accept Orwell after the animal was shot dead? The narrative explains how the people ran with their baskets and dash to get the animals meat. I do not think they bothered much about Orwell.
Although there were discussions about Orwell’s elephant adventure post the event, he wasn’t satisfied with what he had done. The final paragraph narrates how people had different opinions about Orwell killing the elephant – some good, some bad. How Orwell comments on the owner of the elephant show racism. A European cop thinking that the elephant owner being ‘Indian’ wouldn’t be able to do anything for it’s animal’s death shows the colonial thinking and the period where discrimination was a normal thing. The last line where Orwell says, that all this he did was to not seem like a fool. But did he actually not seem like a fool after the event? He may have, for the time being, be the hero for the people as he killed the animal because he had the rifle and the dead elephant would provide the meat. But I do not think this act may have created a sense of change in the majority of the population in order to start liking him. Maybe few people would have started respecting Orwell as a young, brave and determinant police officer. But, was he still able to make an impact in their lives for the long run? The last line ends the essay in two outcomes, either the population may change their attitude towards Orwell or treat him the same way the next time they see him.
Throughout the essay, the tone and structure keep the reader engaged in its form and the figurative devices used in the paragraphs gives the audience an imaginary vision of the event which is taking place. Orwell’s approach in the essay describes the emotions, subjective quality and intensity of the killing of the animal. This kind of writing in the early 1900s entertains the reader by enhancing the situation even today.
The Main Idea and Rhetorical Analysis of Shooting an Elephant
In the essay, ?Shooting An Elephant?, author George Orwell, once a sub-divisional English police officer for Burma during the Englishs? tyrannical hold on India, narrates a true, tall-tale like experience of a ravaging elephant and the siren-like influences of the community. The story illustrates the effects of social peer pressure through anecdote, imagery, and selection to detail in order to grasp the daunting authority of society influence and personal image.
First, Orwell uses a personal anecdote of shooting an elephant, which is normally a taboo or an offense to people, in order to engage the audience to find his reasoning for shooting an elephant and support his main idea. He tells of the background of the story, that the Burmans would send insults ?hooted after? him with ?sneering? faces. This shows the audience that as a white man, Orwell was not well liked or respected. As the story goes on, Orwell is called to ?do something? about the elephant. He says that he went with his ?old. 44 Winchester? but that it was much too small to kill an elephant. In adding this explanation to the old gun, the audience may be hopeful for the elephants safety and make them interested in what will happen. Playing with the audiences emotions seems to be common in this story for the reason that in the last part of the story, Orwell disparages our hope by promptly shooting the elephant at the end. Orwell justifies and even blames the killing on the Burmese people saying that the people ?expected it? of him. In doing this, he asserts his reason for this tragedy and exposes the culprit as the forceful pressing of willpower from the community.
Another factor that shapes Orwells story is imagery. He produces a field of color, and the descriptions of the people and surrounding areas brings the audience back in time with him, engaging the readers to fully understand the social life and status of a white man in a sea of ?yellow? faced natives. As Orwell describes the hatred that reeked off the Burmese people, he says the worst were the Buddhist priests that had nothing to do but ?jeer at Europeans?. The audience is able to picture a community of yellow faces and hear the quips of the priests. As the author goes down to investigate the elephant, the descriptions of the paddy fields and ravaged bamboo huts in the waking path of the elephant are easily pictured even though most have never seen a bamboo hut or a paddy field. Orwell bring attention to these simple objects but it takes the reader on a journey through which to better understand that because of the location and era, Orwell had big shoes to fill in order to satisfy the community
In addition to imagery, Orwell pays a great attention to selection of detail that evokes a strong image of the story and makes it come to life. While describing the man that the elephant had crushed, Orwell uses the words ?bared and grinning? to describe the corpses face and decides that the faces of the dead look evil and not peaceful. The author does this to show the audience just what the elephant has done during its ?must? and that this is one of the reasons it had to be killed. Orwell then describes the elephant as having ?grandmotherly air? around it and that it had also looked ?shrunken, old, and sank flabbily to its knees?. This adds to the grandmotherly like air around the beast but brings into question of why Orwell chose to shoot this creature. It makes the audience think about their own morals when in the end, Orwell says he had done it ?solely? to avoid looking like a fool.
Overall, Orwells explains that when the faces of society are bearing down on you, there is no turning point and definitely no turning back. Their wills are forced over upon your own and it has actually led to many individuals, past and present, to give conformity to the one-minded behemoth that is society.
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell: Analysis
Animal Farm, by George Orwell, was first published in 1945. Propaganda and the abuse of power are prevalent themes in the satirical novel, accentuated by the deliberate use of carefully selected language techniques. This essay will illustrate how a wide range of language techniques can be used to support a theme that runs through every aspect of the story and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
Context is essential in understanding the underlying elements in the book. The book was written in 1945 and reflects the events leading up to the Stalin era before the Second World War. Setting is important in this novel as it relates to the themes in the book. Animal Farm is a story where animals are personified to resemble the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin. Parody is found in this mocking imitation of real-life people as some of the animals are based on Communist Party leaders: the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, for example, represent Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Animal Farm is a political satire where Orwell criticizes socialism and capitalism in a humorous way. Propaganda and the abuse of power are issues that are most often associated with politics.
The characters play a vital role in revealing the hidden themes in the story. They are the ones who drive the action and who the reader connects with. From the passage, it is clear that Napoleon is the animal in charge and the one with the most power. This is revealed in his title as ‘Leader’ as well as the interaction between Squealer and Boxer. Boxer’s reply; “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” highlights the power imbalance in the relationship between the animals. It relates to both the themes of abuse of power and propaganda, as in his position of power, Napoleon’s word is accepted as an unquestionable truth. It also reveals how propaganda has worked into brainwashing the animals into believing this truth. Squealers’ reply of, “That is the true spirit, comrade”, relates to the theme of propaganda as it reinforces the idea that everything Napoleon does or says is in the right. Napoleon’s power (and abuse thereof) can also be found in the act of awarding himself medals of “’Animal Hero, First Class’ and ‘Animal Hero, Second Class’”. A portion of his power comes from the fact that he controls the dogs. This relates to the theme of abuse of power as he uses the dogs (that only he can control) to capture the pigs. The other animals are at a disadvantage as he is the only one with a “weapon”, and he uses that weapon as a means to control them with fear. Both the dialogue and actions of the characters are essential in informing the reader of the position of each character and how they relate to others.
While it is important to look at these as a whole, even more is revealed by looking at the hidden message that these contain.The text is a collection of individual words, that when combined, create a certain meaning, but it is also important to look at those words individually as they often carry connotative meanings that might change the overall meaning of the text. Certain words stand out more than others to the reader as they are emphasised by the writer. ‘Comrade’ is a word in the passage that immediately draws the attention of the reader. ‘Comrade’ is a term used to refer to a companion or fellow soldier, and is often used as a term of address by socialists or communists. It is repeated three times by Squealer in the passage (emphasising the term); once when addressing his fellow farm animals and twice when referring to Napoleon. The word ‘comrade’ is capitalised as a title when referring to Napoleon. This capitalisation indicates a distinction between Napoleon and the other animals and puts him in a position of power. In the first sentence, he is referred to as “Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon”. ‘Leader’ is also capitalised as a title and not merely refers to a position.
From the very first sentence, a distinction in power is established to the reader. ‘Categorically’ is another word repeated in the first sentence that immediately draws attention. When something is stated categorically it is done so directly and without ambiguity, like a command. It is also important to note that “categorically, comrade” is placed between dashes and indicates an interjection. The writer does this to mimic natural speech and for emphasis. ‘Categorically’ relates here to the theme of abuse of power. It is being implied here that what is being stated cannot be contradicted or denied. This is an abuse of power as it stops the questioning of that power. ‘Categorically’ can also be tied to the theme of propaganda as propaganda is delivered as fact, and therefore beyond questioning. The language used by the animals is simple but ‘categorically’ is a more complicated term. The choice of this particular word relates to the theme of propaganda as the use of this more complicated word gives weight to the importance of the speaker and the message.Propaganda is biased information used to influence the audience, such as when Squealer states that “Snowball was Jones’s agent from the very beginning”. This information is not supported by any evidence but is still relayed to the audience as fact for the purpose of influencing that audience.
Propaganda often appeals to emotions and so not just the message but the deliverance is important. Squealer speaks very “slowly and firmly” and uses interjections (“- categorically, comrade” and “- yes”) for emphasis. These interjections also serve the purpose of making the announcement seem more like a conversation and less command-like. It gives the appearance of unity; that they are all united against the enemy: Snowball and Jones. Later Squealer ‘cried’ “that is the true spirit, comrade!” The writer uses words and punctuation to show the reader how the information is delivered with emotion and change in volume. He does this so the reader might recognise these techniques. It relates to the theme of propaganda as this is how propaganda is often delivered. The term ‘comrade’ is also tied in with the theme of propaganda. Propaganda does not work well in isolation and so establishing a group mentality is important. Referring to everyone as ‘comrade’ has the dual effect of establishing a group identity and placing the person of authority in that group, and therefore, “one of us”.Just as it is possible to make the reader “hear”, it is possible to create an image within the mind of the reader. Imagery is a powerful technique used by writers to convey meaning. Imagery is created with the emergence of Napoleon from the house “wearing both his medals…with his nine huge dogs frisking round him”. The idea of a pig wearing medals brings to mind a caricature that is both humorous and grotesque.
The writer also creates imagery in his description of the reaction of the animals after Napoleon emerged from the house: they “cowered silently” and had “shivers down [their] spines”. This imagery evokes strong emotions and relates to the theme of abuse of power as the other animals are overwhelmed with fear at the sight of the one in power. More imagery is created as the dogs “seized four of the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squealing with pain and terror, to Napoleon’s feet”. This relates to the theme of abuse of power as force is used as a controlling technique by the one in charge. While some of these words create powerful images, they also evoke feeling by sounding like they do in reality. Onomatopoeia can be found in ‘cried’, ‘growls’, ‘whimper’ and ‘squealing’ – all words with negative connotative meaning – that relates to the theme of abuse of power as these are either aggressive or fearful sounds. Alliteration can be found with the repetition if the initial /s/ sounds in “stood sternly surveying”.
The /s/ sound has a connotative meaning that suggests a snake-like quality that implies slyness and danger. This relates to the theme of abuse of power as those that do so usually embody sly and cunning qualities.A skilled writer uses language and language techniques with purpose and careful consideration. Orwell employed language techniques to challenge the reader to think. He wrote a novel that told a story that went far deeper than the words on the pages, and he made that happen with the use of humour and several other language techniques. With the use of words that carry different connotative meanings, punctuation, tone, sound and imagery; the themes of propaganda and the abuse of power are woven expertly into all parts of his writing and highlighted to leave a lasting impression. The setting is also vital in understanding the themes and overall message of the novel. By personifying these animals Orwell gives a warning against tyranny, oppression and propaganda.
Review of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four and Its Relation to Modern Life
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a very special book in my opinion. Even though it was published in 1949, the book was foreshadowing our society today. Obviously today’s government isn’t as strict as it was in the book, but it’s still very similar to the books government. The governments are very similar in the fact that our every move is being watched. With how advanced technology is today, it’s almost no work for the government to know everything people do. For example, all these apps that have those long rules you have to accept before you can use the app just take all our information and sell it to whoever they please. Our text messages are being watched by random people we don’t know.
Whatever we think was just supposed to be between us and our friends is between many other people we don’t know. Now a days when I open a website about basketball all my ads are about NBA or other basketball related things. Of course we could stay away from these apps or technology devices that take our information, but it’s almost impossible in today’s society. How can you stay off an iPhone when everyone else has one, and if you don’t have one you’ll be left behind. If all your friends are on Snapchat and you want to stay in touch with them you have to get the app. All these reasons are why Nineteen Eighty-Four foreshadowed how we’d be living life today. Your every move is being monitored by the “Big Brother” and to add unto that you can’t avoid being monitored either. Even when Winston thought he was outsmarting the system and hiding he was wrong, Big Brother was still watching him. This links with the fact that even when we think if we stay off all these apps and devices where safe.
In reality, if you go into public there’s usually cameras and once again you’re being watched. Every single place you go is being watched whether you like it or not. One of the ways Nineteen Eighty-Four changed my view is the way I act when using devices. I know at any moment all my inmost secrets could be leaked to the world. Now that I know my information could be shared at any moment, I’m extra careful with what I say over a device. I make sure to save the most important discussions for real life. In general, the book has put a little bit of fear and paranoia in my mind. I double check every move I make. I always wondering if I’m being monitored what do they use the information for. The book has put unanswerable questions in my head.
The Analysis of the Novel “1984” by George Orwell
In the novel 1984, George Orwell illustrates a dystopian future in which a communist party has taken over. Orwell names this party as “Big Brother” and this organization is in charge of monitoring and watching over every person in the community in order to ensure that everyone is following their rules. With this in mind, Orwell utilizes a character named Winston in order to demonstrate the different ways people suffer and change due to the treatment of the communist party. However, a topic that is not fully explored by Orwell is the possibility that Winston suffers from a severe brain trauma that provokes him to act differently. Not only does Winston acts more aggressively than other characters, but his actions make him seem like an unreliable narrator.
As a result of this, the way Winston explains some events makes us, the reader, feel somewhat skeptical towards his stories. Although the author did not explain that Winston suffered brain damage from an injury, it can be assumed that he suffers from brain damage due to the strong situations that he had to face as a child. To begin with, in Chapter 3, Winston explains that he has a vague memory of his mother and sister. He remembers, “in some way the lives of his mother and his sister had been sacrificed to his own”. It’s important to realize that Winston describes that this happened when he was around eleven years old. This means that he suffered from an extreme trauma before he was considered a teenager. According to the study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, there are many problems that children face after one of their parents dies. For instance, the study findings explain that some outcomes “[include] disruptions and continuity, the role of social networks and affiliations and communication” (Ellis 2013).
The study goes on and explains that the best way to confront this type of strong situation is with the help a family member; this is because children are more vulnerable and it can lead to serious problems such as depression and loneliness. With this in mind, Winston faced not only one but two losses of close family members, and it is not mentioned throughout the novel if he ever received professional help to deal with his lost. If anything, Winston carries guilt because he feels that he murdered both his sister and his mother. Moreover, Winston also displays signs of frontal lobe damage. Winston has a flashback in which he explains “there was a devastating explosion, or what seemed like an explosion, though it was not certain whether there was any noise. There was undoubtedly a blinding ash of light. Winston was not hurt, only prostrated. Although he had already been lying on his back when the thing happened, he had a curious feeling that he had been knocked into that position”. With this in mind, if Winston was knocked back due to an explosion he could be suffering from frontal lobe damage, which evidently can be shown throughout the narration.
According to the website Brainline, a person that suffers from a trauma and damages to their frontal lobe can affect “their emotions and impulses, language, memory and social and sexual behavior” (Gunther 2018). This is shown primarily when Winston meets Julia for the first time. Winston explains that the only two feelings that crossed his mind when he saw Julia were that he wanted to rape her and kill her. Winston says, “I hated the sight of you,’ he said. ‘I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone.” (120). Winston really demonstrates with his actions that he doesn’t act somewhat normal. His actions could be considered dangerously aggressive if he was living in our society.
Another reason why Winston demonstrates signal of brain damage is because he does not have a full sense of what reality is. As mentioned above, one of the effects of damaging your frontal lobe is damaging your memories and the ability to create new ones. Throughout the narration Winston demonstrates that his memories of the past are vague and most of them he does not fully remember. Winston explains, “When there were no external records that you could refer to, even the outline of your own life lost its sharpness. You remembered huge events which had quite probably not happened, you remembered the detail of incidents without being able to recapture their atmosphere, and there were long blank periods to which you could assign nothing to”. He goes on and explains that “he could not remember: nothing remained of his childhood except a series of bright lit tableaux occurring against no background and mostly unintelligible.” (Orwell). With this in mind Winston can be classified as an unreliable narrator. Winston demonstrates throughout the narration that he does not know 100% if all of the information that is given is true or if the way he interprets the information is true which makes the reader feel skeptical about the events he explains.
For instance, he usually explains that he does not remember when major historical events happened. This is demonstrated when Winston illustrates that “[he] could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war, but it was evident that there had been a fairly long interval of peace during his childhood, because one of his early memories was of an air raid which appeared to take everyone by surprise.”. This is a recurrent theme and it’s repeated several times that he does not remember of the past or even short periods of time. For example, when Winston first encounters Julia in the cafeteria he mentions “he could not remember whether she had already been at the table when he arrived, or had come there afterwards.”.
In other words, Winston could not remember something so simple that just happened. Therefore, Winston could arguably have problems remembering and creating short-term memories as well as remembering long-term memories. For this reason Winston could be considered an unreliable narrator. George Orwell illustrates Winston as a character that has lost hope due to the harsh situation he has to face everyday. However, Orwell did not explore fully the different traumas that Winston had to face and how this affected him psychologically. Winston could be considered a loner in the book; he could be considered an outsider and even a dangerous person.
Throughout the story he showcases different aggressive impulses that could classify him as a dangerous character. This is due to the different traumas he had to face when he was growing up and possibly damage not caused psychologically. Winston also becomes an unreliable narrator due to his confusion about reality and his struggle of remembering what happened in the past. All in all, Winston is definitely a strong character that could be analyzed psychologically to better interpret more of his actions.