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Analysis of Utopia in "1984" by George Orwell

Analysis of Utopia in "1984" by George Orwell

“The dream of a just society seems to haunt the human imagination.” How effectively do the texts you have studied explore the pursuit for a better world?

Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel of the Utopia genre yet questions the very idea of the human desire for a utopia, presenting itself as a Distopia and a warning to society of today. The society presented by Orwell is one which haunts the every sleeping and waking moment of the people within it, as well as suppressing the human imagination. The constant presence of the telescreens torments Winston to the point where he realises that “nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull” and that even this is controlled by the Thought police. The constant surveillance and crushing of human existence and its fundamental rights of privacy creates a sense of hopelessness in the novel, a dead end that cannot be escaped. It is the Party’s power, based on fear, that induces this inevitability and static nature of the society: “who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.” Ironically, the Party does believe that this extreme Communism will result in a better world, in terms of their Ingsoc (English Socialism) doctrine. Their eradication of humanity aims to create a cleansed and pure race which is united in its adoration of the omnipresent “Big Brother”, who professes to be “watching you” on every poster at every street corner and every minute through the telescreens. Orwell questions the distinction between Winston’s rejection of Big Brother and his submission to the conformed society, where during the two minute hate, he finds it “impossible to avoid joining in” as his “secret loathing of Big Brother is changed to adoration.” The diametrically opposed emotions of “loathing” and “adoration” in fact are so extreme that their distinctions become blurred and Winston’s feels both. This is a reflection of the co-existence of Utopia and Anti utopia in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four: they both present such extremes of ideas that the Party’s pursuit for a better world, although wrought with fear, torture and corruption, appears to co exist and feed off Winston’s own personal battle for justice. This leads to the lack of distinction between fantasy and realism, and ultimately questions the purposes and power...

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