Saturday, April 6, 2013

20 Literary Techniques in 1984

1) Setting: Oceania, London. Year of 1984(duh)
2) Anagnorisis: The point in a plot where a character recognizes the true state of affairs
                ^Although Winston is somewhat rebellious from the start( what with the purchasing of the journal  and his awareness of O’Brien) the moment he sees room 101 is when he sees the truth behind Big Brother.
                                BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
4) Vernacular:
                -Speakwrite: machine that writes/documents as one speaks
                -Thoughtcrime: A personal thought that goes against the party or Big Brother and is thus considered a crime(one of the worst)
                - Proles: A member of the working class (short for proletariat)
                - Doublethink: To maintain two separate thoughts/opinions at once, normally contrasting ones
                -Memoryhole: Machine that alters or eliminates documents
                -Newspeak: The official language of Oceania
5) Dialogue: There is much dialogue between Winston and Julia and Winston and O’Brien, but where I found it to be most important was at the very end of the book. The words they exchange here give us a sharper image of the characters they are because they are reaching their end and these are their concluding statements towards one another.
                “I betrayed you,” she said baldly.
                “I betrayed you,” he said.
                She gave him another quick look of dislike.
                “Sometimes,” she said, “they threaten you with something—something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.”
                “All you care about is yourself,” he echoed.
                “And after that, you don’t feel the same toward the other person any longer.”
                “No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”

6) Dystopia: An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
7) Symbolism: There’s lots of this in this book (as in most books) so I’ll just state the obvious. Oceania is a city that is crumbling and decaying to a point of disgust. Walls falling, building collapsing, the threat of bombs at every turn, it’s pretty self-explanatory. This represents the people living in it who are oppressed and forced into this totalitarian lifestyle and as a result begin to crumble and decay into the disgusting “humans” they are. Just as the area did not “ask” for this sick state of being, neither did it’s citizens.
8) Foreshadowing: The constant mention of the “girl with the dark hair” is foreshadowing her role in the story and in Winston’s life. His thoughts of her through a sexual light foreshadow their coming relationship and the “dark hair” symbolically foreshadows her soon to be rebellious influence on him.
9) Irony: Julia wears the red sash, which for those of you who haven’t read the book, is basically an anti-sex waist belt. However, she has a love affair with Mr. Smith and tells him that she has had sex with many other party members as well.
10) External Conflict: Winston has clearly made up his mind about hating the world he has come to live in, so there is no internal conflict, rather there is only external. Big brother and all the party members force him into this hated lifestyle.
11) Flashback: “Uncalled, a memory floated into his mind. He saw a candle-lit room with a vast white-counterpaned bed, and himself, a boy of nine or ten, sitting on the floor, shaking a dice box, and laughing excitedly. His mother was sitting opposite of him and also laughing.”
12) Imagery: “A ray of sunlight slanting through a window fell yellow on dusty tabletops.”
13) Resolution: I say resolution more in a personal way, as in solely with Winston.  It’s when he discovers Oceania defeated Eurasia, and this excerpt basically sums it up.
                “Under the table Winston’s feet made convulsive movements. He had not stirred from his seat, but in his mind he was running, swiftly running, he was with the crowds outside, cheering himself deaf. He looked up again at the portrait of Big Brother. The colossus that bestrode the world! The rock against which the hordes of Asia dashed themselves in vain! He thought how ten minutes ago—yes, only ten minutes—there had still been equivocation in his heart as he wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat. Ah, it was more than a Eurasian army that had perished! Much had changed in him since that first day in the Ministry of Love, but the final, indispensable, healing change had never happened, until this moment.”
14) Resolution Numero Dos: I prefer the first one(less sad) but I suppose you could look at when he finally accepts Big Brother as the resolution.
                "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother,"
15) Metaphor: “The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could walk,"
16) Third Person POV: The story is told in third person in order to maintain an unbiased view on Winston’s experiences.
17) Paradox: “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence,”
18) Symbolism Numero Dos: "The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal,"
19) Theme: Psychological Manipulation and Totalitarianism
20) Reptition: “ The place where there is no darkness”

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