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Analysis

Literary Devices in 1984

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Discontented with his life, Winston turns to vices as a means of escape and self-medication. In Winston’s case, it’s alcohol and cigarettes. He drinks gin to sedate his paranoia, like t...

Setting

With a hint of science fiction, 1984 is set in near-future Oceania. (Yes, it is the past now, but it was the future at the time the book was written.) The city is still named London, though the cou...

Narrator Point of View

This is Winston’s story, and we only get information through his eyes. Why does this work? Part of what makes 1984 awesome is that we feel the same emotions as its protagonist. If Winston fee...

Genre

Well, the drama is pretty clear what with the heavy conflict and emotional weight. We’re not even going to touch "Dystopian Literature," because this book pretty much defines the genre. Parod...

Tone

1984 is written in a gloomy tone, with a very matter-of-fact, unornamented style. There’s little color to the novel. Neither eloquent prose nor slapstick puns would fit the bill here. The env...

Writing Style

Orwell’s imagined world of Oceania in the year 1984 is scary enough, just looking at the facts he provides, but Orwell’s style contributes to this world’s bleakness. His sentences...

What’s Up With the Title?

1984 is the year in question, or the year of things sucking completely. Orwell originally envisioned the title to be "The Last Man in Europe." Doesn’t exactly get you sweating with anticipati...

Tough-o-Meter

Sure, it's filled with Newspeak and doublethinking, but you'll soon get the hang of it, Shmoopers. Isn't that kind of the point? The Party is here to ease you into these new, linguistically-based w...

Plot Analysis

Winston leads a squalid existence in 1984, Oceania; he is sexually frustrated and psychology oppressed by the Party. He starts a journal to catalog his subversive thoughts against the Party. Althou...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Dissatisfied with his life, Winston reasons that it is the Party’s fault. He starts to seek out ways to rebel against the Party, first by starting a journal, then by starting an affair with J...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Book One. We experience the life of Winston Smith through his eyes and some additional narration. Basically, Winston hates the Party, and his life, but that’s the doing of the Party.Book Two....

Trivia

Since its publication, 1984 has been challenged, and subsequently banned, in select states and countries due to its revolutionary, communist, socialist, and/or sexually explicit content. (Source) D...

Allusions

William Shakespeare (1.3.6, 1.5.30)Geoffrey Chaucer (1.5.30)John Milton (1.5.30)George Gordon Byron (1.5.30)Descartes (indirectly…): "’I think I exist,’ he said wearily. 'I am con...
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