George Orwell

Tony Kim

Mr. Adam Oyster-sands

AP English Literature & Composition

21 May, 2018

George Orwell - 1984 : Deep Analysis (Marxism)

George Orwell, the author of many famous novels and a respectable figure that implements his political views into his literary works while delivering a strong message throughout the whole story, is someone who states remarkable facts and his respectable opinions that strictly and specifically analyzes marxism, which consists of using his novel to illustrate the environment that marxism affected. Eric Arthur Blair, also known by his writer name, George Orwell was an English novelist, journalist, essayist, and critic, while also being an anti-communist and anti-marxist. He was born in June 25, 1903, when he grew up to write famous novels such as “Animal Farm”, “Coming Up for Air”, “Homage to Catalonia”, “Such, Such were the Joys”, and “1984” and finally reached death in January 21, 1950, where he concluded his life after releasing approximately fourteen novels into our world for teachers and students to use for educational purposes. For someone who loved to write, he was also another human being who loved to analyze and criticize. While marxism still holds its ground as a huge and broad concept that is extremely difficult and tricky to be dealt with, George Orwell uses 1984 to illustrate how the concept of the specific theories that merges together with Marxism and compares and contrasts similar ideas such as Communism, Deconstruction Theory, and Totalitarianism, while attempting to find the differences between The U.S. and Winston’s time period.

1984, one of the most famous books that were written by George Orwell is the main novel that deals with Marxism and its ideologies. However, to understand and further realize the point of the story, the novel must be summarized. When people usually read 1984, many believe that the main plots are difficult to come through. However, with a little bit of character development, theme, setting, and tone shift, the process of understanding what the author is trying to tell us. The main characters of the book are Winston Smith, Julia, O'Brien, Big Brother, and Mr.Charrington. Winston, a minor member of the Airstrip One in the possible future of Science fictional Oceania, is a fragile, but intellectual thirty nine year old. Throughout the book, even at the end of the book, Winston despises the totalitarian control and enforced repression that are characteristic of his government. Julia, a dark-haired female, while being Winston’s lover, working in the Fictional Department at the Ministry of Truth. Julia loves to have sex, and states that she had countless relationships with the Party members to have had affairs with many Party members. Throughout the gloomy and pessimistic sections, Julia attempts to stay pragmatic and optimistic. Her rebellion against the Party with Winston starts out fairly small and personal but as the story progresses, Winston’s motivations and ideas encourage her beliefs of opposing the Party as well. Going off of opposing the Party members, O’Brian is a mysterious member of the Party who he believes is one of the people who participates in the Brotherhood, the well-known organization of the anti-totalitarian rebels. As for the Inner Party that has been mentioned a few times, the biggest concept/character would be Big Brother. Although the figure, Big Brother is never actually appearing in the novel nor the movie, he is perceived as a possibly non-existent ruler of Oceania (Airstrip One). Throughout the whole novel, he is mentioned in most posters and released in almost every radio and speakers out in the city, where it repeats the sentence, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.” This being is not only a leader like being but also Winston’s nightmare that continues to fill him up with hate instead of the adulation other citizen gave about how great he was. Finally, Mr. Charrington. In one word, he can technically be the antagonist, in consideration to the factor if Winston were to be the protagonist, which in this case, he is. The novel starts him off as a kind and encouraging old man who owns a store in the Prole District being interested in Winston’s past. At first, he seemed to be supporting Winston and Julia, but in part two, Mr.Charrington pulls his trigger and betrays Winston by revealing that he is a member of the Thought Police. Every single character has their own stories however,a few main ones must be them since it will be difficult to understand anymore.

Even though the characters did develop a peak for the story to be fluent, nothing would be the same without the other sections. First of all, 1984 starts off at a science fictional country called Airstrip one, as now known as Oceania. Everyone is introduced in London, where everything goes down. At this moment, the tone and its shifts may be shown. The novel consisted of two parts and both parts had a linear regression towards its tone changes. Part one started off with its gloomy, pessimistic vibes since it was the first introduction to the presence of telescreens, a monitor that Thought Police use to watch every movement of the citizens and the current situations of the ongoing war with Eurasia. However, part two gets into a hopeful, optimistic attitude due to fact that slightly shows from Winston meeting Julia, falling in love and continuing to do so, while also rebelling against the Big Brother party. But then again, when Mr.Charrington decides to stop acting like he is on Winston’ side, the tone also changes with the change in hopelessness, where they are caught after being caught having sexual acts and more, they are sent to the Ministry of Love to be imprisoned and tortured.As the background information about the novel itself and its author has been thoroughly explained, the analysis of marxism’s affect may be analyzed.

When studying literature, there are many different theories that help evaluate one’s perspective and by having these theories, it helps writers think about how to deepen their understanding of the theme and plots to another level. As a result, the introduction to Marxism was very significant. “Attempts to tell us that the socioeconomic system that we are currently living in is considered as our experience and status.” - Purdue Owl.Marxism means that in order to be find Marxism, we must consistently ask ourselves the valuable aspects of the story’s society or such questions that test the knowledge of one’s ability to determine the currency. In other words, it will be to deal with the hierarchy and economic differences. The first real impact this had on people was during the 19th century in continental Europe, when during the international trades, it spread throughout the European Trade Union Movement. However, the fight against those of who were against this and were part of the socialist group, were inevitable. Similarly, in 1984, Winston’s group of rebels show how the government, Big Brother and the Party was basically under Marxism and Totalitarianism laws and theories, where Winston and Julia decided to disagree with how the government is treating the society. This is why Deconstruction Theory takes part. Deconstruction Theory, a specific part of the postmodern movement, stands as the, “The center cannot hold” - Purdue Owl. Unlike the political and economic styles of Marxism, Deconstruction applies the elements of philosophy into the world. One example of this would be Binary Oppositions which are: Living/Dead; Black/White; Right/Wrong; etc. The purpose of Deconstruction is not only to point out the flaws of the theories, but at the sametime, criticizing and specifically analyzing the core subject, which basically is what Mr. Charrington does not want Winston to do. Also, Deconstruction also tries to make the reader think about the fact that there is no actual singular truths, which is why there are so many themes that exist such as Totalitarianism & Communism; Reality Control; Romance & Sex; Hierarchy Struggle, which some of them may be able to be treated as Binary Oppositions. So far, the way Marxism was defined and analyzed may seem a little unclear, which is why there is a relationship between this and Totalitarianism, a similar element that supports the reasonings.

Totalitarianism is the system of government where it is centralized and requires complete subservience to the state. We can find this in 1984 through its telescreens that may symbolize eye awakenings. Likewise, Winston realizing that the Inner Party not being the completeness of something would be considered eye awakening and at the same time, the perfect example of how George Orwell incorporated her political sides into his book. Because he despised Marxism and Totalitarianism, he first set the setting to be in a hopeless gorge and decided to slowly build up until the main characters started to realize thattheir government was not always right and that everything that they were not allowed to do, was nothing bad. In other words, although the political and economical sides are important, the philosophical ways, also known as the Deconstruction Theory is important as well. The way Winston and Julia rebelled against the Party emphasizes how George Orwell uses his characters to further relate and further elaborate other than listing out the reasons why this is true.

In 1984, Marxism was shown in their hierarchy system as well as what they would protect, which meant that Big Brother symbolized the Marxism Hierarchy system and Winston symbolized the Deconstruction Theory and socialism, while expressing how romance, sex, and all sorts of things that were banned by the Thought Police were actually necessary. In other words, as socialism means to be used in ways where the structure of they live is completely different, where we can argue that Orwell integrates them in by using more ways to create a more diverse area for more and more people.

When analyzed, the novel itself is not too difficult. However, there are some parts that tend to forget about or not care about. Airstrip One is the capital of Oceania, the heart of all brainwashing, propaganda, and totalitarian control, which symbolized Communism, Totalitarianism, and Marxism at the same time. Some of the examples found from the novel would be, “It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you—something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable—what then?” (Part 1, Chapter 7) while this one dealt with the Totalitarianism, Communism, and Marxism, a different way it would be great to look at it would be, There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account.” (Part 2, Chapter 3) Now that it is easier to analyze and criticize the literary work, especially if the author is a critic. The next time a decision comes up that has George Orwell opposing this, it may be that Although Karl Marx’s ideology did not start out bad, it ended up being assured that if Marxism were to be allowed with power, the government would not function and not only would there be a way to analyze this through what the Deconstruction Theories, but also Socialism.

Work Cited:

Lynelle, Kelsi. "Orwell's "1984" from Theoretical Views (An Essay) – Kelsi Lynelle – Medium."Medium. Augmenting Humanity, 04 Aug. 2017. Web. 13 May 2018.

Woodcock, George. "George Orwell." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 03 Jan. 2018. Web. 15 May 2018.

Schepmann, Ryan. "Communism vs Marxism vs Totalitarianism." N.p., 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 May 2018.

"What Is Orwell's Message in 1984?", n.d. Web. 19 May 2018.

"Consider George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four from a Marxist Perspective. - University Linguistics, Classics and Related Subjects - Marked by"Marked by Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2018., n.d. Web. 21 May 2018.