In part two of the novel, “1984”  through figurative language Orwell evokes that there’s no such thing as a perfect society and that each person has a different definition of a perfect world depending on their situation.  In his community, it is illegal to have relationships or sex with anyone. The protagonist Winston is having a conversation with Julia about how many affairs she’s been. Julia told him that she’s been in many affairs with other men from the party. Winston thought to himself “Who knew? Perhaps the party was rotten under the surface, its cult of strenuousness and self-denial simply a sham concealing iniquity” (Orwell, 125). Winston was really surprised with the idea that many other men who pretend to be so perfect and portray themselves as the best epitome of leaders who follow Big brother’s ideas have also broken the rules. The party can’t be rotten under the surface as Orwell mentioned but he’s referring to how corrupt the system in Oceania is. The phrase “rotten under the surface” represents people’s ideas of willing to go against the Party’s beliefs without getting caught. This shows that many other men aren’t afraid to break the rules implemented by Big Brother. Those men were only willing to break the rules for their benefit, to benefit their  good which was their desire to be with a woman.  What the author is trying to hint the audience is that if there are other men who have violated the rules just like Winston did, then this simply shows they have something in common with Winston. At some point in their lives, they were all willing to break the norms, perhaps for different reasons but, them breaking the rules indicates that they don’t like government’s system. The phrase “its cult of strenuousness and self-denial” represents the struggle that was for people to assimilate into Big Brother’s system. The word “cult” is referring to the type of culture Big Brother has created ever since the revolution, a culture where everyone has resigned to injustices by pretending to feel any contentment towards the government’s beliefs. The words “Self-denial” evokes how people in Oceania ignore what they want by accepting the life they’ve been given. In this case, all of those men who’ve been with Julia knew that they wanted to be with a woman, but all of them were too afraid to show the community that they were willing to go against the government.  

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 A Negative Utopia by Luz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Hunter 6 months ago

    Luz,

    I like your piece, because it demonstrates how impossible it is to have a dystopian society without people wishing to rebel. Winston is certainly one of them, but he obviously is not the only one. Do you think this kind of society, one in which everyone is secretly hoping for the government to fail, is possible? Since everyone has it in their mind that they ought to love “Big Brother,” but most of them have trouble doing so, do you think that it is possible to be pushed to the breaking point like they were in 1984? I’m curious to hear what you think. Some news sources have gone as far as to say today’s society parallels, in many ways, the world of 1984. I personally don’t think so, but maybe you have a different take on that.

  2. Simon 6 months ago

    Hi Luz, This is a great post about a great book. I like what you said about how everyone has a different utopia based on their situation. I see this in people without food would want their utopia to have food for all where as someone who gets no respect but has all other needs met would rather see a utopia where people focus on respect. Creating a perfect society is impossible but seeing parts of the perfect society realized is something every human should work towards.
    Thanks, Simon

  3. Anna 6 months ago

    Luz, I have also read 1984 and the quote you chose is one that has stuck with me. The thought that he enjoyed the fact, relished in it really, that she had been with multiple other partners caught me off guard initially. But as you say, he doesn’t feel alone because this “…shows that many other men aren’t afraid to break the rules implemented by Big Brother.” It’s empowering for him to know that the system is corrupt and as broken as him. I also like how you broke down the statement. This was a good piece and I look forward to reading your work in the future.

  4. Carter 6 months ago

    Hey Luz! Your article does a very good job of highlighting all the important parts of the novel. Your quote in in the middle of the article is really effective because that quote is pretty much the thesis of Orwell’s novel. I like how you address the “cult” and how Big Brother really just forces people to assimilate to whatever they want them to do. I think that is a really important part of the novel and it isn’t always the easiest to notice. Overall, your article is really good and really effective in identifying the strategies that Orwell uses to move the plot along in his novel. I really like the way this article is written and if you want to see learn more about Orwell’s literary strategies you should check out this website! https://www.shmoop.com/1984/literary-devices.html

  5. Treyvon 6 months ago

    Good Afternoon Luz,
    I really liked your summary of this section of the novel, “1984”. I thought that you provided insight to not only what was explained through the text, but you gave greater meaning to what the text was trying to portray. I liked how you incorporated quotes into your writing to help readers understand what you were referring to in your writing. This was an outstanding summary and hope that you continue to write. Take care.

  6. Annie 6 months ago

    Luz,
    Do you think these realities of 1984 could potentially manifest in our lives today? Is there enough power in the government currently to manipulate the entire US population into submission below the power if the government? How do you think our society today compares to that of Orwell’s described in 1984? For example, today there are arguments all over the world about the sexuality of the man and the woman and how it should be expressed; is this an early tell-tale sign of a society that could potentially form into something similar to that of 1984?

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