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Essay: Analysis of quotes and literary devices from 1984 (George Orwell)

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Quote
RAE
“Winston picked his way up the lane through dappled light and shade, stepping out into pools of gold whenever the boughs parted. Under the trees to the left of them the group was misty with bluebells. The air seemed to kiss one’s skin. It was the second of May. From somewhere deeper in the heart of the wood came the droning of ring doves” (Orwell 117).
Respond
I am moved by this quote, both physically and mentally. Due to its effectiveness, I could practically feel the sun on my arms, much like the characters can. I also could feel the peace and love in my mind. This whole quote could be described as one thing, pure bliss. No conflict, just light, joy, and feel-good emotions.
Analyze
This quote contains numerous amounts of literary devices, one of the more prominent being symbolism. George Orwell uses symbolism to better describe the setting that Winston and Julia are in. To start, the quote “Winston picked his way up the lane through dappled light and shade, stepping out into pools of gold whenever the boughs parted” uses symbolism to reference the garden of Eden. This reference allows the reader to create a clearer picture in his mind about “perfectness” of this clearing in the woods. All around this natural paradise is a forest, which is also symbolic. Forests show danger and unknown truth, much like the information that Winston and Julia are revealing to each other. Also, the “light and shade” mentioned can be representing the battle between this couple and the outside world, like good vs evil (however, it is unknown which can be deemed good or evil). Another piece of symbolism is when Orwell writes, “It was the second of May”. While this quote is short, it references the meaning of May (or spring), a rebirth. This represents a new chapter of Julia and Winston’s life, which is finding each other and “falling in love”. The mention of spring can also be foreshadowing, as to events that take place between Winston and Julia, since May is “mating season”.
Evaluate:
Overall, George Orwell successfully uses symbolism to better represent the scenes that take place in this setting. The reader is left thinking, can this area a form of Utopia, like Eden? Technically, since Utopia literary means “no place” it can’t be exactly a form of it, but, it has similar elements. This quote connects to our essential question, who is telling the story and how is he trying to influence me? In this quote, Orwell is attempting to connect to the audience through lots of symbolism and imagery.
Quote
RAE
“Outside, even though the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere… BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said…”(2).
Respond:
My initial reaction to this quote was taken aback. It seems like the setting of 1984 is dreary and cold, and while that is not surprising, it can be inferred that the people are this way as well. The town seems to be lacking emotion, personality, and evidently, color. Also, when George Orwell writes “Big Brother is watching you”, it is very ominous and suspenseful, which both intrigues me to read more, but with caution.
Analyze:
In this quote, George Orwell used imagery. He appeals to the senses of the reader and uses vivid detail so that they can create a clear picture in their mind of what is happening. This is vital, since this quote is from the beginning of the book and the reader needs this information of the setting to try to understand what is happening. As mentioned before, Orwell also uses color to, to enhance the imagery. Here, the color is being used to set the dreary and dark mood of the main character, Winston Smith. Additionally, Orwell says “there seemed to be no color in anything…”. The lack of color represents a world where there is no life. Colors in stories are used to better illustrate the emotions and feeling of the characters. In 1984, given the context, it appears that the characters lack depth and meaning, due to their lack of color. Color is more than just a shade, it’s internal as well as external. It affects the mind and heart, just as much as the color of the sky.
The author also used foreshadowing when he says, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. This can predict that “Big Brother” will play a large role in Winston’s life later in the novel, as he grows as a character. It is also the only thing with color, which shows that this poster is the focus in this area, which adds to its importance.
Evaluate:
George Orwell is extremely successful in using these literary devices, allowing the reader to understand the setting that 1984 takes place. This is crucial for comprehension purposes of the book. An essential question that relates to this quote is Who is telling the story? How is he/she trying to influence me? Given that the reader does not know much about the story (since it is only page 2), Orwell uses different literary devices to better tell the story in a comprehensive way, without giving away too many things in the beginning.
Quote
RAE
“What seemed like a long time passed. The pain in Winston’s belly had revived. His mind sagged round and round on the same tract, like a ball falling again and again into the same series of slots. He had only six thoughts. The pain in his belly; a piece of bread; the blood and screaming; O’Brien; Julia; the razor blade”(232).
Respond
This quote really connected with me. It clearly illustrates the pain that Winston is going through. It shows how even when Winston is not being tortured, he still is being tortured. It also made me sad to think about how much pain he must be in and not actually knowing what torment is going to happen next, or how long of a break he will have between each “session”. Personally, I think that Winston is handling this situation to the best of his ability. He chooses to on keep his mind focused and engaged, no matter how quickly he changes the subject. He also has not succumbed to the torture yet, which is very impressive. It will be interesting to see if he is able to maintain this level of strength later on.
Analyze
In this quote, George Orwell uses many literary techniques to make the meaning of each word more impactful to the reader. To start, he used key symbols that have hidden meanings in the words he chose. Symbolism is used when Orwell writes, “a piece of bread”. This refers to the Last Supper, spoken of in the Bible. This can also be classified as foreshadowing, hinting that Winston’s next meal could be his last. Another symbol mentioned is blood, which can mean sacrifice and suffering. Both two examples are heavily influenced by the Bible, something that `Winston does not believe in. Christianity is the only religion to have been mentioned, this far in the novel, which is noteworthy. The author also used very particular diction, choosing to change topics from one idea to the next rapidly. This gives the reader insight into what is going on in Winston’s head.
Evaluate
Overall, George Orwell successfully uses literary elements such as symbolism and diction to further convey his intent of both the plot and the messages going on inside of Winston’s head. The reader is left with questions like, Will Winston break under the pain, and if so, how will he be affected? Is he ever going to get out of the cell? How long has it been? And even, where is Julia? This quote connects to the essential question, who is telling the story and how is he trying to influence me? Here, Orwell is telling the story and is influencing the reader through using symbolism to better illustrate what is happening to Winston.

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