1984 - Character Development Requires a Conflict

2294 words 10 pages
1984 Essay – by Len Farag
In “1984” by George Orwell, the main character, Winston is in conflict in nearly every page of the book. He is in constant surveillance by the Party. He has also, as the text describes, had problems with his relationship with Katherine, in the past. With the rule of the Party, comes the constant control of the omnipresent, Big Brother. He controls everything, from living conditions to how much chocolate is allowed to be given to any member of Oceania. There is also the constant fear of betrayal. When considering these restrictions and frustrations placed onto Winston and every individual in Oceania, the statement: “A character in conflict is necessary to any text” is supported and evident in the text.
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The passage continues on: ‘There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother.’ Yet again, love for another human being will not exist only for Big Brother.’ Relationships would not be held together by love of both partners but because of the love of their leader. Sexual frustration is seen as a tool by the Party that can be used and directed to the Parties enemy, Emmanuel Goldstein and this is a way for the Party to exert power over its subjects. These ideas lead back to the central theme. A character is not complete in a story without a conflict and both are needed to catalyse the narrative. In this case, Winston is in conflict with his emotions, which are burdened and restricted by the laws put in place about relationships and sex.
Totalitarianism was a type of ruling in Stalin and Hitler’s time, and is the type of government they both used to control people in Germany and the Soviet Union. It incorporated similar ideas to what is described in ‘1984.’ More accurately, ‘1984’ is based on Totalitarianism. George Orwell experienced totalitarianism first hand and knew how horrible it was. He thought into the future and imagined how much worse it would get if Hitler or Stalin continued ruling and slowly perfected a Party to continue this rule past their deaths. Every year, this Party would grow more thorough in its ruling of its subjects and freedom would be drastically reduced. Surveillance


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