Authors use many literary devices in their work to bring more quality in writing. Literary devices enhance the readers’ interest in the story and work towards connecting the audience to the plot emotionally. The author uses a combination of writing styles to appeal to more than just one type of audience. The use of literary devices enhances the readers’ experience of reading by making the novel more enjoyable. In Orwell’s ‘1984’ novel, the writer uses literary devices for very much the same reason: to get his point across interestingly and effectively. The themes in 1984 consist of manipulation, violence and power on behalf of the Party, which add a considerable amount of potency to the novel.
Orwell writes about the dangers of totalitarian regimes in his novel ‘1984’. He explores different themes that go along with this. The manipulative ways of the Party were so evidently clear in the novel. The Party wished to control the past, present and also the future. The imminent control of the Party was powerful enough to make the public believe that the living conditions were always improving instead of the other way around. The installation of telescreens in every home and workplace made sure that the people were under constant monitoring by the Party. The telescreens were also used to spew propaganda to its users. Constant surveillance and brainwashing were the main objectives of the Party in order to manipulate the masses in any way possible, and this was achieved largely through the telescreens. The protagonist, Winston, is an Outer Party member who works in the Ministry of Truth, where he alters the course of history as per the wishes of the Party. The use of the memory holes was an official way for the Party in changing the past. The memory holes were used by Winston, who would throw parts of old newspapers down the hole to burn them, hence destroying any evidence of a historical source. In altering the past, the Party was able to control the present, and therefore also the future by the same means.
Orwell also clearly incorporates the use of violence throughout the novel, especially so in the third and the last part of ‘1984’. When Winston is caught by the Thought Police, he is taken to the Ministry of Love, presumably along with Julia. Although it is an irony that the torture and the infliction of pain take place in the Ministry of Love, it is here that Winston is taught to love Big Brother and the repressive ideologies of the Party. Orwell portrays violence as of utmost importance to the Party, who use it to suppress “thought criminals”. Violence is significant in a totalitarian regime, where it is used to keep the masses in fear of getting caught and being punished severely for it. Winston was subjected to intense torture, which was not only physical but also psychological. The effects of brainwashing were used by the Party because that was a way for them to control an individual’s loyalty. During Winston’s painful time inside the Ministry of Love, the readers sympathize with what the protagonist goes through. When his torture ends, the readers feel glad that it is finally over. Orwell wanted to evoke such feelings in the readers so that they can connect emotionally with what a scary totalitarian regime would feel like. Winston’s betrayal of Julia seems to come naturally as if anyone in that situation would have done the same. Orwell’s style of writing creates a fearful atmosphere, in which the audience can imagine Winston’s pain. For example, when O’Brien pulls out Winston’s front tooth to show how weak he had become, the audience feels discomfort. Orwell uses the buildup of tension using themes in the entire novel to communicate his point across effectively.
The main goal of the Party in ‘1984’ is to stay in control. This is exactly the same as the aims of actual totalitarian regimes, such as that of Stalin in the USSR. To stay in power, the Party takes extensive measures to keep its citizens well under control. The use of manipulation and violence against the people of Oceania are ways for the Party to maintain its stronghold over the public. The Party does not allow for any other loyalty, such as that to one’s family or friends, but rather only to the Party. This is the ultimate aim of all dictatorships throughout history and also the present, such as that of North Korea. Orwell exposes the power-hungry totalitarian governments through his vivid writing style by incorporating various themes that correlate directly to tyrannical rule.