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Read the Excerpt From George Orwell, and Explain the Different Stylistic Forms He Uses: (1984) Power Is Not a Means; It Is an End. One Does Not Establish a Dictatorship in Order to Safeguard a Revolution; One Makes the Revolution in Order to Establish the Dictatorship. the Object of Persecution Is Persecution. the Object of Torture Is Torture. the Object of Power Is Power

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In 1949, when George Orwell’s “1984” was first published, The New York Times book reviewer wrote that, though it was “not impressive as a novel about particular human beings,” as a “prophecy and a warning” it was “superb.” Right now, many seem to agree. The novel, about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, has seen a surge in sales this month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the United States and leading its publisher to have tens of thousands of new copies printed.

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The style of 1984 is bleak and depressing, mirroring the functional style and aesthetics of the Party, where adornment is looked down on, individuality is discouraged, and beauty and refinement are considered politically suspect. Orwell uses straightforward grammar, reflecting his belief that uncluttered language is the most honest form of communication

In an essay called “Politics and the English Language,” he states that “to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration.” For Orwell, in order to think clearly one had to be able to first write clearly, and 1984 models the clarity and concision critical to independent thought. At the same time, the language is markedly oppressive and dull – mimicking the deadening effect of life under Party rule, where everything is ugly and gray. For example, the book’s opening is clear and straightforward, but also evokes a sense of discomfort and misery: “Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.” The few adjectives Orwell uses – vile, gritty – paint a bleak picture of the scene. Although for the most part the style of 1984 is as functional and unadorned as the world it describes, Orwell sometimes modifies his style to match Winston’s thoughts or emotional state. For example, when Winston writes in his diary, emotion often overtakes him and his writing changes from grammatically correct and precise to uncapitalized, unpunctuated, and with run-on sentences, mirroring his racing thoughts. At one point he writes DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER over and over again, as what his heart knows to be true overwhelms his caution and capacity to suppress emotion. Similarly, when describing beautiful objects, such as the paperweight with the piece of coral, Orwell uses more ornate, sensory language, describing “the soft, rainwatery glass.” Winston believes the paperweight is more beautiful because it is useless, suggesting that in some instances language, too, can be purely poetic, with no larger political function. Orwell also shifts the register of dialogue to differentiate characters and point out class differences, subtly commenting on the Party’s ability to eradicate social inequity. Members of the Outer and Inner Party speak in Standard English, but proles, who make up 85 percent of the population, speak with Cockney accents. Characteristics of the proles’ speaking style include dropping “h” sounds from words that begin in the letter H; using different verb forms, such as “I takes” instead of “I take” and “it were” instead of “it was”; leaving out vowels in the middles of some words, like “reg’lar” for “regular”; and using colorful slang terms. This difference in speaking style between the proles and the Party members marks each person as a member of a social class. By showing the differences in speaking styles, Orwell implies that despite the Party’s supposed commitment to social equality, the old British class system is still in full effect.

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Garton Ash says Nineteen Eighty-Four “is marred by patches of melodrama and weak writing”. Again, absolutely no textual example of this melodrama and weak writing is provided, and this is something that needs to be borne in mind when evaluating the worth of critical commentary applied to Orwell (Buddicom, Jacintha, 1974). Since Orwell’s death there has been a steady flow of critical attention to his work, with scholars such as Roger Fowler (since the 1970s) and John Rodden (since the 1980s) bringing out several in-depth studies. There have also been studies showing the influence that the nineteenthcentury novelist George Gissing had on Orwell, most notably by Mark Connolly, on which my own study of Gissing’s influence builds. The year 1984 was a feverish date in the Orwell reception-history calendar, owing to the prophetic title of his last and most famous novel. In 1968, Sonia Brownell (Orwell’s second wife) and Ian Angus brought out The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, which was the main academic study of reference until the publication of Peter Davison’s brilliant The Complete Works of George Orwell in 1998. Both publications have done much to keep interest in Orwell alive. The next major event was the centenary of Orwell’s birth, June 25, 2003. Two weighty biographies, one by D. J. Taylor and one by Gordon Bowker, marked the occasion, and added to the many existing Orwell biographies

Regarding Orwell’s popularity today, there is the Orwell Prize for British political writing, established in 1974, and now Dione Venable has created an Orwell Society. “How down and out was George Orwell, actually?” became and still is a common refrain. Writing much later in the twentieth century, Lynette Hunter questions in the same manner, writing that Orwell comes off initially in the book as “blinkered, ignorant, prejudiced, sentimental, clichéd, or worse, snide and supercilious” (George Orwell 15).

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In a brief, based on my opinion, the above issues can be reformed in today’s society. Stalinism, corrupt leadership, and lust for power can be reformed by electing sincere leaders. Support from the society is, however, very important in eliminating Stalinism and corrupt leadership and a cross party political consent should be encouraged. Dictatorship, on the other hand, can be reformed by transferring or sharing supremacy with others. The judiciary should check on the excesses of the ruling class to help solve inequality issues. Orwell in his book 1984, talks of totalitarianism, and the evils associated with this type of rule. He is considered a critic of suppressive socio-economic structures by providing strong condemnations against this type of rule

He further gives warnings concerning what might happen if such trends are adopted in the future.

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Buddicom, Jacintha. Eric and Us. London: Frewin. 1974.

Calder, Jenni. Chronicles of Conscience: A Study of George Orwell and Arthur Koestler. London: Secker, 1968.

Taylor, D. J. Orwell: The Life. London: Chatto, 2003.

Orwell, George. The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell. Ed. Ian Angus and Sonia Orwell. 4 vols. London: Secker, 1968.

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