Orwell’s Use Of Rhetorical Strategies In 1984

George Orwell describes the oppressive way of life in 1984 with vivid diction, rhetorical descriptions and a variety of descriptors. Londoners are constantly under surveillance and go through destructive wars. Resistance has consequences. Every thought must be cautiously held. Orwell uses a somber voice, vivid imagery and repetition to convey major struggles in this book.

In 1949, this futuristic book describes a hopeless tone and a dark mood. Orwells intense words reflect the dangers that each character faces. Orwell begins the book with the words “BIG BROTHER Is Watching You, The caption underneath the poster read.” This is a very unusual occurrence, and it creates confusion for the audience. All the capital letters also give the book a more serious tone. The novel is made more eerie by the use of “Big Brother”.

Every page has a description that is strong of something important. George Orwell’s imagery helps you to form a mental image. In one instance, the image could be so normal that it’s hard to believe. Orwell uses a page 133 example to illustrate this: “Another explosive fell on the waste ground that was used for a playground. Several dozen children were blown up.” Orwell makes these bizarre incidents seem normal by reiterating them repeatedly, while the people find it common.

Orwell doesn’t just describe the unusual situations. He tries to incorporate the audience’s feelings toward the city, other than their horror at the sight of the corpses. Orwell uses imagery that is brighter and more beautiful, such as “a yellow beam of the setting sun slanted into the window” when describing the morning. The reader must be motivated to continue reading the story, since the majority of it is depressing. Orwell’s syntax and diction have a connotation that invokes these pieces of optimism. Orwell is expressing a desire for the audience’s curiosity to find more seeds of optimism. Orwell creates a character who is strong-minded, has self-perseverance and resists whatever he faces. Orwell’s novel wouldn’t be as clear without Winston Smith.

Orwell also uses negative and positive dictions to emphasize the significance or certain parts of his story. The majority of Orwell’s words in this novel are pedantic or abstract. Pedantic language is shown in the detailed description, while abstract diction resembles it. In this novel, abstract words are used to describe unknown emotions and feelings. Orwell has used abstract diction well because it creates an eerie mood throughout the novel. Owell narrates his story in a pedantic manner, as if it were possible to read Winston’s thoughts. He can then describe Winston’s feelings and thoughts.

Orwell’s novel uses repetition to convey the key themes. He uses the same phrases over and over again. Anaphora allows him to persuade the reader of the social norms in Oceania. Some of the phrases used repeatedly are “War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and ignorance is strength,” “Oceania Was at War With Eastasia” and “We Are the Dead.” Each has a different meaning, and they affect the characters differently. It also has an impact on the audience. They are reminded of the importance of these words to the book.

You will learn that the reality of this society is a fake. The citizens are unaware of their past and the conflicts that have taken place in the city. Irony and juxtaposition are used to mislead a community. In the same way, a statement on page 191 states: “The Ministry of Peace is preoccupied with war. The Ministry of Truth has Lies. The Ministry of Love has torture. And the Ministry of Plenty deals with starvation.” It initially misleads readers due to their lack of knowledge. Orwell did this to make the reader feel connected to the characters in the story. This would encourage them to continue reading the novel. The reader will be tempted to continue reading the novel if they find the juxtaposition intriguing.

George Orwell’s dark, intense novel 1984 uses just the right amount of rhetorical strategy throughout. He uses imagery, tone and repetition among other strategies to convince the reader to understand the text. He also encourages the audience to continue reading the story and read more about the unsolved mysteries. For someone to enjoy this book, they must be curious and able to determine the background of the story, the motives behind the author’s choices, etc. This futuristic novel has been rewritten to include the most important elements that every reader wants.


  • rosssaunders

    Ross Saunders is an educational blogger and professor, who has written extensively on topics such as education reform, online learning, and assessment. He has also spoken on the topic at various conferences and universities.

rosssaunders Written by:

Ross Saunders is an educational blogger and professor, who has written extensively on topics such as education reform, online learning, and assessment. He has also spoken on the topic at various conferences and universities.

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