Government Surveillance in 1984 by George Orwell

Table of Content

In today’s society, we are realizing that everything we do, there is no guarantee that it’s protected. The government is quite scrupulous of what we look at on the internet or what we do on a day to day basis. To CNN, as years go by, we are losing control of our digital privacy. They also revealed that “As we grow increasingly dependent on the Internet and cell phones for all aspects of our lives, government abuse of the citizens’ privacy requires the cooperation of the private sector. This includes companies running our Internet and wireless service providers, e-mail, and social networking services, as well as manufacturers of the devices we use to connect” (MacKinnon). As years go by, the government’s power increases more and more.

There are many people who noticed this problem, one being Author George Orwell, he builds an argument to persuade his audience that too much government control harms society. Orwell uses many figurative devices to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. In the novel 1984, George Orwell uses flashbacks, imagery, and symbolism as a way to convince his audience how too much government control is detrimental.

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One way, George Orwell uses to persuade his audience is Flashbacks, which he uses to provide readers with reminders of the past. The flashbacks serve as an important part of this novel. The flashbacks are important because it provides relevant background information on the character, and it also allows her to look back at the past, and if they look longingly on the past, which shows the past is better. Orwell showcases flashbacks in this novel would be when Winston remembers his father hauling him down a flight of stairs to the tube station which served as a bomb shelter. Since then, Winston was cognizant that the war has been continuous. These flashbacks show how Winston was yearning for humanity, and how the things have taken from other people. It also provides background for the events that were portrayed in the novel.

Orwell also uses symbolism ideas and qualities, and this appeals to the readers’ emotion. An example of symbolism in the novel would be a paperweight, which was described as a “heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat on the other, making almost a hemisphere” (Orwell 95). However, this object has interfered with the government. As we focus on what’s being said, we can see that the paperweight is basically the past before the party takes over. The paperweight symbolizes hope, and when the government breaks the paperweight, it shows how the government is taking control and destroying hope. How Winston describes this is someone had picked up the glass paperweight from the table and smashed it to pieces on the hearthstone. “The fragment of coral, a tiny crinkle of pink like a sugar rosebud from a cake, rolled across the mat. How small, think Winston, how small it always was”(Orwell 223). Hence, by using paperweight, it appeals to the reader’s emotion, so this is another way that George Orwell persuades his audience that too much control is detrimental.

Orwell also uses imagery to give the audience an outlook on how he’s seeing things. By using imagery, not only does this allow the readers to see things through their own imagination but this also appeals to the emotions of the audience. In the first few paragraphs of the novel, Orwell uses images that seem to provide an eerie-like setting at the beginning of the novel. Orwell also uses more imagery in the novel when he says “like gamboling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters” (Orwell 23). This is a display showing the worsening conditions worldwide, it indicates how society is falling and the civilization is diminishing. George Orwell uses imagery to create a mental picture for his audience and there’s more imagery that he uses throughout the novel. Most imagery that was used was during the first paragraphs to describe the bleak setting of the novel and to begin to introduce each theme.

In the novel 1984, George Orwell uses flashbacks, imagery, and symbolism to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. By using types of figurative devices, it makes his argument more effective for the audience and the readers. He’s able to persuade others ideas or opinions about the government having too much power, and how that power is detrimental to society with such persuasive claims. As he appeals to the readers’ emotion, create mental images, it really shows how others would be able to see how things are becoming. As he appeals to the emotion of these readers, maybe they will take a stand and be motivated to help change the issues that are happening within our government. George Orwell creates such a persuasive and effective argument, that he’s able to persuade people that too much government control is detrimental to society, causing others to make a difference and help avoid the corruption of the government.

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Government Surveillance in 1984 by George Orwell. (2022, Aug 19). Retrieved from

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