1984 essay prompt

Essay by germanpunter1High School, 12th gradeA-, September 2013

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Big Brother Is Watching

1983. From a novel or play of literary merit, select an important character who is a villain. Then, in a well-organized essay, analyze the nature of the character's villainy and show how it enhances meaning in the work. Do not merely summarize the prompt.

In George Orwell's novel, "1984", the reader is able to relate to O'Brien and seems to understand him. However, by the end of the novel, the reader questions whether he/she really knows O'Brien at all. One thing the reader does know is that O'Brien has a manipulative and cunning nature that contributes to his villainy. His determination, intelligence, and the aura of mystery about him enable O'Brien to accomplish his goal of bringing down anyone who opposes the Party by whatever means necessary. Orwell uses O'Brien's villainous nature to highlight the dangers of one person or entity controlling the lives of others.

One aspect of O'Brien's villainy is his determination and patience to see his projects through to the end even if it takes months or years! O'Brien's initial contact with Winston lasted only "a fraction of a second when their eyes met" (Orwell 18). This was enough time to renew Winston's hope in a rebellion against the Party even though he knew "such incidents never had any sequel" (18). Later on, O'Brien has another "accidental" encounter with Winston who interprets this as a sign of O'Brien's loyalty to the rebellion. Unfortunately, O'Brien is using this opportunity to glean information about Winston's disloyalty to Big Brother. Throughout this process, O'Brien exhibits extreme patience in his quest to reveal Winston as a rebel. His slow, patient, and persistent measures over the course of seven years enable O'Brien to accomplish his goal of uncovering rebels and reshaping them, through torture, into ideal citizens. O'Brien's...