How George Orwell uses Tone and Diction in 1984

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George Orwell uses tone and diction in his book to mold the scene of 1984 into a gloomy, dark and depressing set.

He begins with setting the time of day, thirteen. Choosing "thirteen" instead of one Orwell sets a tone of an over militarized nation. He then moves on to using "boiled cabbage and old rag mats"; an all-enveloping, oppressive smell one couldn't wish on even on their worst enemy. The combination of these two along with the babbling telescreen, snooping police, and contrived posters anchor the despotic tone.

Orwell didn't always use negative tones; he sometimes employed positive diction to throw the reader off balance or to show significance.

When describing Winston's diary he uses the words "beautiful, creamy paper." This is the second instance Orwell uses positive diction. It brings out the importance of the book in the oppressive world of Oceania where even thinking about writing down thoughts would be an extreme crime.

Orwell describes Winston's writing as small clumsy letters. This diction was more effective back when Orwell had first written this book because the people back then would've thought that by 1984 everyone should be able to read and handwrite.

The first time Orwell uses positive diction is when he is describing the Ministry of Truth. He calls it "…an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air." It sounds majestic, it sounds wonderful, and it sounds wrong. Just seconds before that he was describing the city as, "sordid colonies" and "chicken houses." This is showing the reader that the government doesn't care about their people enough to fix the city, but they care enough to keep the white concrete beaming. Orwell also uses the word pyramidal structure to describe the building. It may provoke...