Symbolism And Imagery In 1984

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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1984 is, without doubt, a very complex novel. The subjects tackled by Orwell in the novel are indeed complicated and dangerous. To get these across to the reader, Orwell often uses symbolism and imagery. In order to completely investigate this, it is necessary to look at the main characters, names, places and the various symbols that pop up throughout the novel. This will help to give a better understanding as to why and how Orwell uses these.

Some of the most obvious symbolism comes in the names of the main characters. [It is worth noting that there are only a few characters named in the novel; this helps to give the air of a distant and private society]. Our hero, Winston Smith, provides some useful insights. The name Winston was probably picked with Winston Churchill in mind. This would symbolise Winston's fight against the Party, just as Winston Churchill fought his country's enemy [fascism] in WW2.

His surname, Smith, can be interpreted as Orwell trying to convey to the reader that Winston is simply an ordinary man [who simply dared to think]. It could also be seen as representing a link to the proles that Winston finds himself drawn to at various points in the novel. It is clear that this name was chosen for a reason, and overall it helps the reader relate to the themes and the character a little better.

Emmanuelle Goldstein is also a name that has symbolic value. It becomes clear from this name that Orwell is relating the political situation in the novel to that of Nazi Germany. This is because the name chosen for the sworn enemy of the Party is a Jewish one. This links directly to the anti""semitism of Nazi Germany. This is an example of Orwell using symbolism to...