Dystopian novels are written to reflect the fears a population has about its government and they are successful because they capture that fright and display what can happen if it is ignored. George Orwell wrote 1984 with this fear of government in mind and used it to portray his opinion of the current government discretely. Along with fear, dystopian novels have many other elements that make them characteristic of their genre. The dystopian society in Orwell’s novel became an achievement because he utilized a large devastated city, a shattered family system, life in fear, a theme of oppression, and a lone hero.Orwell’s novel begins with a horrid description of the living conditions of his main character, Winston. He explains that the “hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats” (Orwell 19) which immediately strikes the senses and repulses the reader. Upon deeper examination, this portion of the story is intended to generate feelings of distaste in the reader in order to get them pondering why Winston is in this situation rather than improving his conditions. As the reader continues on in the novel, they find that Winston has no option to better the environment he lives in and the strict government he is controlled by is to blame. Winston’s deteriorating home is only one example of the degeneration of his surroundings. His home city of London is decaying with “crazy garden walls sagging in all directions” (Orwell 23) and “rotting nineteenth-century houses” (Orwell 23). An article analyzing 1984 by Sean Lynch better describes Winston’s view of London as “dark and isolating”. This devastated city creates a mind-numbing sensation in its population because there is no one that finds beauty in where they live or even a trace of…
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Lynch, Sean . “1984: An Alternative Analysis of the Classic Dystopian Novel.” Understanding Weakness. WordPress.com, 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 1 May 2014. .
Orwell, George. Nineteen eighty-four. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. Print.