The book 1984 is written by George Orwell and was published in 1949 as a prediction of what would happen if Britain was run by totalitarian government. Specifically, the SparkNote’s 1984: Themes, Motifs, & Symbols, “1984 is a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government.” Signifies the point. The story of this book is one man, Winston, against the whole government. Winston is rebelling against the party on his own and trying to survive. Then he meets Julia, fellow co-worker, who is also against the party. This book is filled with symbols, allusions, imagery and other important rhetorical devices. Among these important rhetorical devices are symbols and irony. George Orwell uses symbols and irony to emphasize manipulation towards the citizens of Oceania.
There are three significant symbols that are used against the citizens of Oceania are the telescreen, Big Brother, and Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood. Telescreen is a two way interaction device that is used against the citizens to see if they are supporting the party or not. The telescreen symbolizes the possibility of totalitarian government abusing their powers and technology to manipulate the citizens. The telescreen is able to pick up even the smallest of sounds as describe in the book, “‘it was behind the picture,’ breathed Julia. ‘It was behind the picture.’ said the voice.” (Orwell, 230). This makes the citizens feel like they are in prison while they are home is basically taking away their freedom and making them think that if they try and fight back, they will be seen, resulting in death. The second significant symbol is Big Brother. Big Brother the leader of the party and is a figure used by the totalitarian government to emphasize and symbolize constant watching. One wrong move caught by Big Brother means death. From the beginning of the book to the end, Big Brother is watching every move.
In 1984, Orwell states,