1984 Essay

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Brian Yao Ms. Smith AP English III (9/10) 20 December 2012 “1984 Essay” In the novel 1984, by George Orwell, O’Brien substantiates his arguments against Winston by using rhetoric devices such as logos, ethos, and pathos. O’Brien supports his claim by first stating an observation that he has concluded about Winston. He tells him, “If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone? You are outside history, you are non-existent” (Orwell 270). O’Brien’s statements are paradoxical in that they seem to directly contradict each other. He claims that Winston is the last man and that he is extinct. Similarly, he claims that Winston is non-existent yet still acknowledges him as a [existing] man in his first sentence. In the context of the story, however, O’Brien’s statements make sense because the government controls history; in their society, people like Winston are considered to be “non-existent”. This ambiguity serves to draw the reader’s attention, highlighting O’Brien’s rhetorical abilities even further. O’Brien follows with a question and tricks Winston into saying what he expects him to say. After Winston agrees that he is “morally superior” to the Party, O’Brien plays the recording of Winston promising “to lie to steal, to forge…” for the Brotherhood. This use of irony further works to strengthen O’Brien’s claim. The speaker’s main purpose in the first segment is to use reason, or logos, in order to support his argument. He baits Winston into believing one thing, while contradicting it with another. Throughout the beginning of the dialogue, O’Brien establishes a rational tone; he uses logic to prove Winston wrong. This passage is significant because it establishes O’Brien’s control and confidence, both of which are apparent from his use of rhetoric and exemplification to

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