“1984”By George Orwell
Chapter5 and 6
Inchapter five, the writer starts off in a public setting. Thecharacters involved in the chapter are used to bring out an aspect ofsocial interaction. When Winston meets up with his “friend” Syme,they go into a discussion that will eventually bring in morecharacters. There is an aspect of sarcasm in the way the word‘friend’ is written. This is a deliberate highlight as the textdescribes friendship as a hard thing to find anymore. The location ofthis particular chapter fits to the story such that, thecharacteristics of the subject of the story is revealed. This sectionadds weight to Winston’s views and opinions. It explains theimportance of language and the diverse ideas that different peoplehold. It encompasses the degree of ignorance that people have and howthe majority can be easily misguided. As the authority of Newspeak,Syme offers information related to publishing a new dictionary.However, Winston does not agree with the ideologies of Newspeak asdescribed by Syme.
Thefact that Syme is a promoter of Newspeak seems to disinterest Winstonbut he falls into a debate with him. The pressure to air his views onthe corruption of Newspeak is admirable. Winston is compelled toshare his thoughts though at the back of his mind he knows it isuseless to reason with Syme. The chapter seeks to note how misguidedNewspeak is. According to those promoting Newspeak, Oldspeak containsunnecessary words and too many shades of meaning. To elaborate, Symedescribes the opposite of the word ‘good’ as ‘ungood.` In hisdefense, Newspeak is easy to put together, and the range of thoughtrequired is narrow (pp. 29). This, therefore, gives the party thepower to ensure the citizens have no thoughts that go against itsleadership. The manipulation and control of the population draw thetheme of loyalty towards the party. Orwell strives to elaborate theamount of power the party has on its population. They have beensilenced to a level where language has been corrupted to avoid wordsof rebellion and independence.
Orwellbelieved that Newspeak was a threat to the independence of those inhis population. In chapter six, Winston falls victim to lust andmaybe love. When writing his diary his random thoughts of havingrelations with a prostitute bring the aspect of longing. Longing inthe sense of freedom to be with whoever he wanted. He thinks of hiswife Katharine who according to him was too observant of the partyand its rules. This fornication, however, was not much of adeath-punishment kind of crime (pp. 37). The party would instilpunishment on such offenders, but the primary goal was to prevent anyrelations that were ‘true.` The writer makes an effort to indicatethe kinds of ‘slavery’ the people were subjected to. Though theycould not see it, they were denied the simple pleasures such asdesire. The aim of this was to ensure that people only dedicatedtheir entire being to the party.
Thechapter demonstrates how the people’s minds were enslaved to thebeliefs and rules of the party. Winston is apparently appalled by hiswife’s dedication to the party. When it comes to matters ofintimacy, their relationship fell on different pages. In her view,Katharine was serving the party by trying to get pregnant. There wasno romance between them, and Winston is filled with rage when hedescribes a lack of intimacy in their relationship (pp. 38). Thedesire for privacy itself was labelled a ‘thoughtcrime,’ andWinston’s decision to act on his desires can be termed as a motifof rebellion.
Whilescribbling down in his diary, Winston hopes to feel some relief afterhis confession, but this does not offer him any comfort (pp.39).After writing down his defiant act, he still feels he has a void tofill. Visiting a prostitute who he realized is an old woman was acrime in his mind. It was a crime that Winston chooses to take partin no matter the consequences. The text seems to pit Winston in sucha position so as to draw the aspect of ‘free slavery.` Though hewas not caught during the crime, Winston still finds importance inconfessing. He has a choice to keep this atrocity to himself, but dueto the effect of being controlled by the party, even this rebelliouscharacter falls prey.
Orwellin this novel has made an effort to bring out the true nature ofthose in power during such regimes. He has, through this chapterdisplayed how language can be used as a weapon to silence apopulation. Language in chapter five is masked as a weapon to keepthe masses under loyalty by the elimination of words from theOldspeak. These words are excluded from the Newspeak so as avoidindependent thoughts. Syme described this as ‘duckspeak’ wherebythe people are only allowed to think certain thoughts. The novel putsinto perspective the lie that the people have been fed regardingNewspeak. The colouring of as the new, improved version of Oldspeakis a scheme. The propaganda displayed by the party goes beyondimagination. However, the writer notes the power this propaganda hadon the people. The party continues to succeed in its effort to havecontrol of people’s minds and in every aspect of their lives. Thispower goes beyond every boundary, and in his case, Winston finds itoutrageous that individuals have no freedom to desire and love.
Orwell,George. Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel. New York: Harcourt, Brace andCo, 1949. Print.