Literary Terms Nineteen Eighty-Four Nika, Arian, Eda, Visha

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Literary Terms. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nika, Arian, Eda, Visha. What’s a Motif? . A motif is a dominant theme or central idea. . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Literary  Terms

Literary TermsNineteen Eighty-Four

Nika, Arian, Eda, Visha

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A motif is a dominant theme or central idea. 

What’s a Motif?

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Quote: DOUBLETHINK ( opposite ideas)

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', the called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'.“

Orwell 34

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Double think is the Party's mind-control technique that breaks down the individual's capacity for independent thought. society believe anything that the party tells them. even what party says is different and controversies to anything it said priory, people believe and have to believe in it. just like war with Eastasia; the party says that the war announcements between Eurasia was nothing but 'sabotage' and that they have always been in war with Eastasia. people believes, or acts like they believe into that and starts build up the hate towards Eastasia instead of Eurasia instantly. another example can be the party slogan; ' war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength'. this slogan perfectly shows the motif of the party using doublethink. Controversies ideas are imposed as they are same and linked together.

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Quote:  CIVIC ROT (or URBAN DECAY) (disfunctionement of the city)

"With the tobacco ration at 100 grammes a week it was seldom possible to fill a pipe to top. Winston was smoking a Victory Cigarette which he held carefully horizontal. the new ration did not start till tomorrow and he had only four cigarettes left.“

Orwell 54


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"The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the telescreen. as compared with last year there was more food, more clothes, more houses, more furniture, more cooking-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more books, more babies - more of everything except disease, crime, and insanity. year by year and minute by minute, everybody and everything was whizzing rapidly upwards. As Syme had done earlier Winston had taken up his spoon and was dabbling in the pale-colored gravy that dribbled across the table, drawing a long streak of it out into a pattern.[...] He looked around the canteen. a low-ceilinged, crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innumerable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy. grime in every crack; and sourish, composite smell of bad gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes.“

Orwell 55

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One of the most basic motif is terrible city and life conditions. the food, clothes, drinks, buildings, electricity, and all the important resources were in terrible conditions. there are a lot of problems with necessities and technical service in the city of London along with politics, such as elevators, cafeteria and cafeteria areas, plumbing etc. majority of the people are poor and hungry. also people are having difficulty to access little entertainments in their life such as cigarettes, beer, chocolate, real tea, real coffee, real food, etc. 

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What is the meaning of Symbolism?

Symbolism is when the author uses an object or reference to add deeper meaning to a story.

Example: rose this could signify love or beauty. 

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Quote: Big Brother 


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Everywhere Winston goes, he sees posters showing a man gazing down over the words of “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. Big Brother is the face of the party. People in the country are all told that Big Brother is the leader and is the head of the party, but Winston is never able to determine whether Big Brother actually exists or not. The face of Big Brother symbolizes the party in its public manifestation. He is a support to some people (ability to protect) but also a big threat. It also symbolizes the manner in which the higher ranks of the party present themselves. We really don’t know who rules Oceania, considering the fact that we are fed lies.

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Quote: The Telescreen 

“The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.”

(Orwell 8)

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Telescreens are the book's most visible symbol of the Party's constant monitoring of its subjects. Telescreens were used to put out constant propaganda designed to construct the failures of the Party appear to be successes in the eyes of the citizens and also to spread fear among the people. It controlled and took power over all citizens by being watched and monitored 24/7 in their lives. Also, the telescreens symbolized how totalitarian government abuses the technology to further their own ends, rather than improving living standards.

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What is Verbal Irony?

A form of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant.

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“The Ministry of Truth… The Ministry of Peace…The Ministry of Love”

(Orwell 9 )

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The reason why this quotation resembles verbal irony is because the titles of these departments of government aka Ministries are opposite to the actual actions that they perform. The Ministry of Truth alters the past by creating LIES and fictional events that do not represent what actually happened. So its ironic that they call it The Ministry of Truth when all they are doing is creating lies. The Ministry of Peace is in charge and focuses on war, which is ironic because peace and war are the exact opposite. Finally the Ministry of Love maintains law and order, in reality they torture, brainwash and bring fear to the people of Oceania. This is ironic because to love someone is to care for them while The Ministry of Love does the opposite and harms people and shows no sign of caring..

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“Big Brother” (Orwell 7)

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The reason why this quotation shows verbal irony is because the government calls themselves Big Brother, but they show no characteristics of a “big brother”. A big brother is someone that cares for their younger siblings and provides them with anything that they need. The Big Brother of Oceania does not care for their citizens and they actually harm them by striking fear into their lives, they torture and manipulate them and they do not allow them to live the life that they desire. So how is that a big brother?

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What is Dramatic Irony?

A form of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant.

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It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

(Orwell 7)

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This is very ironic as the name implies that it is exactly the opposite of what exists there. It name makes it seem very beautiful and high class, when in reality it is just used to manipulate the minds of the people.  Dramatic irony is shown when the ideas of a speech/situation are understood by the audience and not the characters. The audience knows that the Victory Mansions only exist to aid the party in completely controlling the people. This is shown through the usage of telescreens and the thought police. The audience knows that the sole usage of Victory Mansions is to completely control citizens, but Winston believes that is just another generic apartment complex in Airstrip One. The existence of Victory Mansions shows dramatic irony as its name is a complete contradiction to what it is in reality. The Victory Mansions is really an old, dilapidated building which suffers from a rat problem and broken infrastructure.  It is clear that the audience knows more about the character than the character himself.

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“the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the two thousand Eurasian war criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces—at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally”.

(Orwell 168)

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This shows dramatic irony as the knowledge of the audience clearly surpasses the knowledge of the characters in the play, the citizens of Air Strip One. The people of Oceania all believe this fact to be true as they are simply slaves to the party. They do not think for themselves and do not analyze anything they are being told. Winston tells us that the allies change approximately every 4 years, yet the party claims that everything has been the same forever.  The dramatic irony lies in the brazen deception that the readers are aware of, but the characters are not. The people have so much trust in the party that they automatically everything said to be true. This irony is used to emphasize the fatality of limited understanding on innocent people and to demonstrate the painful repercussions of misunderstandings. The readers know that the party’s only motive is complete control, yet the characters do not. We, the audience, are aware of the sneaky methods of party and know that they have created this forever lasting war just to waste valuable resources and keep Oceania at such a poor state.