How To Create A Strong Literary Analysis Essay On 1984
Written by George Orwell in 1949, the novel 1984 paints a dark, disturbing portrait of a totalitarian future. Set in former Great Britain, now known as “Airstrip 1,” it follows protagonist Winston Smith. A member of the Outer PArty, with access to neither the freedom of the proletarian underclass nor the special privileges of the Inner Party, he silently begins to question the world around him, becoming infatuated with a mysterious dark-haired girl.
- Gender and Sexuality in 1984. Although sex might be a taboo subject for younger students, the role of sex in 1984 is a fertile essay topic for older teens and college students. In the world of 1984, sexuality is subjugated and suppressed. It’s viewed by those in power as a distracting diversion of energies that would be better channeled into patriotic fervor, and a major part of Winston’s process of dissent begins with his fascination with an attractive woman, with whom he eventually forges a sexual relationship. The role of sexual intimacy and longing in the novel is symbolically potent, and certainly worth discussing in a literary analysis essay.
- Technology in 1984. In the novel, sophisticated technology plays a major role in the government’s ability to monitor and suppress its citizenry. Although devices like telescreens were science fiction in the 1940s, many people would argue that Orwell’s novel was surprisingly prescient in light of modern concerns with widespread cameras and surveillance. You could discuss how technology, from information distribution to the ubiquitous telescreens, is used as a tool of suppression in the novel.
- The conflict between freedom and security. The world of 1984 is constantly at war, a perpetual state of conflict that is used by governments as a mechanism of control. In Orwell’s post-war era, as well as in today’s international and domestic political environment, people in society are often faced with a perceived dichotomy between their right to individual freedoms, and the need for guaranteed safety and security. In a post 9/11 world, this aspect of 1984 is fertile ground for a fascinating and insightful literary analysis essay.
- Symbolic significance of the novel’s characters. The people who Winston Smith encounters are more than just personages. They also serve key symbolic roles within the story’s narrative. What do Julia and Brian represent? What about other, seemingly minor characters? 1984 is a richly symbolic novel, and the key characters are a major part of its complex thematic content. This is a rich subject for discussion in an analytical essay.