StudyBoss » George Orwell » 1984 Figurative Language Essay

1984 Figurative Language Essay

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say” -Italo Calvino. According to (dictionary. com) a classic is a book that is “something noteworthy of its kind and worth remembering”. There are multiple definitions of what a classic is but all of them say that the book still needs to be remembered for a long time after being finished. The book 1984 by George Orwell is a classic book when analyzing the symbolism and figurative language used throughout the book.

Symbolism is used throughout the whole book, 1984. Symbolism is when the writer of a story makes an object/character/place/etc. e one thing and mean another. Most of the characters all symbolize something because of the way that they have been created and they are used throughout the whole novel. For example Winston’s mother even though she only appeared few times through the book symbolizes simpler, happier times for Winston. In the book it shows Winston happier with his mom when it said “His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him, when he was too young and selfish to love her in return, and because somehow, he did not remember how, she had sacrificed herself to a conception of loyalty”(Orwell 38).

Another popular one that is used throughout the whole book would be The Party. The Party symbolizes a few different things. Appearing many times in the book, they act reassuring and trustworthy and most people are confronted by that but, for criminals and those who are suspicious of his actions, they are their biggest enemy and threat. The party represents how our government could turn out one day having him be the president and the patrols be the members of the government. ”’As soon as I saw you I knew you were against THEM. THEM, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all the Inner Party, about whom she talked with an open jeering hatred”(Orwell 154) This shows that The Party pretty much ruled over everyone else but, there were a few who objected and went against it symbolizing how our government is now. Another one that is a popular use for symbolism is Emmanuel Goldstein. Goldstein is a symbol for those that go against The Party that there is something to fight for. Today Goldstein would be like the people that go against the government because of their beliefs or for other reasons.

It is never said if Goldstein is actually real or not but, whenever anything in the book goes wrong Goldstein is blamed so people don’t think it’s The Party’s fault. “Goldstein and his heresies will live for ever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon and yet they will always survive. ”(Orwell 338) This shows that Goldstein, real or not, will always have followers to go against The Party and Big Brother. While symbolism was used periodically throughout the book, so is figurative language. Figurative language is used many times throughout the book.

Figurative language can be thought of in many different ways because there are innumerable different kinds such as metaphor, simile, imagery, etc. All of the above are used in 1984, only a few examples will be given to show how important it is to have them in there. In the beginning of the book, Winston was writing in his diary what he perceived at the time. He was worked up so he wrote “theyll shoot me i don’t care theyll shoot me in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother they always shoot you in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother”(Orwell 24-25).

Winston didn’t actually mean for that to be taken literally and he exaggerated from what The Party would actually do to him, making the statement a hyperbole. If it were taken out of the book and make literal instead of an exaggeration, then it would not be as dramatic and it wouldn’t show as good how scary The party can be. In the middle of the book, Winston was remembering what his past and how his sister acted when he had shouted and wouldn’t give her back the chocolate that was rightfully hers. He said that”His tiny sister, clinging to her mother with both hands, exactly like a baby monkey,” (Orwell 205).

Since he used the word like to correlate his sister and a monkey, this is a simile. It benefits the book because it gives the reader an image on how his sister looked, grasping their mother. It would’ve taken away from the book had it not been there. At the end of the book, Winston was reflecting on the day that he saw Julia for the first time in months. He said that “It was in the Park, on a vile, biting day in March, when the earth was like iron and all the grass seemed dead and there was not a bud anywhere except a few crocuses which had pushed themselves up to be dismembered by the wind. ” (Orwell 367).

Winston made it so that everybody could apprehend that he no longer loved Julia and he regretted seeing her that day. He used imagery to describe it and it really helps in this situation so that everybody can see he really isn’t in love with Julia anymore. It’s obvious that figurative language is used periodically throughout the book but, the symbolism and figurative language that were used make it to be considered a classic. 1984 is considered a classic when analyzing the symbolism used throughout the book. With symbolism, each character used through the book symbolizes something different and important.

Most classics have characters that have meaning behind the reason as to creating them. Classics also have ways that it can be connected with the world today or how it could be and will make people think. As said in (The Write Practice) “Some of the older classics cannot function without their symbolism. ” The party is a great example of this. As said before, The Party symbolizes how the government is now and how in the future it could get negligent. According to (USA GOV) “The judicial branch interprets the meaning of laws, applies laws to individual cases, and decides if laws violate the Constitution. In the book it runs reasonably the same and the party is in charge of the entirety and determines the way the town should be run along with punishments for concepts that go amiss. In the book it says that “we, the party, control all records, and we control all memories, then we control the past” (Orwell 313-314). The world today is not too far off seeing as the party runs pretty close to the way the judicial branch does. As said prior, Goldstein is like the people that take a stand against the government.

There are a bounteous amount of people that don’t agree with anything the government does and always has something to say opposing them. President Obama’s progressive policies and the tough economic times have inflamed anti-government anger, the same vein of rage into which Donald Trump has tapped during his Republican presidential campaign” (The Washington Post). These people are going against the government just like Goldstein and his men did. Later in the book, Winston’s mom makes people consider what life must have been for them before The Party took over. Winston loved his mother and couldn’t remember much but, what he could remember was good memories and he cherished them.

It makes people think about life as a kid and that they should hold onto that while they can. Symbolism is important and used through the whole book but, so is figurative language. The figurative language that is used through the whole book helps support how it is a classic novel. Figurative language is used in lots of classic novels and it helps shape the novel. “Figurative language is everywhere, from classical works like Shakespeare or the Bible, to everyday speech, pop music and television commercials”(english club).

Figurative language uses many different methods to help shape the novel and make it into a better book. In 1984, figurative language helps the setting to help improve the novel and make it a better book. George Orwell uses a lot of different types of figurative language to help describe the setting of places that Winston is at in the book. For example, in the beginning of the book when Winston is walking around town and describing it he starts to describe a poster of Big Brother and he says “It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. (Orwell 3). What he says is enough to give one the creeps but, it tells everybody that it is a very chilling poster, Big Brother is not a pleasant person, and tells about how Winston is creeped out where he is. This is a great example of personification that was used because a pictures eyes can’t actually follow Winston but, there are some pictures that are creepy enough to make it seem that way.

Another example is in the book, in the beginning Winston is describing how the patrols watch what people do all the time and he says “In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. ” (Orwell 4). He uses a simile to help describe how it is normal in his town to see helicopters flying around. This helps to make it a classic because classics will be able to paint a picture of what is going on in people’s minds. Figurative language helps to paint the picture in their minds.

The book 1984 by George Orwell is very obviously a classic. There have been many examples as to what a classic is and 1984 fits all of them. Some big reasons for it to be a classic is because of the strategic ways that the figurative language and symbolism is used throughout the book. Not all classics will use these elements to the best or as strongly as others but, most will use them one way or another. 1984 will never be forgotten so, therefore it is easily a classic. Don’t be afraid to go a bit deeper to prove it.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.