Nature and Animals 1984 Essay
How it works
In George Orwell’s 1984, the reader follows a middle-aged man named Winston Smith. In Winston’s society, people can be under surveillance at any time, in any place. The reader follows Winston through his affair with a woman named Julia, and the consequences that they face after. Throughout 1984, many motifs are represented, one of them being nature and animals. The motif of nature/animals demonstrates how Orwell connects characters in his book to animals.
In 1984, the first time the reader notices a connection between a person and animals during a time called the Two Minutes Hate, when all the citizens of Oceania exert all of their hate onto a fictional person named Emmanuel Goldstein, the leader of an underground resistance called the Brotherhood. When the Two Minutes Hate has reached its peak, Goldstein’s face transforms into a sheep: The voice of Goldstein had become an actual sheep’s bleat, and for an instant, the face changed into that of a sheep (13). In Oceania, the government does not want people to think for themselves. Sheep are followers, and blindly obey their master’s every whim, which is similar to how the government does not want its citizens to think for themselves.
How it works
Another example of how bleak Winston’s world is the Golden Country, Winston’s idea of an ideal world. Golden Country also represents freedom because whenever Winston is in Golden Country, he is overjoyed and peaceful: It was an old, rabbit-bitten pasture, with a foot track wandering across it and a mole hole here and there (27). Golden Country is where Winston is most at peace. Golden Country also represents Winston’s connection to the past, because after he wakes up, he has the word Shakespeare on his lips, which also shows the reader that Golden Country is an almost forbidden paradise. In summary, at the beginning of 1984, there are many symbols that connect Winston to animals and show how he still has a mind of his own, no matter how problematic it may be for him in the future.
In the second part of 1984, the reader first notices how there is a strong similarity between how the Proles and the Party members view each other. When Winston is first walking through a Prole town, one of the first observations he makes is how the Proles seem to be living in an almost uncivilized manner: He was walking up a cobbled street of little two-story houses with battered doorways which gave straight on the pavement in which were somehow curiously suggestive of rat holes (73). This comparison demonstrates how Winston views the Proles as less than human. Winston views the Proles as barbaric because that is the way he has been taught.
Party members are taught that Proles are uncivilized and should simply be disregarded which contributes to showing how the Proles are viewed as less than human. Another comparison between the Proles and the Party is when Winston is still in the Prole town and some Proletarians are watching him as he is walking by: A momentary stiffening, as at the passing of some unfamiliar animal (73). Because the Proles are watching him as if he is an animal, this demonstrates the similarities between how Winston views the Proles and how the Party has dehumanized Winston into seeing the Proles as less than human. How Winston views the Proles is ironic, because rats are his worst fear. I’m 1984, rats also symbolize the Party’s control over its citizens, and how they manipulate others minds.
While Winston is being tortured in Room 101, the reader notices a strong connection between the humans in the book and the rats in Room 101. For example, O’Brien is telling Winston about how a woman can’t leave her baby alone