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1984 as an Anti-Utopian Novel

A utopia is an ideal or perfect community. While some writers have created
fictional places that embody their ideals societies, other writers have written
satires that ridicule existing conditions of society, or anti-utopias, which show
possible future societies that are anything but ideal. In 1984 , George Orwell
presents a terrifying picture of future as life under the constant surveillance of
“Big Brother.” This book 1984 is an anti-utopian novel.
The main character Winston Smith lives in the large political country
Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two huge countries, Eurasia and
Eastasia. At any moment all existing records show either that Oceania has always
been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at
war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston knows this, because his work
at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant correction of news. “Who controls
the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” the party
slogan reads. Basically, Winston takes real news and twists it to what “Big
Brother” wants the people to know.
In the grim city and terrifying country, where “Big Brother” is always
watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a
man in great danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He
knows the party controls people by feeding them lies and taking away their
imaginations. The Party forbids thought, love, and relationships. Drawn into a
secret love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary
organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party.
Together with his lover Julia, he puts his life on the line in a deadly match against
the powers of the Party.
George Orwell creates an anti-utopian society in the novel 1984 . The
society involves monitors called telescreens watching you every step you take, love
is forbidden, conformity, and your assigned to work at one of four ministries. In
this society you can’t enjoy life or have any fun. After reading the novel you hope
that the future wont be dreadful. “When 1984 was new, and 1984 far in the future,
the novel struck its most responsive readers as an unprecedented torment, an
extreme and intolerable vision that stood out” (Miller 19).
The book makes the reader put their head up and question if this is how our
time will end. Orwell creates a book where being different is illegal. “In 1984
Orwell is trying to present the kind of world in which individuality has become
obsolete and personality is a crime” (Howe 322). Imagine living in a society
where if you expressed your own opinions or ideas you would be sent to a Ministry
of Love where you would be tormented and corrupted. Living in Oceania doesn’t
seem like an ideal lifestyle.
In 1984 you see the Party kill Winston Smith’s individuality. “Winston
Smith, the hero of the novel, is shown arming himself with ideas against the Party
and defying it by forming a sexual relationship with Julia: but from the first we
know that he will not escape the secret police, and after he is caught we see him
undergoing a dreadful metamorphosis which burns out his human essence, leaving
him a wreck who can go on living only by becoming on of them” (Rahv 313). It is
sad that Winston can’t overcome the power of the Party. It seems all faith in a
pleasant future will be stopped by the Party.
1984 ‘s anti-utopian society is a horrible one. If the future is as dark as
George Orwell portray, lets hope we have individuals that will fight for a better
world. Anti-utopian novels open up peoples eyes about life and existence.

Works Cited
Howe, Irving “The fiction of Anti-Utopia”

1984 (New York: Harcourt Brace Javonovich, Inc., 1982)

Miller, Mark “The Fate of 1984”

Irving Howe. 1984 Revisited (New York: Harper and Row, Inc.,1983)
Rahv, Phillip “The Unfuture of Utopia”
Irving Howe. 1984 Revisited (New York: Harper and Row, Inc.,1983)