1984: Quotation


Winston, protagonist, Chapter 5:

“yes they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it frantically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down denounce and vaporise anyone who should suggest, that last week the ration had been thirty grams. Syme, too- in some more complex way, involving doublethink- Syme swallowed it. ”

Here we see that Winston is now even more sure of his first observation. That Syme may not be as orthodox as he may publicly appear to be. This is seen in the way Winston seems to sense the hesitation that Syme takes before he too gives in to the lie. Syme is already been seen to be a very intelligent man, and he here we see him see the mistake, realise that he is being feed a false truth, and accepting it anyway, because in their world a that is what a smart man does.

This quote from Winston seems to outline all the types of people that the new dystopian world contains. Those like Parsons who simply accept anything under the government as truth. Too dull or complicit, being young enough to not know anything else outside of it, to call anything into question now. These constant adjustments of the truth no longer phase people such as Parsons, people who are truly brainwashed by big brother.

The others are people described such as the “creature.” These are the people who have taken their devotion of the idea pushed onto them to the next level.  As Winston describes, ” the eyeless creature swallowed it frantically,” showing that the people such as these will take anything given to them. The concept of making the character be described as eyeless is also interesting. This is because it gives the reader the impression that the creature, and people like him, cannot see for themselves; and are therefore reliant on Big Brother.  They are so frantic to accept new information,  because for them all they know is Big Brother, as they have essentially had their own way at looking at the world taken from them.

Lastly we have the people like Syme. These are the bystanders of the new world. The ones desperate to stay alive that they keep their heads down and out of the way. Syme, much like many others, accepts things he know to be false simply to be able to old onto his life a little bit longer. They are also the people that have found pleasure in the smallest of things, these are what truly keep them from turning to rebels such as Winston. Syme has his work, this he is obviously passionate about, and for him seems to be what he holds onto in a world like this. its a tiny part of his life which he knows to be true, because he has created it himself. Syme is the example of all the people who choose to do nothing because they have something themselves which keeps them comfortable in their complicity to the dangers that surround them.

One Reply to “1984: Quotation”

  1. This analysis is excellent. I am very pleased you noted the word ‘creature’ as well as the notion of it being eyeless. All of this is dehumanising. There’s something proprietary about a ‘creature’, too. As if it is under someone’s ownership, as well as it being lowly.

    I’m interested in your observation that Syme derives pleasure from his work on the language of Newspeak. I think you might go further and explore the idea that in taking personal pleasure in anything he is in opposition to the party – as pleasure, in itself, is a threat to its totalitarian control.

    Well done. I found reading this stimulating.


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