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Essay/Term paper: The ironies of 1984

Essay, term paper, research paper:  George Orwell

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The Ironies of 1984

The novel 1984, by George Orwell, has many examples of irony throughout it. The
two major types of irony: verbal irony and situation irony, are demonstrated
again and again in this novel. In the following essay I will discuss these types
of ironies and give examples of each from the book.

The first type of irony is verbal irony, in which a person says or does
something one way, but the true meaning is the opposite. One of the first
example of this irony is discovered when the main character, Winston Smith, uses
the "Memory hole" to deposit things -- one would think that this would be where
things are remembered ("Memory"), but it's actually an incinerator. The next
example of irony comes when you learn about the departments of Government in
Oceania. The Ministry of Truth is actually the maker of lies for the history
books, the Ministry of Love discourages love, and the Ministry of Peace is
actually quite violent. The final example of verbal Irony can be seen in the
name of the leader of Oceania, "Big Brother." The concept of a big brother is
one whom is older and wiser and helps the "littler siblings" -- this not the
case with 1984's Big Brother. The Big Brother in this novel completely watches
over every move a person makes keeping them controlled with fear.

The next type of irony is Situation irony, which is when a character or a
sequence of events appears to be headed one way, but it ends up as the opposite
of what was thought. One example of this is Winston's general health. From the
beginning of the book, it is shown how horrible his health is and is continually
getting worse and more difficult, but as Winston gets involved with Julia then
he begins a metamorphosis into a more healthy person. Another major example is
the betrayal of many of the people whom Winston thought were his friends, such
as Mr. Charrington and even O'Brien- -who both worked for the Thought Police.

This book is stuffed full of irony, the entire plot of the beginning would makes
the reader expect one reaction and instead, the reader gets twisted the complete
opposite direction at the end for surprise. George Orwell uses irony as sort of
an exhibit, making it virtually the "how to write irony" novel for me.
Throughout the book, all of the irony used became negative and depressing, I
still thought this book made its point successfully and was an incredible novel.


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