How Is Deception Portrayed Through the Characters Within 1984? BY sophistries How is deception portrayed through the characters within 1984? Deception. Perhaps we all have been deceived at one point or another in our lives – maybe you were deceived by your parent’s, into thinking that they would buy you a certain present for Christmas, only to realize on December 25th that it is not the present you were hoping for.
Imagine being deceived almost every day of your life; telecasters to monitor your every move, even your eyes can give away the slightest piece of evidence, and there is no Justice for the innocent; because after all, no one is innocent. Now imagine Oceania; set in the future, written in 1948. Airstrip One, previously referred to as London. Ravished by war, poor living conditions, poor wages and a total lack of privacy. This is the setting for which we will explore the deceptive nature of the Big Brother government and the manipulation of the characters throughout the novel 1984, written by George Orwell.
Some major and recurring themes become apparent in the novel from quite early on; obedience is instilled into the members of society; conformity is compulsory, and we e this through the character of Winston describing how “the horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid Joining in”. Orwell has used Winston to emphasize this idea that the hatred for Big Brother was almost contagious, and that even if you did not hate Emmanuel Goldstein ideals, you still must deceive yourself and Join in so as not to get caught by the Thought Police.
Totalitarian control of Oceania is apparent through the use of a fear-invoking government and brutal police force, as well as the licensees who symbolize the idea of ‘big brother is watching you’ – there is nowhere to hide, and every moment and every sound made is under constant scrutiny. Another key theme is the manipulation of the government into forcing its people to have a constant hatred for Emmanuel Goldstein support for counter- revolution; this is invoked through the use of the 2 minutes hate, hate week and also the use of political language throughout the novel.
In essence, the characters in the novel are constantly being deceived by others or deceiving themselves. First, let us analyze Winston. He represents the small minority of society who does not look up to the regime of Big Brother, but rather despises it. Winston notes, early on in the novel, that from a small alcove in his room, he is unable to be seen by the telecasters. This encourages him to purchase a Journal from a pawnshop in the Probes’ district – an illegal act – and begins writing DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER onto the previously blank pages.
This act marks the start of his rebellion against the party, and allows him a small amount of freedom from doing so. Winston is acting out, and deceiving the party in this way. Through the use of free indirect discourse, we are given insight into Winston own thoughts. “Whether he went on with the diary… Made no difference. The Thought Police would get him Just the same” Winston is aware himself t that nee is committing this crime, but his strong hatred of Big Brother cannot be stopped, for Orwell describes him as “seized by a kind of hysteria” as he writes in a “hurried untidy scrawl”.
The use of the word ‘seized’ and ‘hysteria’ indicate a sense of madness has taken over, and this madness is reflecting his thoughts as he puts pen to paper. His “hurried untidy scrawl” shows hat he is writing fast, as though in doing so, the Thought Police will not be able to catch him and realize what he is doing. O’Brien also raises Winston awareness to his own self-deception, when he says “don’t deceive yourself, Winston. You knew this all along. Winston knew that when he was writing, he was committing a crime against the Thought Police, yet he felt so strongly about his hatred, that he did not think to stop. The character of Julia is also deceiving; she deceives the Party and also other members of society by wearing a sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League, symbolizing her ejection of sex. Julia is the epitome of everything that Winston loathes; pretty young women, for it makes him think of his own wife and emphasizes his Jealousy.
However we eventually find out that she shares Winston ideals about the hatred of Big Brother, and she is described as a “sexual rebel”, and had sex with various Party members, but saves herself from being caught by the Thought Police by wearing the red sash of the Anti-Sex League. Julia deceives almost everyone in this dyspepsia society, by posing as an innocent young woman, but secretly rebelling and hating the Party. Cilia’s deceiving nature is indicated through her “ripping off the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League, and flinging it onto a nearby bough. The choice of diction used by Orwell emphasizes both Cilia’s reckless nature and her dislike for the party; “flinging” the sash indicates to the audience that she does not actually believe in the Junior Anti-Sex League; that is was indeed a cover to protect herself from being caught, and the word “scarlet” to describe the color of the sash is perhaps even a warning or a foreshadowing that something bad will happen in the future with Winston and Julia regarding the validity of Cilia’s membership in this chastity pledge.
Through her actions, Julia has been deceiving the Party for a long time, as well as deceiving Big Brother for she has not been caught for 12 years, until her and Winston affair becomes known to the Thought Police. O’Brien deceives Winston and Julia by posing as a member of the Brotherhood – an organization aimed at destroying the Party. Winston misleadingly trusts O’Brien, who gives Winston the Book written by Emmanuel Goldstein, and how the tight controlling regime of the Party can be overthrown.
O’Brien later reveals his true position of the leader of the Thought Police, and admits to deceiving Winston and torturing him with electroshock to “fix him”. He admits that he did lead Winston and Julia into a trap, and that he had deceived them through inviting them to his home and “turning off the telecasters”, and also hinting to Winston about the hatred of Big Brother, to see if he could evoke a reaction. Winston is clueless as to O’Brien political position, until he enters into Room 101 in the Ministry of Love. “They’ve got you too! ” he cried. They got e a long time ago,” said O’Brien with a mild, almost regretful irony’. O’Brien has revealed that he is indeed a member of the Thought Police and he is not who Winston thought nee was, thus deceiving him and leading him into a trap . The use to punctuation – Winston exclamation mark – almost indicates his relief that someone else has also been caught, and that Winston is not alone. However, the author has given O’Brien a wry, wistful air when he comments that he was caught a long time ago, and the audience is given a sense of betrayal between the 2 supposed comrades.
Furthermore, the shopkeeper in the Probes district has deceived Winston and Julia, and given them a false sense of trust by allegedly sharing and discussing with Winston his passion for antiques, in order to lure them into a trap. Mr.. Charioting convinces Winston to believe that he is a 60 year-old widower, and sells him the journal which he writes in and also rents out the room above his shop to Julia and Winston – it is later revealed that he is also a member of the Thought Police.
This highlights the themes of betrayal, deception and police brutality as previously mentioned. The moment of reality is a shocking revelation; Mimi are the dead” said an iron voice behind them”. Winston and Julia realize that the telecasters was hiding behind a picture in the room above the shop, and that the government has been listening intently to all of their conversations. Orwell describes the voice as “iron”, which further places an emphasis on the brutality and harsh, unforgiving nature of Big Brother and its entire existence.
Mr.. Charioting, a member of the Thought Police, has deceived Winston and Julia, but they also have been deceived by Big Brother itself. The government of Oceania has claimed to be watching out for the people; according to them, the harsh, controlling regime is there to keep things in order and prevent war from further erupting. However, Big Brother exists purely to maintain its own existence and to be able to have totalitarian control over its “victims” in society.
The workers and members of the Party are also deceived by Big Brother unknowingly; all members of the Party are required to work in one of the ministries; which are ironically named. The Ministry of Truth re-writes the past, the Ministry of Love is the ail, and the law system, the Ministry of Peace is concerned with war affairs, and the Ministry of Plenty looks after the economic affairs – despite that Oceania has constant food, cigarette and razor shortages.
These names do not reflect the Jobs of the ministries, but instead are the complete opposite – creating an oxymoron effect. The members of society are being deceived and controlled in every aspect of their lives, but many are not educated enough, or perhaps too scared to admit that they were and still are being deceived by Big Brother. They are deceived in their work places, hey are deceived in their homes, and they are deceived by the government in which they should be able to trust.
The use of the political language adopted by the party contributes to the deception of the characters in the novel; the 2 Minutes Hate, and Hate Week are evoked in order to force workers to hate Emmanuel Goldstein, who loathes Big Brother and its totalitarian regime, and the telecasters are used to catch those who have the slightest doubt in the government’s control. Winston is one of the few characters in the novel who realizes that through these events, such as the hate or Emmanuel Goldstein, his popularity is merely increasing.
This revelation that “his intelligence never seemed to grow less” marks the beginning to Winston rebellion, and perhaps even his step closer to not being deceived by the government anymore. However, at the close of the novel, we realize that Winston is back to square 1; he has been tortured to love Big Brother, and all thoughts of hating the government and the suspicion for the totalitarian regime are eradicated, and he himself has been deceived and thrown back into the pit of Big Brother society.