Satire in 1984

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Marriage, Religion Pages: 3 (875 words) Published: January 6, 2014
How does Orwell use 1984 to criticize and satirise societies and religions

Orwell uses ‘1984’ in many ways; it is more than just a novel. He satirises society and religion through his use of imagery and also by the actions and feelings of the characters in the novel. Big Brother can serve as a metaphorical representation of many things, God, totalitarianism, Stalin and other historical figures, or simply as a form of control. This illustrates Orwell’s ability to critique organisations through literature. Orwell appears to be critical of religion in ‘1984’ illustrated by the bland language he uses to describe marriage making the reader feel that marriage, in ‘1984’ is meaningless and pointless. The Party do not allow love or affection to be present in marriage, “permission was always refused... physically attracted to one another”, this illustrates the idea that marriage is a sham – people do not marry for love, they marry for other reasons supporting Orwell’s belief that religion portrays the idea of the ‘sanctity of marriage’, when in reality marriage can be forced or devoid of love. In modern society this reason could be money or status, in ‘1984’ this reason appears to be for procreation. Winston’s wife describes sex as “making a baby” and as a “duty to the Party” illustrating that the Party have made sex a “duty” – it is not for pleasure or love, it is something party members feel that they must do in order to be loyal to the party with “duty” giving the impression that sex has become a task or a chore. The Party’s belief is that sex has one purpose; procreation. Through this belief the party have removed intimacy and love which could mirror Orwell’s belief that religion also removes intimacy and love – religion also makes sex seem like a duty. This idea is enforced further when Winston says that “Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation” with the use of the word “operation” again making sex appear unnatural and...
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