Thursday, January 14, 2010

Figurative Language & Stylistic Devices

George Orwell used figurative language in the novel very tastefully. For example:

Personification - "If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death,"
 (Orwell 126).

Orwell uses personification to give life to the story. In this quote, he gives life to the Party by saying it could thrust its hand into the past, which is obviously not something that can be done.

Irony - “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” (Orwell 27).

Orwell uses irony to contradict himself in a positive way and to bring in new light to the subject. He forces readers to think that two complete polar opposites such as freedom and slavery are one in the same, giving hope to those in slavery and a wake up call to those who are free. Irony brings a new aspect to common terminology.

Repetition - “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the future controls the past,” (Orwell 248).

Orwell uses repetition to keep readers interested. It forces readers to re-read and re-think for further meaning. It is his way of reinforcing that what he is saying is important enough to repeat it.


  1. The actual quote for Personification is on page 37 in the book and page 43 for the PDF. Also the original quote for personification says "event" not "even".

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