Remind yourself of the following extracts… Compare and contrast the subject matter and style of these two episodes and consider their importance in the novels Orwell’s extract contains two separate elaborations of information. They are both narrated by Winston; the first being that the only hope of the Party being over-thrown is if the proles hold an uprising and revolutionise. The second is the lies that the Party spread, or more specifically the doctored truth that becomes the past. The style and language used by Orwell to put across this information is the same as how he writes the whole novel.
His style is more intended for the more intellectual reader; “But simultaneously, true to the principles of double-think, the Party taught that the proles were natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals, by the application of a few simple rules” This example of 1984 shows that the average reader may have to re-read certain lines to fully comprehend the complexity of the environment in which Winston is contained; whereas in Brave New World (BNW) the readability level is higher as it puts most descriptions and dialogue in more simple terms;
“A scientific triumph. But socially useless. Six-year old men and women were too stupid even to do Epsilon work. And the process was an all or nothing one; either you failed to modify at all, or else you modified the whole way” Huxley keeps the sentences relatively shorter than those of 1984 and with a more basic language that is more universally understandable. Orwell uses narrative and political opinions in his writing compared to Huxley which is description rather than story in this extract.
Another feature of style and comparison one can make between the two authors’ is how much the reader knows throughout the extracts and novels and also the perspective from which they are written. In the 1984 extract, the destruction of the past is being described by Winston, and so the story is being told from his perspective. Whereas compared to BNW, Huxley is paraphrasing what Foster is saying to the students and summarising rather than giving the reader any kind of direct opinion or specific perspective.
In 1984, the reader only ever knows the same as Winston (for first time-readers). In contrast with BNW, the reader always knows exactly what is going on and everything there is to know. There are no mysteries or questions that are not answered straight away in BNW, whereas an air of ambiguity is maintained by Orwell in 1984 surrounding the Party and its dealings as well as what the future holds for Winston; “How could you tell how much of it was lies?… The only evidence to the contrary was the mute protest in your bones, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you
lived in… at some other time must have been different. ” In 1984, the past is certain and not hidden. The process of manufacturing people is made proud by the population in BNW and its history of development is for everyone to know. This is one of the main contrasts in style as the two are very different. The Party make sure the majority (the proles and Party members) do not want to know the truth and/or question their methods by reducing their interest in such matters; let them lead their lives and all will be well (as they will not care to question the past).
Whereas in BNW, the authorities make sure that the information is there for everyone to access and the past is something to be proud of and so interest on how things could be different in both novels is virtually non-existent. Two methods of achieving the same result. Huxley’s language in BNW means that events occur quickly; the frequent use of words such as ‘And’, ‘But’ and ‘Which’ move the story or description along. Huxley writes free, indirect discourse which allows the novel to move fluently and fast-paced. The effect this has is that is dissolves the author’s opinions into those of the characters.