1984 and the American Dream

7 Pages 1800 Words August 2015

Growing up in America, many people are taught that there is this thing called the American Dream. This dream does not discriminate. Men or women, black or white, people from all over the world can take refuge in this country and build a life of their own and potentially become successful. Andrew Carnegie exemplified the American Dream: he was a poor immigrant who became one of the wealthiest men on the planet. The idea that people can enter a society of freedom and become whatever they want to be is an ideal. But ideals are not always reality, which is an idea that can be seen often in literature. Many authors use their work to portray how many societal ideals are actually flawed. In George Orwell’s novel 1984, the protagonist, Winston Smith, struggles with the discrepancies between the present and the past. Winston dreams, imagines, and romanticises that capitalism and the past was much better then present totalitarian rule. Winston does not have any real knowledge about the past, because the higher power, Big Brother, has destroyed all of it. So this poses the question, is imagination really stronger than knowledge? Orwell uses Winston’s experiences with his imagination and hope to show that his impracticality results in his demise. So no Winston’s imagination and hope is not stronger than his lack of knowledge. In fact, the American Dream has become a fantasy.
In the beginning of the novel, readers are taught Winston's lifestyle and how he longs for the past. Winston is a very lonely character, and he longs for something emotionally tangible. Everything is so bleak and run down, the whole city is in crumbles. Winston explains many of contradictions that Big Brother forces upon their people. For instance, Big Brother’s motto is "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength" and to WInston this seems crazy but to rest of the population, everything seems normal. Winston see’s these contradictions, but he feels ...

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