The Ironies in Orwell\'s 1984


The novel 1984, by George Orwell, has many examples of irony
throughout it. The two major types of irony: verbal irony and situation
irony, are demonstrated again and again in this novel. In the following
essay I will discuss these types of ironies and give examples of each from
the book.

The first type of irony is verbal irony, in which a person says or
does something one way, but the true meaning is the opposite. One of the
first example of this irony is discovered when the main character, Winston
Smith, uses the "Memory hole" to deposit things -- one would think that
this would be where things are remembered ("Memory"), but it\'s actually an
incinerator. The next example of irony comes when you learn about the
departments of Government in Oceania. The Ministry of Truth is actually
the maker of lies for the history books, the Ministry of Love discourages
love, and the Ministry of Peace is actually quite violent. The final
example of verbal Irony can be seen in the name of the leader of Oceania,
"Big Brother." The concept of a big brother is one whom is older and wiser
and helps the "littler siblings" -- this not the case with 1984\'s Big
Brother. The Big Brother in this novel completely watches over every move
a person makes keeping them controlled with fear.

The next type of irony is Situation irony, which is when a character
or a sequence of events appears to be headed one way, but it ends up as the
opposite of what was thought. One example of this is Winston\'s general
health. From the beginning of the book, it is shown how horrible his
health is and is continually getting worse and more difficult, but as
Winston gets involved with Julia then he begins a metamorphosis into a more
healthy person. Another major example is the betrayal of many of the
people whom Winston thought were his friends, such as Mr. Charrington and
even O\'Brien- -who both worked for the Thought Police.

This book is stuffed full of irony, the entire plot of the beginning
would makes the reader expect one reaction and instead, the reader gets
twisted the complete opposite direction at the end for surprise. George
Orwell uses irony as sort of an exhibit, making it virtually the "how to
write irony" novel for me. Throughout the book, all of the irony used
became negative and depressing, I still thought this book made its point
successfully and was an incredible novel.