13th March 2018

Quote analysis

“The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it to rectify.”

Winston is our main protagonist, he is the character whose perspective we follow in this novel. Here we see his job to help correct the mistakes written in the past to make the present seem predicted he alters the past. The government themselves prefer to use the word rectify which means to “correct or put right” this implies that the government are trying to convince Winston that he is not making them appear to have been right the whole time but that he is correcting mistakes they have made in the writing. Winston knows he is just altering the past to make the preset appear predicted and Big Brother seem more in control this shows the power of language and how Winston knows he is doing something wrong but by being told to “rectify” not “alter” the mistakes the use of this language shows how Big Brother is being manipulative and making others seem less superior to him in order to maintain power and control.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Good choice of word to examine. This is an excellent example of the deceptive simplicity of word choice in respect of texts like these. Orwell himself wrote extensively about the value of choosing the correct word or term (not the most elaborate or abstract, but the one that will convey the meaning in the most uncomplicated way) carefully and with purpose. This analysis pays real respect to that.

    Also, since so much of Nineteen Eighty-Four is about the manipulation of language, it’s right that you expand on this in your own analysis wherever possible. Keep this up.




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