The style of
At the same time, the language is markedly oppressive and dull – mimicking the deadening effect of life under Party rule, where everything is ugly and gray. For example, the book’s opening is clear and straightforward, but also evokes a sense of discomfort and misery: “Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.” The few adjectives Orwell uses – vile, gritty – paint a bleak picture of the scene.
Although for the most part, the style of
Orwell also shifts the register of dialogue to differentiate characters and point out class differences, subtly commenting on the Party’s ability to eradicate social inequity. Members of the Outer and Inner Party speak in Standard English, but proles, who make up 85 percent of the population, speak with Cockney accents. Characteristics of the proles’ speaking style include dropping “h” sounds from words that begin in the letter H; using different verb forms, such as “I takes” instead of “I take” and “it were” instead of “it was”; leaving out vowels in the middles of some words, like “reg’lar” for “regular”; and using colorful slang terms. This difference in speaking style between the proles and the Party members marks them as members of different social classes. By showing the differences in speaking styles, Orwell implies that despite the Party’s supposed commitment to social equality, the old British class system is still in full effect.
The most striking stylistic effect of
The epilogue tells us that in
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