Victory Gin Analysis

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Living through the first half of the twentieth century, George Orwell watched the rise of totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Soviet Union. Fighting in Spain, he witnessed the brutalities of the fascists and Stalinists first hand. His experiences awakened him to the evils of a totalitarian government. In his novel 1984, Orwell paints a dark and pessimistic vision of the future where society is completely controlled by a totalitarian government. He uses symbolism and the character’s developments to show the nature of total power in a government and the extremes it will go through to retain that power by repressing individual freedom and the truth. The development of the characters shows the need of a totalitarian government…show more content…
Victory gin is one of the few vices which the party endorses. However, the decision to drink gin is not an act of rebellion as other vices often are in this society. Rather, it is another form of control by the party. Winston describes that after the initial pain from ingesting the victory gin, “the world began to look more cheerful” (8). Here, the victory gin is a form of emotion suppression. By suppressing unhappy feelings and making the world more cheerful, the victory gin allows the party to prevent rebellion and control an individual’s desire to act out against the party. By using the symbol of victory gin to represent control of the individual, Orwell highlights the extremes to which governments will go in order to maintain power over their…show more content…
Julia wasn’t much interested in reading, and Winston was surprised to discover that “the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to” (193) Julia. While Winston was greatly concerned about the party’s manipulation of truth, Julia was more interested in freedom of individuality. The clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive, whether it was a love affair, swearing, wearing makeup or obtaining luxuries on the black market. She took great pride in her ability to bring real sugar, real milk, and real coffee to her meetings with Winston (177). Julia’s desires to bring these prohibited items to their meetings, as well as her disinterest in exposing the part indicate that she rebels simply to undermine the party in her own small ways and gain individual freedom. Unlike Winston, whose actions and desires regard both himself and future generations, Julia’s actions stem purely from her own personal desires. By characterizing Julia as interested in individual freedom, Orwell emphasizes, again, the extent to which governments need to control their citizens in order to maintain power. By using these characters to highlight the control of the party, Orwell shows the dangers of totalitarian governments and the extremes to which they will go to maintain

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