Immediately, we are drawn into the world of 1984, where conflict is reflected through the government’s totalitarian regime and the conformed society which the citizens live in. This bleak and dismal society is conveyed through the author’s use of a dull and depressing tone in the opening paragraphs. The ending of the first paragraph ‘…the clocks were striking thirteen.’ gives us the first insight that there is something abnormal about this society, as the word ‘thirteen’ is not generally used in everyday society. The repetition of government propaganda is present within this society as we come across numerous posters each depicting the face of a man, with the caption ‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU’ emblazoned underneath. The character, Big Brother is depicted as the figurehead of a government which has absolute power within the state. Further evidence of the government’s overwhelming power is given through the description of the Ministry of Truth, ‘…an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred metres into the air.’ Orwell uses the technique of imagery symbolism to convey the oppressive might of the government, with the Ministry of Truth easily standing out from the rest of the dilapidated landscape. Orwell’s earlier warning on the dangers of technological advancement is shown through the government’s abuse of technology as a means to constantly monitor its subjects. ‘Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper would be picked up by it....he could be seen as well as heard’. Conflict is portrayed through circumstances which relate back to context and through the totalitarian regime and its oppression of all those who live in it.
Through means of propaganda and control of information, the Party is able to manipulate its subjects by creating tension that will inevitably lead to conflict within that society. War is a recurring theme within the novel, as a means of oppression to keep its subjects in a state of constant fear. ’ “Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory. I am authorised to say that the action we are reporting may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end.”’ The author uses dialogue to broadcast a constant stream of war propaganda that is specifically designed to make the Party appear successful while also serving as a distraction from any possible simmering resentment within the state. The true nature of the war, is kept hidden from citizens as to even whom the enemy is, is left unclear. Winston’s thoughts reflect this; ‘The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist?’ Orwell’s use of a rhetoric question allows us to grasp this state of utter confusion to show an individual’s inability to rely on their own memory making them perfectly willing believe whatever the Party says. The Party slogan ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’ depicts how by controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past and by controlling the past the Party is able justify its actions in the present and therefore maintain control within that society. Conflict is evident through the government’s arrogant exercise of power as shown in their psychological