International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Tragedy of Winston Smith - A Naturalistic Perspective of Nineteen Eighty- Four
Deng Yun-fei

George Orwell’s works are strongly influenced by Emily Zola, a French novelist known as the leader of naturalism. Generally speaking, the naturalistic theme recurs in almost every story of his novel, such as Burmese Days (1934), The Clergyman’s Daughter(1935), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), Coming Up for Air(1939), and Nineteen Eighty Four(1948),to name just a few. In a cold, hostile, and suffocating world, a lonely and feeble figure fights defiantly, and yet, single-handedly, against his powerful, hideous enemy, often the system of his living existence, only to lead up to devastation eventually. Flory commits suicide in Burmese Days; Dorothy Hare ends up as a trapped victim in every situation in The Clergyman’s Daughter; Gordon Comstock becomes absurd, petty and deeply neurotic in the end in Keep the Aspidistra Flying; George Bowling becomes disappointed to find his idyllic hometown destroyed by the speculative builders, commercialists and capitalists and his nostalgic memory impossible to retrieve in Coming Up for Air; and Winston Smith, having been persecuted and tortured to such an extent as to betray his lover in the end. As a newly-born man, he happily accepts Big Brother whom he used to hate in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Almost every individual is overwhelmed and readily accepts his own devastation. The present thesis endeavors to make an analysis of Nineteen Eighty-Four particularly, under the perspective of naturalism, how the environmental effect, to be more specifically, upon the individual existence and mentality finally brings about his destruction and failure.

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