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Literary Analysis


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Big Brotherly Love




Alexa Villanueva Cuellar

AP English Literature & Composition

Mr. Cammarata, Period 2

2 December 2022

Big Brotherly Love

"When I look in the mirror/ I am looking at you/ When you breathe,/ My own lungs fill with air" (Kaur). Rupi Kaur, a famous modern poet, describes one of the most desired sensations of the human race: love. Fierce passion and extreme emotional warmth encompass love. Even babies who understand nothing about this powerful emotion cry out for it upon their first breath. Love is essential to individualism and looks different to people across the globe; however, the feelings remain the same no matter the place. In the bleakest of society, love is longed for, as evident in the novel 1984 when all seems lost, but two hopeful citizens continue to love against all odds. This idea of stubborn love allows readers to explore the theme of love and the novel's overall message. By applying the Jungian lens to George Orwell’s 1984, the reader gains a better understanding of the relationship between the novel’s love story and the dire message.

The novel opens on a cold April morning, and Winston Smith, the main character, is immediately introduced. He resides in Oceana and is a low-ranking member of the Party, a political group that controls every aspect of the people. Individuality is highly looked down upon and considered illegal. The Party exercises firm control over its citizens by managing their language, thoughts, and privacy; simply having rebellious thoughts is illegal. Throughout London, large posters are plastered with the face of a mustached man known simply as "Big Brother" with the words "Big Brother is Watching You." Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, where he edits history documents to fit the Party's needs. He strongly opposes the Party and wishes to destabilize it. Winston is fascinated with a young woman named Julia. He begins an illicit relationship with her, hiding in a secret apartment and sharing their opinions about the government. They quickly discover that they have been monitored the entire time and are tortured into stating that they no longer oppose the Party and Big Brother.

Using the Jungian critical theory in 1984 reveals the character's deepest desires and motives for their actions. The Jungian theory is based on the ideas of Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who looked up to the teachings of Sigmund Freud, a fellow psychoanalyst. Carl Jung furthered the psychoanalytic studies on the human psyche. Though his findings contradict Freud's, he provided four ways of categorizing the human psyche. Jung emphasized that an individual's unconscious contributes immensely to shaping their personality. Thus, he classified unconsciousness into two main categories: the personal and collective unconscious. The former refers to the repressed memories or the temporary memories people store for a moment. If more elements are attached in this area, the more influence is on the individual. The collective unconscious refers to the natural contribution of unconscious thoughts to the individual. This description led Jung to the archetype that characterizes a person to the unconscious. Anne Dobie states in her book, Theory into Practice that the human psyche is described as “having three parts: a personal conscious, a state of awareness of the present moment that, once it is past, becomes the individual's unique personal unconscious, a storehouse of knowledge, experiences, and images of the human race” (63). Specifically, Jung offered four archetypes: the mask, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the self. Through these archetypes, the characters of Winston and Julia can be understood from a psychological standpoint. Winston's plight throughout the novel manifests these archetypes in various ways, which Jungian literary criticism centers on analyzing these archetypes in literature. Reader

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