George Orwell uses music to set the tone in 1984. In some instances, it inspires Winston Smith, the protagonist, or represents a need for something he cannot get from the Party. In others, it reminds him of tragedy, and in certain instances, it contains valuable insight from the past. It also represents Winston happiness between himself and Julia and predicts Winston fate. Music in 1984 plays an important role in the overall attitude of the novel. In the first instance, Winston hears a song and is instantly touched by a moment of tragedy.
In the Chestnut Tree Cafe©, he witnesses Jones, Ransom, and Rutherford, here men who were heroic in the early days of the Party. However, the Party caught up to them, but they could not catch up to the Party. Nonetheless, they were caught by the Thought Police. This incident is where he saw the men while the song “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree, I sold you and you sold me,” was playing over the telecasters (Orwell 77). By using this song, Orwell created a dreadful tone.
It represents the trade that they made to keep their lives, even though they were never the same. They were once prosperous Inner Party members, and they lived greatly, until the society around them changed. They were no longer orthodox as the definition had been distorted. They had lost everything, even their mind. Winston even says, “They were corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave” (Orwell 76). This may be foreshadowing to what inevitably will happen to Winston, although, his life was not excellent to begin with.
He still loses everything in the end. Winston meets Julia, a woman who he wants to have sex with to rebel against the Party. Originally those were his intentions, but their relationship evolved into a mature, developed emotional relationship. She leads him to the Golden Country, a dutiful place full of nature where they seem untouchable. It is here that they witness the striking song of the thrush bird (Orwell, 123). The bird’s song is full of character, and it never repeats itself. It is everything the Party is not.
Winston is drawn to this because it gives variation to the bland society that surrounds him every day. It gives him what he desires that the Party cannot give him. Though he does not completely know what is outside of the Party, this sampling proves to him that life can be beautiful. This is all he needs to confirm his want to rebel against the Party. While the thrush song gives Winston a taste for the future, the rhyme “Oranges and Lemons say the Bells of SST. Clement” gives Winston a sense of the untouchable past.
Though everything with any insight to the past has been undeniably altered, this rhyme is the ultimate pathway to what life was preceding the current history. Mr.. Charioting, the shopkeeper, first mentions this rhyme after recalling that an old building was once a church before the revolution (Orwell 98). The fact that Mr.. Charioting only remembers the first line and the last line could represent Winston fate. He enters Winston life at the beginning of his downfall, and ultimately he knows how Winston story will end because he is a member of the Thought Police.
The Importance of Music in George Orwell 1984. By Marilynn Throughout the novel, certain characters of importance add to the rhyme. Julia gives him the middle portion, which provides an intense bond between the two lovers. O’Brien gives him the last of the missing lines of the rhyme. This is inevitable because it represents the last portion of Winston life before they “chop off his head,” which refers to his arrest and rewiring. This portion is spent contacting O’Brien and learning about the Brotherhood.
It provides a door to the past, as well as, illustrates Winston fate. Finally, Winston is touched by the song that the Propel lady sings while he is in Mr.. Carcinogen’s spare room (Orwell 138). She sings about an ” ‘peoples fancy ” and a stolen heart. This could represent Winston relationship with Julia. In all moments when this song is heard, Winston seems content with his life at that point in time. He feels hope in his relationship with Julia, as well as freedom. The second verse of the Eng mentions that time will heal all wounds and “you can always forget” (Orwell 218).
This may be predicting the betrayal of Winston to Julia. It may not be that wounds are healed. It is Just that wounds are destroyed in the Ministry of Love. The song “It was only a Hopeless Fancy’ sums up Julia and Winston relationship. Throughout George Rowel’s 1984, music served a variety of literary purposes. Orwell used it to provide pathways into the past and future and also used it to set the overall tone of the novel. The music is very insightful when trying to tell the feelings of the characters.