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3. The Form of Nineteen Eighty-Four: Genre, Structure and Style
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the genre, structure and style of the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea of Nineteen Eighty-Four as a dystopian novel, and what this means; (ii) the tripartite structure of the novel, and the extent to which we should see the ending of the novel as a satisfactory resolution – or any kind of resolution at all; (iii) the importance of dreams and dream-like states in the novel; (iv) the idea of Nineteen Eighty-Four as a morality tale, and the extent to which the (non-)representation of the Proles undermines the novel’s moral force.
In this course, Dr Nathan Waddell (University of Birmingham) explores George Orwell’s 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The first two modules provide broad context for the novel: in the first, we think about Orwell’s writing of the novel and the reaction of his contemporaries, while in the second we think about Orwell’s life and career, and the experiences that contributed to the shape of the novel. After that, in the third and fourth modules, we think about the novel’s form, considering first (in the third module) the genre, structure and style of novel, and then (in the fourth module) the texts and traditions that had an influence on the novel. In the fifth module, we think about some of the key themes of the novel, before turning in the six, seventh and eighth modules to focus in more detail on the characters of Winston, Julia and O’Brien. Finally, in the ninth module, we think about the novel’s legacy, including its influence on other writings and its continued relevance today.
Dr Nathan Waddell is Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature at the University of Birmingham. He teaches and researches early twentieth-century literature, with a core emphasis on the life, work, and controversies of the painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). His recent publications include Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (2019) and (as co-editor with J. Greenberg) 'Brave New World': Contexts and Legacies. (2016).
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Cite this Lecture
Waddell, N. (2020, January 04). Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four - The Form of Nineteen Eighty-Four: Genre, Structure and Style [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/orwell-nineteen-eighty-four/the-form-of-nineteen-eighty-four-genre-structure-and-style
Waddell, N. "Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four – The Form of Nineteen Eighty-Four: Genre, Structure and Style." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Jan 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/orwell-nineteen-eighty-four/the-form-of-nineteen-eighty-four-genre-structure-and-style