Describe the opening scene of George Orwell's 1984.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The opening scene, of George Orwell's novel 1984, describes Winston Smith (the central character of the text) walking into the doors of Victory Mansions. It is one o'clock on a cold April afternoon.

The imagery presented in the opening of the novel presents a bleak view of Winston's life. Victory Mansions smells of cabbage and carpet. The walls are adorned with inappropriately large posters, which are simply tacked to the wall. The elevator (of lift) seldom works and forces Winston to tackle the seven flights to his apartment (flat). Given that posters with the words "Big Brother is Watching You" appear on every landing, a sense of insecurity overwhelms the residents and visitors alike as they ascend the flights of stairs.

Inside Winston's flat is no better. He has a television which cannot be turned off (and it constantly drones on). His view from his window is filled with the bleak and cold streets out side of the Victory Mansion. The only color Winston ever seems to come across is coloring of the intimidating posters found on each flight of stairs.

Overall, the opening scene is depressing and bleak. It seems that nothing positive surrounds Winston at all.


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