How does this chapter prepare for what is to come later in the novel? Example : What image of bleakness are presented, what abuses of people's rights mentioned? I'm not sure what chapter though? I...

How does this chapter prepare for what is to come later in the novel? 

Example : What image of bleakness are presented, what abuses of people's rights mentioned?

I'm not sure what chapter though? I think maybe Chapter 1.

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The opening sentence lets the reader know the setting of the story is not the current day because our clocks do not strike 13. The reader also is quickly aware of the bleakness of the setting when the description of the smells refers to boiled cabbage and old rag mats.  A general air of gloom and depression is pervasive in the introductory description and a definite sense of foreboding is present in the revelation of the caption under the huge poster of Big Brother.  Immediately the reader knows this is not going to be a typical science fiction story of the future.  The references to the ever-present, never turned off, telescreen removes any doubt that the time setting of the story is the future and that the future is not a pleasant one.  The reader knows that the story is going to be about suppression of the individual and government control.  Orwell describes the main character, Winston Smith, in a way that lets the reader see Winston's life as bleak and depressing, largely because he has no control over his own life.  By letting the reader hear what the telescreen is saying and letting the reader know those words are not true, sets up the reader for the story to follow. It is obvious in this futuristic society that the government controls everything, including the past.  What the story reveals to the reader, then, is how much the government controls, how that came to be, and what happens when someone tries to defy that government.

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1984

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