What is the tone of 1984? What does this imply about the nature of man?

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mlee13 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tone of 1984 changes throughout each of the parts in the novel.  In Part One, the setting is established as dreary, cold, and deteriorating. Through Winston's inner thoughts and diary, the reader becomes familiar with the characters and society in which Winston lives.  The apartments are falling apart, the characters themselves are monitored through "telescreens" and Thought Police, and the citizens are kept in a state a poverty.  The result of such descriptions creates a state of fear and paranoia in the citizens, and a bleak society. It appears as though Winston is the only one secretly against the Party, and even he is afraid to show any disloyalty through facial expressions or even bad thoughts.  It is a negative and dismal tone.  This somewhat lightens in Part Two as there is the feeling of optimism and hope once Winston develops a relationship with Julia.  While both realize that their relationship won't last forever, Winston changes both physically (his ulcer dissipates) and emotionally.  In addition, Winston and Julia discover that O'Brien is secret revolution as well.  For a moment it appears as though their hatred towards Big Brother could lead to a revolution.  However, at the end of Part Two Winston and Julia are caught, and all hope of change is shattered.  Part Three is terrifying and bleak, as Winston is tortured and in the end, develops love toward Big Brother.  In the end the tone is hopeless.