Book Cover of 1984

1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

by George Orwell

It is set in a future society where the government, led by the Party and its enigmatic leader Big Brother, controls every aspect of people's lives and manipulates the truth to maintain power. 1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell in 1949. The story follows the life of Winston Smith, a low-ranking member of the Party who begins to secretly rebel against the oppressive government. As he becomes more involved in the rebellion, Winston must confront the harsh realities of the society in which he lives and the ultimate cost of freedom. The novel is a warning about the dangers of totalitarianism and the need for individual freedom and autonomy. The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party “seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power.” The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue in Newspeak), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line. The instructions that the workers receive specify the corrections as fixing misquotations and never as what they really are: forgeries and falsifications. A large part of the ministry also actively destroys all documents that have been edited and do not contain the revisions; in this way, no proof exists that the government is lying. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. Orwell based the character of the heroine of the novel, Julia, on his second wife Sonia Orwell.

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

English

Published In

1949

Author

George Orwell image

Orwell's work remains influential in popular culture and in political culture, and the adjective "Orwellian"—describing totalitarian and authoritarian social practices—is part of the English language,...

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