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1984 Background

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Michael Becker

on 26 January 2012

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Transcript of 1984 Background

The Basics
Written by Eric Arthur Blair
Pen name: George Orwell
At age 33, he travels with a British friend to fight "against Facism" during the Spanish Civil War
Orwell background and reasons for
Grew up with a political mindset
A Sniper's bullet hits him in the throat, but it misses his main artery by inches.
This injury, along with other medical issues, forced Orwell to be deemed 'unfit' for service at the outbreak of WWII
During WWII his wife works in the British Censorship Dept.
Orwell gets a job as a BBC Journalist
The censorship, propoganda, and office life freaks Orwell out.
Continues to work on Animal Farm and begins brainstorming
Orwell ends up becoming very ill with Tuberculosis in 1949
Passes away less than 1 year after 1984 is published.
In the "Brainstorm" section, write 8-12 words/phrases/questions that come to mind when you think of
When done brainstorming, discuss some of your words/phrases with a classmate nearby.
...then each of you go to the board and write a word/phrase from your list for discussion.
Write 5 new words/phrases that you have now come up with after watching the movie trailer.
is intended to be a
Leaves London 'literary life' and heads to a small island to write his masterpiece.
Satire uses ridicule or scorn in a humorous way to
expose vices/push particular ideologies or beliefs.
Satire has 1-3 main purposes.
1) To ridicule the opposite of author's opinion
2) To appeal to those agreeing with the author
3) To sway/persuade those caught in the 'swing vote'
The ultimate goal of Satire is to
incite social action through humor
Forms of Satire
Irony: when the action is the opposite of the intended purpose
Parody: a humorous imitation of an original
Sarcasm: a harsh or bitter expression to hurt and make apparent to the truth.
Innuendo: a sometimes derogatory insinuation with harmful connotation
Invective: Harsh or abusive language directed at a person/cause/belief
Burlesque: An extreme exaggeration with comedic intention
His wife dies a surprising death after a hysterectomy, causing Orwell to devote much of his time towards writing...
Orwell creates a world in 1984 that he envisions could happen post WWII
He uses many real-life occurences to influence his novel.
The dystopian world (such as in 1984, V for Vendetta, The Matrix, etc.) is often used to show the horrors of oppression and control through the disguise of utopia.
Created new vocabulary for us with "Orwellian, doublethink, Big Brother, and Newspeak" all translating into modern English.
The World of 1984
Setting: Airstrip One (formerly London), Oceania
Oceania is one of three super continents that were created after WWII's fallout.
All three super-states are perpetually at War with each other (Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia)
Orwell saw Totalitarian and military regimes changing the world and did not agree with where the world was heading.
World is divided up into three main classes
Inner Party
Outer Party
Proles (proletariats)
A critique of Stalinism and the trends of the Western World
4 Ministries of Oceania
Ministry of Peace (MiniPax)
Ministry of Plenty (MiniPlenty)
Ministry of Truth (MiniTrue)
Ministry of Love (MiniLuv)
Minipax reports Oceania's perpetual state of war.
War keeps the people with a sense of purpose, a sense of unity.
War allows Big Brother to keep people in
Miniplenty controls the rations of food and goods. The Miniplenty publishes false records and sees to it that the people are continuously in favor of rationing and suffering for the 'greater good'
MiniTrue controls information to the people: news, entertainment, history, education, etc. Winston (the protagonist) works in the RecDep (Records Department) and alters/changes historical records in accordance with what the Party and Big Brother desires.
The MiniLuv is the most intense and terrifying of all Ministries. This Ministry arrests, monitors, and 'deals' with dissidents.
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