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1984- George Orwell
Transcript of 1984- George Orwell
Published in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four (usually just called 1984) is a dystopian novel about the totalitarian regime of the Party, a society where life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, public mind control, and the voiding of citizens' rights.
In the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), protagonist Winston Smith is a civil servant responsible for perpetuating the Party's propaganda, by revising historical records to make sure the Party is all-knowing and always correct. Somehow his existence disillusions him into rebellion against Big Brother, which leads to his arrest, torture, and conversion to Big Brother.
1984: Overview, Cont.
St. Clement’s Church
Motifs and Symbols
“Big Brother is Watching You.”
Victory Gin & Cigarettes
Two Minutes Hate
Junior Anti-Sex League
Ministry of Truth
Ministry of Love
Ministry of Plenty
Ministry of Peace
The Dangers of Totalitarianism
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Control of Information and History
Dangers of Technology
Language as Mind Control
Major Themes cont
Copy down everything in
Short for proletariat (lower/working class)
They make up eight-five percent of the population of Oceania.
They are dismissed by the Party as subhuman and therefore are not watched by Big Brother.
Winston sees them as the only hope for the future.
Despite lives of constant work, Proles are happy people.
Vocabulary to Know
Utopia-a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
Dystopia - an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives
In the essay "Why I Write" (1946), Orwell described himself as a Democratic Socialist. On June 16, 1949, Orwell wrote a letter to the head of the United Automobile Workers, which said roughly:
My recent novel [Nineteen Eighty-Four] is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter), but as a show-up of the perversions . . . which have already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism. . . . The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else, and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.
Orwell + 1984