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An Introduction to 1984

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Mary Cumbie

on 28 August 2015

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Transcript of An Introduction to 1984

An Introduction to Orwell's World
Context for 1984
Orwell's 1984
- Written in 1949; one year after WWII
- Written in response to the rise of fascism and communism
Characteristics of Dystopian Societies
The government is trying to create a "perfect world' by force and fails
Information and independent thought are restricted
Citizens are under constant surveillance
Government or leader is worshiped by citizens
Propaganda is used to control citizens
Citizens have a fear of the outside war
Individuality or dissent is bad.
Society is an illusion of a perfect world
World War 2 & the Rise of the Nazis
Germany in the 1930s was in shambles:
They had just lost World War I
Economy was ruined
Millions of people were out of work
People were very unhappy
Rise of Fascism
After WW1, people longed for national unity and leadership
In Italy, Mussolini rose to power and coined the term "fascism" to describe his new form of government
The After-effects
As you can imagine, WW2 had a scarring impact on the people who lived through it.

Led to a resurgence of dystopian novels
Rise of a Totalitarian Government
Adolf Hitler was a powerful speaker with a cult-like following among the down and out in Germany

Adolph Hitler would hold rallies where he shared his ideas for a "perfect world" for the poor and unemployed in Germany and invoked extreme nationalism
(your home country is better than every other country)

January 1933 - Hitler won the election for Chancellor of Germany, ending democracy
Germany under Hitler
Valued nationalism over individualism
Started an organization called "Hitler Youth," which was like boy/girl scouts, but where children were taught to spy on their parents and church Bible studies, and were taught racism against anyone who was not German

Organized book burnings

Made propaganda films and posters of Hitler/Nazis to evoke national pride
National Socialism (Naziism)
Aimed to overcome social divisions by creating a completely homogenous group of people

Believed in racial hierarchies and social darwinism

Antisemitic and anticommunist
Fascist Governments
Absolute power of the state: individuals sacrifice their rights for the good of the nation
A single dictator runs the country and makes all of the decisions
The state controls the economy and factories: strikes and rebellions are illegal
Fascist Governments
Uses extreme national pride and fear tactics to motivate its population
Mussolini launched a "Battle for Births" where women could support the nation by having children
Students were trained to love the mother country and be a nation of "warriors" in school
Full transcript