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Copy of George Orwell

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Jennifer Martin

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Copy of George Orwell

George Orwell
and 1984

Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903 in eastern India, the son of a British colonial civil servant.
Historical Perspective
In 1948, when Orwell's 1984 was published, World War II had just ended. One of England's allies had been Russia, which was ruled by a despotic dictator named Joseph Stalin. Stalin's rule was famous for his midnight purges: he would round up hundreds of citizens at a time and murder them in deserted areas.
Adolf Hitler, in Germany, had slaughtered his enemies as well, in the end killing six million Jews plus nine million Slavs, gypsies, political dissidents, homosexuals, and mentally challenged people.
Mao Tse-tung in China was fighting for Communism against Chinese nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek. Mao would finally defeat the nationalists in 1949 and begin a long, oppressive totalitarian regime.
Characteristics of Dystopian Fiction
Other dictators of the time included Francisco Franco in Spain and Benito Mussolini in Italy. These oppressive rulers controlled citizens through propaganda and violence. Orwell stated that the novel was not a PROPHECY, but a picture of WHAT COULD happen if totalitarianism was not actively prevented.
George Orwell
25 June 1903 - 21 January 1950 (aged 46)
Biography
Fahrenheit 451

Brave New World

Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Handmaid's Tale

The Iron Heel

The Hunger Games
Films
Utopian
Fiction
and
Dystopian
Fiction
He considered himself a "democratic socialist" and was very critical of Communism. He hated "false intellectuals," lying, cruelty, and totalitarianism.
Considered perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and journalism.
He was educated in England and, after he left Eton, joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. He resigned in 1927 because he hated the blatant racism he saw between the English and the native Burmese.
Because he grew up in a lower-middle class family and often felt inferior to the upper-class students at school, Blair became opposed to the oppression of the poor by the rich and powerful.
He took the name George Orwell (combining the names of the then-monarch and a nearby river), shortly before his first publication, Down and Out in Paris and London which exposed the harsh working conditions of the poor.
An anarchist in the late 1920s, by the 1930s he had
begun to consider himself a socialist.
Socialism:
1) All goods in the country are shared with its citizens.
2) No one has more than others.
3) For example: You have 2 cows. Your neighbor has none.
The government takes one of your cows and gives it to your neighbor.
Orwell believed that POWER not only corrupts but also breeds desire for
MORE POWER. He was disagreed with Communism and totally against totalitarian
regimes. He also believed that individual rebellion was futile and revolution
brought only temporary relief.
The Title of
the Book
Originally entitled "The Last Man in Europe." Orwell's publisher worried that it would be too hard to market.
Originally chose the year 1980, but as the writing dragged on due to his illness (tuberculosis), Orwell changed it to 1982 and then 1984.
Switched the last 2 digits of the year in which he wrote the book (1948).
Allusion to Jack London's novel "The Iron Heel" in which the power of a political movement reaches its height in 1984.
Homage to a poem his wife had written called "End of the Century, 1984."
No full history of how the world of 1984 came into being; everything comes from Winston's childhood recollections and what he reads from "The Book" (Goldstein's book).
At some point after WWII, the UK descended into civil war, eventually becoming part of the new world power: Oceania.
Soviet Union expanded into mainland Europe to form Eurasia; the third world power, Eastasia is an amalgamation of east Asian countries, including China and Japan.
There was a period of nuclear warfare in the past, with hundreds of atomic bombs being dropped mainly on Europe, Western Russia, and North America.
Sexual repression
With the Junior Anti-Sex-League, the Party encourages its members to eliminate the personal sexual attachments that diminish political loyalty.
Futurology
The intellectuals who hope to see it Russianised or Germanised will be disappointed. The gentleness, the hypocrisy, the thoughtlessness, the reverence for law and the hatred of uniforms will remain, along with the suet puddings and the misty skies. It needs some very great disaster, such as prolonged subjugation by a foreign enemy, to destroy a national culture. The Stock Exchange will be pulled down, the horse plough will give way to the tractor, the country houses will be turned into children's holiday camps,
Sexual repression
With the Junior Anti-Sex-League, the Party encourages its members to eliminate the personal sexual attachments that diminish political loyalty.
Futurology
Map of the World of 1984
The intellectuals who hope to see it Russianised or Germanised will be disappointed. The gentleness, the hypocrisy, the thoughtlessness, the reverence for law and the hatred of uniforms will remain, along with the suet puddings and the misty skies. It needs some very great disaster, such as prolonged subjugation by a foreign enemy, to destroy a national culture. The Stock Exchange will be pulled down, the horse plough will give way to the tractor, the country houses will be turned into children's holiday camps.
These people will eliminate the old capitalist class, crush the working class, and so organize society that all power and economic privilege remain in their own hands. Private property rights will be abolished, but common ownership will not be established. The new ‘managerial' societies will not consist of a patchwork of small, independent states, but of great super-states grouped round the main industrial centres in Europe, Asia, and America. These super-states will fight among themselves for possession of the remaining uncaptured portions of the earth, but will probably be unable to conquer one another completely. Internally, each society will be hierarchical, with an aristocracy of talent at the top and a mass of semi-slaves at the bottom.
Totalitarianism
Backstory to the Novel
Orwell saw during the war evidence of the falsification of news and the invention of false news (Yellow Journalism)
Witnessed how political writers distorted language in their attempts to justify the unjustifiable (Newspeak).
#1: A figurehead or concept is worshiped by the citizens of the society.
#2: Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
#3: Citizens live in a “dehumanized” state.
#4: Conformity among citizens and the assumption that individuality and dissent are bad.
#5: The dystopian protagonist often feels trapped in their life and is struggling to escape.
#6: The dystopian protagonist questions the existing social and political systems.
#7: The dystopian protagonist demonstrates behavior or expresses ideas that reflect a belief that something is terribly wrong with the society in which they live.
1984's Impact on Culture
"Big Brother is watching you!" In 1999, "Big Brother" reality series began in the Netherlands. CBS's first episode of BB aired in 2001.
1984's Impact on Culture
Word invented: "Orwellian": to describe something as "Orwellian" is to say that it brings to mind the fictional totalitarian society of Oceania described in George Orwell's novel 1984.
1984's Impact on Culture
In July of 1984, an asteroid was discovered and named after Orwell.
1984's Influence on Culture
In 1984, Apple introduced the new Macintosh Personal Computer.
Commercial for the new Mac was aired only once during the halftime of the 1984 Superbowl.
Directed by Ridley Scott and cost 1.6 million dollars to make (1984 time).
1984's Impact on Culture
In 1984 Apple released the first Macintosh Personal Computer.
Commercial for the Mac aired only once during halftime of the 1984 Super Bowl.
Commercial directed by Ridley Scott and cost $650,000 (1984 time).
30 year anniversary this year!
Steve Jobs Introduces the Mac!
The "1984" Macintosh Commercial
The Big Ideas
Questions:

1. What defines dystopian literature? What are some recurring themes within it?
2. What commentary does dystopian literature offer on society?
3. What similarities do stories share?
4. How does the reader identify or not identify with the characters in the novel?
5. How do the themes and events connect to current events? What events in the dystopian texts are taking place today?
Orwell and the Spanish Civil War
In the 1930s, Orwell fought for a socialist
group in the Spanish Civil War. At the same time, he worked as a journalist for the BBC, reporting on the battles during this war
1984's Impact on Culture
"Person of Interest"--Thursday nights on CBS
Steve Jobs love the ad, but the Apple Board of Directors did not. It was sort of a slap in the face to IBM.
This commercial tested very poorly before it aired. It averaged a 29 in reports for effectiveness.
Steve Jobs: "I want to stop the world in their tracks.
Full transcript