1984 Study Guide

In 1984, George Orwell provides his vision of dystopia, a world consisting of 3 huge totalitarian states constantly at war with each other and utilizing technological improvements to keep their particular Celebration members and masses under careful observation and control. Composed in 1948 and published in 1949, this novel is frequently promoted as one of the greatest novels composed in the English language.

In writing the work, Orwell was influenced and motivated by totalitarian routines of the time, consisting of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Both regimes glorified their respective leaders as demi-gods and heros, needed the damage of all individuality in order to promote the Party’s needs over the individual’s, demanded absolute commitment from their citizens, and turned to violence whenever disloyalty was believed. Additionally, both regimes regularly demonized their enemies, simply as the Party and Big Brother carry out in 1984, through the 2 Minutes Hate, Hate Week, and daily mass propaganda. Other parallels include the Idea Police as a reinvention of the Gestapo, NKVD (People’s Comissariat for Internal Affairs), which managed big scale purges and terror, and the Spies and Youth League as a reinvention of the Hitler Youth and the Little Octoberists, which indoctrinated young people to the Party and encouraged them to report disloyalty observed in their senior citizens, even among member of the family.

The similarities in between 1984‘s Oceania and Stalin’s regime are especially striking. Like Stalin, the Oceanian government welcomes characteristics of both fascist and communist authoritarianism: the former glorifies the wisdom of the leader, and the latter, the infallibility of the Celebration. We can see both trends in 1984, where Big Brother (albeit obviously a fictitious entity) is worshipped as a wise and loving leader, and the Celebration is virtually structured around its own expected infallibility. In addition, many of the particulars of the Oceanian system, such as the Three-Year Plans and the required labor camps, appear to be very finely veiled allusions to aspects of Stalin’s rule. It is even frequently suggested that Oceania’s Big Bro, with his dark hair and heavy mustache, is influenced by the larger-than-life pictures of Josef Stalin’s visage so frequently seen in the Soviet Union.

Orwell’s time dealing with the Indian Imperial Cops in Burma presented him to the outrageous activities of the British in the Far East, and appears to have motivated his exploration of the lives of the city poor. After going back to Europe, Orwell continued to focus on this subject and started to establish an unclear wonder about of machine-age capitalist society that later progressed into a firm adherence to Socialism, reinforced by his time working with the innovative Marxist POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista, or Worker’s Celebration of Marxist Marriage), the dissident faction of the Spanish Communist party. However, when the Stalin-backed Communists turned on their far-left anarchist allies and identified POUM pro-fascist, Orwell got away to avoid prison, or even worse, death. This experience taught Orwell the danger of abandoning real Socialist advanced perfects, and he developed both a fixation on totalitarianism and an abhorrence for Stalinist Communism, both of which are plainly expressed in 1984. World War II’s intro of totalitarianism through fascist and communist programs strengthened Orwell’s hatred of the ideology.

During the war, Orwell was equally not impressed by his experience in Britain. From 1940-1943, Orwell was employed by the BBC, under the control of the British Ministry of Info, which acted as inspiration for Winston’s position at the Ministry of Fact, and possibly for Newspeak. In this capacity, Orwell witnessed the proliferation of stories glorifying Britain’s accomplishments while the British Empire was all at once progressively decreasing. This kind of detach in between truth and the info distributed to the general public clearly makes its method into the book.

It is unclear to what extent Orwell thought 1984 to be an accurate forecast of the future, but numerous critics concur that he composed the book as an alerting to modern-day society of the damage that can come from embracing totalitarian routines. The unique grieves the loss of individuality while showing how to effectively rid a person of their independence, especially through extensive sexual repression and the restriction of specific idea. A lot of the principles and styles provided in 1984 have steadily made their way into the common vernacular. For example, the expression “Big Bro” is typically utilized to refer to the advancement and growth of innovation utilized to observe and tape-record behavior, such as video cameras placed on city streets and government tracking of phone and Web communication. The adjective “Orwellian” is also frequently used to explain such real-world developments reminiscent of 1984.

Orwell composed 1984 while seriously ill with tuberculosis, and later commented that had he not been so ill, the book may not have been so bleak. To his consternation, after its publication, 1984 was utilized as propaganda itself, particularly by Western forces in post-World War II Germany. Much later, there were numerous attempts to censor the unique, particularly on the grounds that it includes pro-Communist product and sexual references. The book has actually likewise been adjusted to both television shows and movies, and has functioned as inspiration for a variety of other artistic ventures, such as David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album, that includes a tune titled 1984.

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar