Literary Review of 1984

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George Orwell's novels now define the "Orwellian Dystopia" genre, and to an extent, all dystopian novels. This genre was spawned partly from Orwell's 1984, where he skillfully crafts a dark yet realistic atmosphere of a communist post-World War II super-country with third person narration from a reliable character, imagery and setting. The term Orwellian refers to the type of setting that is iconic of Orwell's dystopian novels, including 1984 and Animal Farm: a totalitarian government that employs deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of historical records to maintain power. These are the foundations of the perversely totalitarian government in 1984. The story follows Winston, a less than proud citizen of the super-state Oceania (no relation to the Pacific region). The Orwellian view of the future includes a world ruled by only three super-states with similar political systems that are in unending war. The war drives down the standard of living and everything is rationed. His city, Airstrip One, is in a state of disrepair because of periodic rocket-bombs. Oceania comprises the Americas, the south of Africa and the British Isles; their driving political notion is called INGSOC, short for English Socialism. However, this socialist society is ruled cruelly by a totalitarian government that manifests itself as “Big Brother” while spying on citizens, eliminating dissenters and disseminating propaganda forcefully. The citizens rarely show emotion, save for the daily Two Minutes Hate, where they are purposely boiled into a rage against current enemies of the government, such as rebel leaders and the current enemy super-state. The two-way and ubiquitous telescreen perpetually receives communications from the government in the ... ... middle of paper ... ...hese are corporations, the government has allowed this breach of privacy. In short, similarities exists between the world in 1984 and ours. Orwell's 1984 is an insightful and well-written novel that explores the horrendous dystopia of a then-futuristic English super-state where everything and everyone less than privileged is controlled with deception, surveillance and meticulous manipulation of historical records. While the language is clear and concise, the content is arduous, with human rights violations every second page at some parts. The verisimilitude of the hypothetical world depicted in the novel only and its resemblance to certain aspects of our modern world adds terror. He even succeeded in embedding certain icons, such as “Big Brother”, in our popular culture. George Orwell penned this novel to make a political statement and to warn us. We should listen.
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