This is the essential edition of the essential book of modern times, 1984, now annotated for students with an introduction by D. J. Taylor. Ever since its publication in 1948, George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian regime where Big Brother controls its citizens like 'a boot stamping on a human face' has become a touchstone for human freedom, and one of the most widely-read books in the world. In this new annotated edition Orwell's biographer D. J. Taylor elucidates the full meaning of this timeless satire, explaining contemporary references in the novel, placing it in the context of Orwell's life, elaborating on his extraordinary use of language and explaining the terms such as Newspeak, Doublethink and Room 101 that have become familiar phrases today.
nineteen eighty four
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George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life with extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity. “Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: gut (2), University of Dusseldorf "Heinrich Heine" (Anglistisches Institut), course: Proseminar: Utopian Literature, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949, a time characterized by the consequences of the Second World War and the communism of the Eastern Bloc. Winston Smith, the rebelling protagonist of Orwell's utopia, is one victim of this system. These relevant events of mankind find expression in Orwell's utopia and form the fundament of its contents. Orwell forecasts the possibility of a black future which might be considered as a warning of the population. Still moved by the upsetting experiences of the earlier years, he tries to make the people aware of the fact how important morality is. Nevertheless it is obvious that Orwell does not give any personal comment about what is going on in the world; his attitude, however, is made visible through the protagonist's rebellion. That is why this essay aims at the description of Winston Smith's character and the development of his rebellion - its increase, climax and decrease for which it is necessary to deal with the ideology and the system of the state he lives in. At first, facts about his normal life in Oceania are provided: his outer appearance, his social status depending on his job, his past referring to his family and his former wife. Then, the focus will shift to his love affair with Julia and its effects on Winston's personality. His real nonconformity evidently starts with the first moment he gets in touch with her. Different subjects like the room in Mr Charrington's junk shop, O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party, and at last their captivity give the reader an orientation over the stages Julia and Winston are running through.
Just fifty years ago Julian Huxley, the biologist grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, published a book which easily could be seen to represent the prevail ing outlook among young scientists of the day: If I were a Dictator (1934). The outlook is optimistic, the tone playfully rational, the intent clear - allow science a free hand and through rational planning it could bring order out of the surrounding social chaos. He complained, however: At the moment, science is for most part either an intellectual luxury or the paid servant of capitalist industry or the nationalist state. When it and its results cannot be fitted into the existing framework, it and they are ignored; and furthermore the structure of scientific research is grossly lopsided, with over-emphasis on some kinds of science and partial or entire neglect of others. (pp. 83-84) All this the scientist dictator would set right. A new era of scientific human ism would provide alternative visions to the traditional religions with their Gods and the civic religions such as Nazism and fascism. Science in Huxley's version carries in it the twin impulses of the utopian imagination - Power and Order. Of course, it was exactly this vision of science which led that other grand son of Thomas Henry Huxley, the writer Aldous Huxley, to portray scientific discovery as potentially subversive and scientific practice as ultimately en slaving.
Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life--the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language--and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written. --Amazon.com.
George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is among the most widely read books in the world. For more than 50 years, it has been regarded as a morality tale for the possible future of modern society, a future involving nothing less than extinction of humanity itself. Does Nineteen Eighty-Four remain relevant in our new century? The editors of this book assembled a distinguished group of philosophers, literary specialists, political commentators, historians, and lawyers and asked them to take a wide-ranging and uninhibited look at that question. The editors deliberately avoided Orwell scholars in an effort to call forth a fresh and diverse range of responses to the major work of one of the most durable literary figures among twentieth-century English writers. As Nineteen Eighty-Four protagonist Winston Smith has admirers on the right, in the center, and on the left, the contributors similarly represent a wide range of political, literary, and moral viewpoints. The Cold War that has so often been linked to Orwell's novel ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but most of the issues of concern to him remain alive in some form today: censorship, scientific surveillance, power worship, the autonomy of art, the meaning of democracy, relations between men and women, and many others. The contributors bring a variety of insightful and contemporary perspectives to bear on these questions.