Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell
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المؤلف: George Orwell

George Orwell

عن المؤلف/ة

Eric Arthur Blair , known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic

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Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell

Quote from Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

The story takes place in an imagined future, the year 1984 when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda. Great Britain, known as Airstrip One, has become a province of the totalitarian superstate Oceania, ruled by the Party, who employ the Thought Police to persecute individuality and independent thinking. Big Brother, the dictatorial leader of Oceania, enjoys an intense cult of personality, manufactured by the party's excessive brainwashing techniques.

The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a diligent and skillful rank-and-file worker and Outer Party member who secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion. He enters into a forbidden relationship with his colleague Julia and starts to remember what life was like before the Party came to power. Nineteen Eighty-Four has become a classic literary example of political and dystopian fiction. It also popularized the term "Orwellian" as an adjective, with many terms used in the novel entering common usage, including "Big Brother", "doublethink", "Thought Police", "thoughtcrime", "Newspeak", and "2 + 2 = 5".

Parallels have been drawn between the novel's subject matter and real-life instances of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and violations of freedom of expression among other themes. Time included the novel on its list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005, and it was placed on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list, reaching number 13 on the editors' list and number 6 on the readers' list. In 2003, it was listed at number eight on The Big Read survey by the BBC. In 1984, civilization has been ravaged by world war, civil conflict, and revolution. Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain) is a province of Oceania, one of the three totalitarian super-states that rule the world. It is ruled by "The Party" under the ideology of "Ingsoc" (a Newspeak shortening of "English Socialism") and the mysterious leader Big Brother, who has an intense cult of personality. The Party brutally purges out anyone who does not fully conform to their regime using the Thought Police and constant surveillance through telescreens (two-way televisions), cameras, and hidden microphones. Those who fall out of favor with the Party become "unpersons", disappearing with all evidence of their existence destroyed. In London, Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party, working at the Ministry of Truth, where he rewrites historical records to conform to the state's ever-changing version of history.

Winston revises past editions of The Times, while the original documents are destroyed after being dropped into ducts known as memory holes, which lead to an immense furnace. He secretly opposes the Party's rule and dreams of rebellion, despite knowing that he is already a "thought-criminal" and is likely to be caught one day. While in a prole (Proletariat) neighborhood, he meets Mr. Charrington, the owner of an antique shop, and buys a diary where he writes criticisms of the Party and Big Brother. To his dismay, when he visits a prole quarter he discovers they have no political consciousness. As he works in the Ministry of Truth, he observes Julia, a young woman maintaining the novel-writing machines at the ministry, whom Winston suspects of being a spy, and develops an intense hatred of her. He vaguely suspects that his superior, an Inner Party official O'Brien, is part of an enigmatic underground resistance movement known as the Brotherhood, formed by Big Brother's reviled political rival Emmanuel Goldstein.

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