1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

Very few people graduated high school without reading George Orwell’s classic 1984, a grim tale about a future that is controlled utterly by an iron-fisted, faceless autocracy capable of invading and controlling the minds of every citizen. Winston Smith, however, is an aberration -- one citizen who retains the will to resist. He’s not alone. There is a slowly growing group who are resisting Big Brother’s attempts to dominate their lives. The book is one of the last century’s finest dystopian novels and was written as an attempt to warn people about the dangers of a government without proper controls. Several future fiction elements appear in the novel, including the concept of a TV that could watch you while you watched it, and, of course, the notion that an unrestricted government could inveigle its way into every citizen’s mind, erasing memories and encouraging only obedient thoughts in line with Big Brother’s directives.

About George Orwell

George Orwell had another name, though few now remember it. Eric Arthur Blair wrote polemic journalistic pieces decrying social injustice regularly. So it only follows that his two best known works dealt with dystopian environments: 1984 and Animal Farm. He was well-known for his strong stances against some of the biggest political issues of his time, including communism, fascism and imperialism. Orwell’s masterwork,1984, was released soon before his death from tuberculosis and was met with very mixed reviews. It has repeatedly been banned over the years in various locations around the world -- including a few backwater counties in the U.S. -- and did not become a staple of high school and college reading lists until well into the Sixties and Seventies.

Futurist Themes:

  • Totalitarianism
  • Mass Surveillance
  • Freedom of Expession