1984 Study Guide

1984 Study Guide

Original title:
Published July 1st 1950 by New American Library (first published June 8th 1949)
London, England,1984(United Kingdom)
Oceania, South Pacific Ocean
ISBN 0451524934 (ISBN13: 9780451524935)

George Orwell isn’t an easy author to read. His style is heavy, concepts are multidimensional and characters are oftentimes disgusting. You’d never have though that the boy attended the most prestigious schools in the UK – his writing screams anarchy and oppression.

Having lived among the most poor of London and served as a policeman in Burma, all of Orwell’s works are charged with deep social and political meaning. He didn’t like the tendencies in the world around him – nuclear threats, concentration of power, technology takeover, dictatorship emergence – and wasn’t shy to express it.

“1984” is a book about an ordinary man, whose name is Winston Smith. Because he is a member of the ruling party working at the Ministry of Truth (and it seems like almost everybody around him is a member too), his every move is watched. The party is in control of everything: what he eats, what he thinks, what he does, what his history used to be.

Sex, free time, colorful clothes, keeping a diary is strictly prohibited. A new language is being introduced by the ruling party that is supposed to not have any rebellious words. It’s hard to believe that in such rigorous conditions there’s still a clan that works against the Party under the radar. Or is it also a fiction to deceive us?

“1984” is a multifaceted book. The struggle in it’s paragraphs is everywhere: it’s about capitalism vs. socialism, rich vs. poor, education vs. common sense, regime vs. anarchy, technology vs. labor.

The book will be greatly appreciated not only by the dystopian genre lovers, but by all those who are interested in political and social literature. Thankfully, the society has managed to resolve the Cold War into democratic predominance, the technology was brought to serving families instead of breaking them, sexual pleasures are immodestly praised instead of being condemned. But what if it didn’t? Read to see what could have happened in the worst-case scenario.

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