Nineteen eighty-four

by George Orwell

Nineteen eighty-four by George Orwell


Summary / Riassunto

George Orwell can be considered as a modern champion of the great tradition English literature has always had in satire. In fact, Orwell’s satire is often compared with Swift’s.

But in this novel, Orwell’s last work, satire is only an exterior element that gives the reader the framework for a story of a human rebellion, that of the protagonist Winston Smith against the Party. Winston’s attempt is not successful and also in this failure of his a political thought is to be found.

The title of the book, 1984, refers to the year in which Orwell imagines that his story happens. He imagines a totalitarian state, where everything and everyone are controlled by the Party that brainwashes people using slogans such as “war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength”. According to Orwell’s vision, in the year 1984 the world is divided into three great powers: Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia, that are always at war. In Oceania society is rigidly divided into classes, and at the top of the Party there is the Big Brother, a character that was inspired by Stalin.

The Party is the master and the governor of the whole Oceania, its rule is guaranteed by four ministries: the Ministry of Peace deals with war, the Ministry of Love is in charge of law and order, the Ministry of Plenty deals with scarcities, and the Ministry of Truth deals with propaganda. Their power is absolute and thanks to scientific devices they control every action, thought, word of every single man.


Must know / Da sapere

  • George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Blair, 1903-1950. Orwell was born in India in 1903, he was educated at Eton and then he served the Indian Imperial Police, lived in Paris, went back to England where he worked as a teacher and in a bookshop, went to Spain to reach the Republicans, was wounded, became a journalist and worked in France and Germany as special correspondent for the Observer
  • 1984 is the reversal of 1948, the year in which Orwell completed his novel
  • His best known novel is Animal Farm, published in 1945, a satire on Soviet Russia that has been translated in many languages.

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