"On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran." (Orwell 4 "Nineteen").
George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four presents a negative utopian picture, a society ruled by rigid totalitarianism. The government which Orwell creates in his novel is ruled by an entity known as Big Brother and consists of four branches. The Ministry of Truth, overseeing the distribution of propaganda and other printed materials, the Ministry of Peace (dealing with war), the Ministry of Plenty, handling economic affairs, and the Ministry of Love, the law enforcement division, make up the government. The main character, Winston Smith, does not completely accept the ideology that is fed to him by the government, through the concept of Big Brother. When one examines George Orwell's life, it can be clearly seen that he personifies his political perceptions, social and aesthetic characteristics, and self-examination of his own writing, through Winston Smith, in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Orwell's political perceptions, especially his...
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1984 is the year in question—the year of things sucking completely. Orwell originally envisioned the title to be "The Last Man in Europe." Doesn't exactly get you sweating with anticipation, does it?
Fortunately for us, Orwell’s editor said something along the lines of "yawn" and changed it to the far more sensational and perspiration-inducing 1984, as we know it today. But why not 1985? Or even 1983?
Well, quite honestly, no one really knows. But there has been a lot of speculation (read: made-up stuff) to explain. It might be that Orwell, in 1948, thought a simple, two-digit switcheroo would do the trick (most scholars are partial to this one). Then again, maybe he wanted to honor his late wife, poet Eileen Maud O'Shaughnessy, and named the book after her poem, "End of the Century, 1984.
There are many other conspiracy theories involving other authors and texts, but those are mostly the result some bored book geek sitting around and finding every possible instance that the year 1984 is used in literature. So for now, your guess is as good as ours.