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Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) - George Orwell

Related: allegory - British literature - 1984 - 1949 - science fiction - dystopia - voyeurism

Unidentified book cover of 1984 (1949) - George Orwell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Nineteen Eighty-Four has had a surprisingly large impact on the English language. Many of its concepts, Big Brother, Room 101, thought police, doublethink and Newspeak, have entered common usage in describing totalitarian or overarching behaviour by authority. Doublespeak or doubletalk is a subsequent elaboration on the word doublethink that never actually appeared in the novel itself. The adjective "Orwellian" is often used to describe any real world scenario reminiscent of the novel. The practice of suffixing words with "-speak" and "-think" (groupthink, mediaspeak) arguably originated with the novel.[May 2006]


Nineteen Eighty-Four is an allegorical political novel written by George Orwell. The story takes place in a nightmarish dystopia where the omnipresent State enforces perfect conformity among members of a totalitarian Party through indoctrination, propaganda, fear, and ruthless punishment. The novel introduced the concepts of the ever-present, all-seeing Big Brother, Room 101, the Thought Police, and the bureaucrats' and politicians' language of control, Newspeak. The novel was successful in terms of sales, and has remained one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the first and most cited works of dystopian fiction to have appeared in English literature. The book has been translated into many languages. Nineteen Eighty-Four and its terminology have become a byword in discussions of privacy issues. The term "Orwellian" has come to describe actions or organizations that are thought to be reminiscent of the society depicted in the novel. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four [Mar 2006]

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