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					        1984
A novel by George Orwell

Honors Communication Skills
                 Author: George
                    Orwell
• Pen name for Eric Blair
• Great education (usually only afforded to the most
  wealthy) – best boarding schools in England
• Described self as “lower-upper-middle class” = never
  quite fit in with peers at school
• Bought ragged clothes to live among the poorest and
  homeless of London and Paris (wrote book) and then
  among coal miners
• Based on those experiences, abandoned capitalism in
  favor of democratic socialism
                Author: George
                   Orwell
• Journalist
• 1936: traveled to Spain to report on the Spanish
  Civil War - witnessed firsthand the atrocities
  committed by fascist political regimes
• Dictators such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and
  Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union inspired
  mounting hatred of totalitarianism and political
  authority
• Wrote politically charged novels
  – Animal Farm in 1945
  – 1984 in 1949
                  Context
• Recall our discussion of the late 1940s and
  early 1950s before and during Fahrenheit
  451
• Rapid growth and fear of technology
• Threat of nuclear war
• Advent of mass media (television)
                     1984
• One of the most powerful warnings ever
  issued against the dangers of a totalitarian
  society
• Technology makes this threat greater
• Dystopia: shows the worst human society
  imaginable, in an effort to convince readers
  to avoid any path that might lead toward
  such societal degradation
                    1984
• Abusive nature of authoritarian
  governments
• Psychology of power (what it does to those
  with power and those without)
• Manipulation of language for control
• Manipulation of history for control
                 The World of 1984
• Not the structure of the world we know today
  (continents and countries)
• Three perpetually warring totalitarian states control
  the world:
   – Oceania: (ideology: Ingsoc, i.e. English Socialism) Newspeak
     is the official language – made up of Great Britain, Ireland,
     Australia, Polynesia, Southern Africa, and the Americas
   – Eurasia: (ideology: Neo-Bolshevism) made up of continental
     Europe and northern Asia
   – Eastasia (ideology: Obliteration of the Self, i.e. "Death
     worship") made up of China, Japan, Korea, and Northern
     India
                    The World of 1984




The telescreen war: the arrows of the warring Black (Eurasian) and White
(Oceanian) forces (source: Wikipedia).
             Totalitarian State
• Each of the
  states is
  totalitarian
• This chart shows
  the social
  heirarchy of
  Oceania, but we
  can assume that
  Eurasia and
  Eastasia are very
  similar.
                  Pre-reading
                  Activity #1
• What is totalitarianism?
  – a political system where the state, usually under
    the control of a single political organization,
    faction, or class domination, recognizes no limits
    to its authority and strives to regulate every
    aspect of public and private life (Wikipedia)
  – total control
• Group Assignment: Create your own
  totalitarian government – YOU’RE IN
  CONTROL!
                 Pre-reading
                 Activity #2
• What is a utopia?
  – An ideal society – perfect
  – taken from Of the Best State of a Republic, and
    of the New Island Utopia, a book written in 1516
    by Sir Thomas More describing a fictional
    island in the Atlantic Ocean, possessing a
    seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system
  – Often used to refer to something impossible
    (perfection as unattainable)
• Group Assignment: Create your own utopia
            Works Consulted
• "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Wikipedia, The Free
  Encyclopedia. 4 Dec 2009, 05:35 UTC. 4 Dec 2009
  <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nine
  teen_Eighty-Four&oldid=329615011>.

• SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on 1984.”
  SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 17
  Nov. 2009. 4 Dec. 2009
  <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/1984/>.

				
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