About the author:
The book Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell was written in 1948 and published in 1949. It is one of Orwell´s most famous books.
George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles. "Down and Out in Paris and London" was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and he was wounded. "Homage to Catalonia" is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on he was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there he wrote "Coming Up for Air". During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political novel "Animal Farm" was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four, which brought him worldwide fame. George Orwell died in London in January 1950.
The title 1984:
1984 means the year, when everything has changed. The world is divided into three countries: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. Oceania compromises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australia and the southern portion of Afrika. Eurasia compromises the whole of the northern part of the European and Asiatic land-mass. Eastasia, smaller than the others compromises China and the countries to the south of it, the Japanese islands and large parts of Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet. Two of the three countries are allied and lead war against the third country. Who is allied and who is the enemy changes from time to time. The novel is set in the year 1984 in London ("Airstrip One") in Oceania, a superpower controlled by the restrictive "Party" and led by the symbolic head Big Brother. Everywhere you can see large posters of him saying: "Big Brother Is Watching You". These are the slogans of the party:
WAR IS PEACE!
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!
IGNORANCE IS STRENGHT!
The entire apparatus of government in Oceania is divided in four Ministries: The Ministry of Truth, which concerns itself with news, entertainment, education and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerns itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintains law, order and the Ministry of Plenty, which is responsible for economic affairs. The regime has invented a new language, called Newspeak, the official language in Oceania. Newspeak should prevent everybody from thinking wrong, which is called crime think in Newspeak. The vocabulary is reduced, so that there is no way of thinking wrong, because you can't express it.
The Party controls the industry and the production of all goods. But the worst thing is, that it alters the past by rewriting or destroying all old documents. What was true yesterday can be wrong today. It is forbidden to think against the party, to say nothing on public demonstrations.
To have an overlook over all the people the party has organized a secret organisation, the Thought Police, which uses modern telescreens to control each single person. The telescreen receives and transmits simultaneously. In almost every room a telescreen is fixed and everything that happens is transmitted to the Thought Police.