Orwell G. 1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of Winston Smith, an ordinary man struggling against the overwhelming power of a totalitarian state. Although he enjoys brief moments of love and freedom, Smith is doomed to fail in his battle with the torturer O’Brien, whose objective is not to destroy him but to make him conform. In the very last words of the novel, Orwell tells us that Smith ‘had won the battle over himself. He loved Big Brother’. In this study of political corruption, Orwell explores themes of memory, history, truth, identity and language which touch on the deepest philosophical concerns of mankind. But the phrases which define his fable – Big Brother, Newspeak, Room 101, Thought Police – have also become common currency. It is Orwell’s ability to combine the popular touch with serious thought expressed in English of exceptional purity which ensures that Nineteen Eighty-Four will continue to be regarded as one of the twentieth century’s abiding masterpieces.

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