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1001 1984
Added on 30th July 2020

Author George Orwell
First published 1949
Publisher Secker and Warburg, London (UK)

Dystopia Identity and fairness
1001

The vision of a dystopian future that resonates through our society today.

Story

In Oceania in 1984, Winston Smith must make a decision regarding his fate. Will he continue to rewrite Times editorials for the Ministry of Truth and comply with the nefarious demands of Big Brother? Or will he risk extinction or imprisonment in the Ministry of Love in order to think freely? His decision launches him on a journey of rebellion, love affair, and ultimately betrayal.

Why we chose it

Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the most significant and influential novels of the 20th century. Enjoyed by older teenagers, it is often studied for A’ level.

Where it came from

British author, Eric Arthur Blair, aka George Orwell (1903-1950), worked as a police officer in Burma, a journalist, and a propagandist at the BBC. These experiences influenced his character, Winston Smith, and many of the events described in the novel. He wrote the book after his experience in the Second World War and the Spanish Civil War encouraged him to write about political strategies he felt no longer worked.

Where it went next

In its first year of publication, 50,000 copies were sold in Britain alone. It has been translated into over 65 languages and phrases such as “doublespeak” and “Big Brother,” have passed into every day usage. There have been a number of films, one of which was released in 1984. It has been adapted for radio, television and theatre – and there has been both an opera (Covent Garden, 2005) and a ballet (Northern Ballet, 2015).

Associated stories

Other books with dystopian themes for older teenagers include We by Yevgeny Zamyatin , Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood.

Added on 30th July 2020

Author George Orwell
First published 1949
Publisher Secker and Warburg, London (UK)

Dystopia Identity and fairness
1001