Analysis of the Dystopia in 1984 and the Real-World Political Climate it Rose From – British Library
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“One of the crucial questions about Nineteen Eighty-Four is whether Orwell is interested in the potential for opposition to the totalitarian state, or if his last book offers only despair. Orwell lived just long enough – he died in January 1950 – to see his book appropriated by right-wing political forces for the defence of American freedom, against which he protested in vain. This was the beginning of a long dispute over the interpretation of the book, which shows no sign of ending. Is it an anti-communist rant of a comrade who betrayed the cause? Or is it principally anti-fascist, a chilling realisation of the totalitarian imaginings of the German or Italian fascist state? But perhaps the book was anti-capitalist too, since one of the biggest influences on Orwell was James Burnham’s critique of the rise of a ‘managerialist’ class in both East and West, Russia and America, that would see technocrats overwhelm democratic institutions in the future? Is it a humanist lament that is so despairing that it ends up building a monument to anti-humanism? Nineteen Eighty-Four is a mirror: it is impossible for the reader not to find their own politics reflected, challenged or distorted in its fiercely polished plain prose. This is perhaps why so many towering literary and political critics have ended up engaging with the novel in one way or another.”
In-depth analysis of the political climate during George Orwell’s life and how that influenced key parts of his well-known dystopian novel, 1984.
- Nineteen Eighty Four and the politics of dystopia
- British Library
- No date.
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