The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell’s prophetic nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “Negative Utopia”, a startlingly original and powerful novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. In the gray totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and his vast network of agents suffocating freedom, news is manufactured according to the will of the authorities and tepid people live tepid lives by rote. Dissidents are tracked down and subjected to such discipline as turns them into willing tools of their masters. And as for Winston Smith, the hero with no heroic qualities, he only longs for truth and decency. But living in a social system where privacy does not exist and where holders of unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or summarily put to death, he knows there is no hope for him. His brief love affair ends in arrest by the Thought Police, and when, after nine months of torture, he is released, Winston makes his final submission of his own accord.
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