The Financial Express

A review of Orwell's 1984

Big Brother is watching you!

| Updated: December 23, 2021 21:37:44

Big Brother is watching you!

1984 is one of the most influential books written in the history of modern literature. 

George Orwell, a renowned English writer–known for his vocal opposition to authoritarianism–wrote the novel in the year 1949. It marked the end of Orwell's legendary literary career.

The novel was set in 1984, as it was far ahead in the future at that time and it followed a dystopian and cautionary plotline foreshadowing the negative impacts that can be inflicted in the world due to authoritarianism. 

The novel also acts as a guideline and contains a message for the world to be careful about suppressing forces rising in the future.

The fictional world of the novel was moulded in a way similar to that of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and perpetual warfare, unrest and lack of freedom were among the main characteristics of the world at that time. 

The world is divided into a few big authoritarian megastates, and Great Britain becomes known as Airstrip One under the Superstate Oceania.

The main leader of the state is known as Big Brother and anyone opposing him or having different thoughts from the ones considered to be normal by the state machinery were suppressed and humiliated. 

There was also the presence of the Thought Police, who were given the responsibility of persecuting people with supposedly opposing views and ideas.

The story revolves around Winston Smith, a diligent worker of the party who secretly hates the system and dreams of causing a rebellion that will immediately shift the paradigm of that very dystopian world. Through the eyes of the protagonist, the writer tried to show the horrors of the authoritarian dictators with the line "Big Brother is watching you"-- becoming one of the most popular forms of silent protests on dictatorships across the world.

The jargon used in the book such as Doublethink, Thoughtcrime, Newspeak - all have entered the day to day usages and many parallels have been drawn with the mass surveillance, lack of freedom of expression, violence persistent in the novel with that of the outside world.

The book has a humongous influence on popular culture. The book's relevance was even more pronounced during the cold war. However, after the demise of the Soviet Union, for a period of time, the book lost its relevance. 

But it is again back in the scene as a cautionary tale, due to the persistent rise of right-wing populism and fascism across the world. 

1984 will always be pertinent as long as the world doesn’t get rid of the clutches of fascism and authoritarianism. The slogan will forever continue to mock the dictators through the voice of the youth.

"War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength!"

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