1984 is possibly the definitive dystopian novel, set in a world that used to be beyond our imagining. A world where totalitarianism really is total, all power split into three roughly equal groups--Eastasia, Eurasia, and Oceania. 1984 is set in Oceania, which includes the United Kingdom, where the story is set, known as Airstrip One.
Winston Smith is a middle-aged, unhealthy character, based loosely on Orwell's own frail body, an underling of the ruling oligarchy, The Party. The Party
hastakenearly20th century totalitarianism to new depths, with each person subjected to 24 hour surveillance, where people's very thoughts are controlled to ensure purity of the oligarchical system in place. Figurehead of the system is the omnipresent and omnipotent Big Brother.
But Winston believes there is another way.
"He who controls thepast, controls the future" is a Party slogan to live by and it gives Winston his job, but Winston cannot see it like that. Barely old enough to recall a time when things were different, he sets out to expose the Partyfor the cynically fraudulent organization that it is. He is joined by Julia, a beautiful young woman much in contrast with Winston physically, but equally sickened by the excesses of her rulers.
You will meet many recognizable characters, themes, and words which have become part of our everyday life as you read 1984. Where did Big Brother first appear? Certainly not on Australian TV! Written in Orwell's inimitable journalistic style, 1984 is a tribute to a man who saw the true dangers of historian Lord Acton's (1834-1902) statement: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."