Imagine a rather thin, middle-aged Caucasian man, his face wearied with life. Imagine the man’s head is crowned with a dark mop of hair — shaved on the side, but shaggy on top and parted down the middle. Between a pencil-thin moustache and nearly non-existent bottom lip, the man clenches a lit, hand-rolled cigarette. Begin to slowly broaden your gaze: do you see his attire? He is wearing a hideous, dark-green suit; layered under the suit is an ensemble of a dark grey sweater over a denim button-up, both oddly complemented by a red, black, and grey tartan necktie. Now, imagine this man taking a seat at what looks to be an ordinary wooden table. Atop this table is an old-fashioned typewriter. The overflowing bookshelves behind the man and the dense cloud of cigarette smoke that fills the scene is reminiscent of a 1940s noir detective film. The novels scattered around and stacked on his desk — filled with bookmarks, bent pages, and the occasional ash burn — have spines which read names like Zamyatin, Wells, Huxley, and Swift. Little does this man know that he is about to author a novel which will, seven decades hence, often take precedent in discussions about the surveillance state via “dead metaphors” like “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”[1] He does not realize that this story will, for many in the West, become the quintessential dystopian novel.[2]

The year is 1946 and George Orwell is sitting down to begin what will become his most memorable work, 1984. Over the next couple years, with each letter mashed down under his fingers, Orwell will minister a discomforting tale of hate, war, destitution, and falsity — a tale of propaganda which Orwell not only derives from what he saw as a possible outcome of the post-WWII culture surrounding him, but which Orwell limitedly experienced in his stint in the POUM militia during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.[3] By the time the last letter is punched, Orwell will have developed the ubiquitous eye of Big Brother, the twisted philosophy of doublethink, and Oceania’s distorted Platonic caste system. When this novel is ready to be handed over for publication, it will contain and pass on the past proven elements that define the dystopian genre: the destruction of counter-information, suppression of individualism, sheer mindlessness of the masses, and barbarism of authority. Unknown to him as he sits puffing his cigarette, staring at the first blank sheet, this work will cause Orwell to become a sort of poster-child for many authors seeking to create a dystopian world. This work will be read by millions over the coming decades and be perceived as a warning concerning the horrors of totalitarianism. This work which he is about to pore over for the foreseeable future will be genuinely misunderstood.

1984 is set in London and begins in the year 1984. Decades before the time in which the novel is set, a single political party seized power over what we today might consider the West, including those nations highly influenced by the West, through a series of wars, propaganda, political oppression, and power grabs — North and South America, England, Australia, and the southern half of Africa. The political party in power is Ingsoc (English Socialism); its ruler is known as Big Brother, a person whose existence is questionable; the nation is called Oceania. In Oceania, there are three levels to society: the Proles (proletariat/poor masses), the Outer Party (the working class), and the Inner Party (the ruling few). The Inner Party of Ingsoc maintains control over the Outer Party via various psychological techniques such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, the two minutes of hate, the fear of unpersoning, and constant propaganda against one of the other two nations — Eurasia and Eastasia. Also, they use technological advances to create a constant state of surveillance with the telescreen (a sort of TV) and other forms of reconnaissance. The Inner Party controls the Proles by keeping them poor and stupid.

This is the world that the novel’s protagonist — Outer Party Member and records editor in the Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith — lives in and his love interest — Outer Party Member and machine operator in the Ministry of Truth, Julia — was born into. From page to page, Orwell takes the reader deeper into this world where criticism is systematically rendered impossible by those who wish to criticize, and objective truth is traded for subjective truth by those who believe in neither. It is in this dystopian society that two maleficent individuals, Winston and Julia, fall in love, begin a secret affair, and begin to fantasize about somehow fighting against Ingsoc. After a time, fantasy is not enough: the two love-struck fools attempt to join the secret resistance known as the ‘Brotherhood’, only to find that they have been suckered by a major Inner Party member, O’Brien — their future interrogator. As they lay in the bed of their secret Prole apartment, Winston repeats a conclusive phrase that has been haunting him: “We are the dead.”[4] Julia repeats the statement in agreement. Then, an “iron voice” replies from behind a hidden telescreen, “You are the dead.”[5] They are arrested and taken to the Ministry of Love where they are to be brought to repentance.

And it is in the Ministry of Love that Orwell’s story punches the hardest, for here we find not even love can stand against an enemy that has taken the solid ground of objective morality and truth away. In such a world as Oceania, the objective soil in which the seed of love may blossom has been tainted by the subjective ‘fertilizer’ of Collective Solipsism. In the Ministry of Love we discover that neither Winston nor Julia love anything more than themselves. Both give into Big Brother. Both give into doublethink. Both let go of love and, by that, truth. In the end, Big Brother wins; Oceania wins; Ingsoc wins; Love, Peace, Plenty, and Truth lose. In the end, if we are observant of Orwell’s purpose, we find that subjectivity wins and objectivity loses.

Almost thirty-five years have passed since 1984 ticked straight into 1985, just like every other year, without a Big Brother government takeover in the West — at least not with the full-scale reign of terror that saturates Oceania. No doubt Western society is, generally speaking, a surveillance state. There is a camera and microphone nearly everywhere, for people carry such things everywhere they go — it’s called a cellphone. Unlike Orwell’s star-crossed lovers, Winston and Julia, even in a vacant woody field in the middle of nothing, the contemporary westerner cannot escape surveillance — they actually prefer it. Still, much of the surveillance in Western society is not strictly government based (we may have our doubts about that). It is private companies that use our thoughts against us (for us?) for profit.[6] We type our every thought or speak our every curious whim freely into search engines. We wire our house with intelligent devices that recognize our voice and obey our commands. They are always listening! For years there have been algorithms that can predict which song we want to listen to or video we want to watch. Google, Facebook, and the like have outdone the Thought Police: they can finish our sentences: they know what you are thinking![7] Nevertheless, society continues on without a vicious government purge.

Although Orwell’s novel was not a prediction of what would for certain happen by 1984 in the West, due to the almost occultic way that 1984 is interpreted by some who read it, the fear of the ‘inevitable’ still looms. This is the book that people think about and refer to when a person or party in government does something that reeks of privacy invasion or creates a simple slogan that plays on patriotic sensibilities (left or right or in-between, they are all guilty of this) or speaks against the media or when multiple government organizations are caught conspiring against the law to push an agenda that has not been approved by the people, for the sake of power, “pure power.”[8] Such reminders of Oceania happen too often in government and, sometimes, it seems as if the government is using Goldstein’s ‘THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM’ to shape their political agendas.[9] However, even under such circumstances, Western society has been able to flourish in the manner that 1984 predicts to be impossible — a world of general equality. But, who knows for how long?

It seems that the Big Brother totalitarianism that readers believe 1984 suggests has not and will not come to fruition in the West. Honestly, the world will never be as simple as Orwell painted it — three major nations fighting for the same territory, governing their nations with the same tactics, and seeking to overthrow one another with the same guise (but as said, this is not meant to be prophecy or to be taken literally). So, why have authors continued to pen societies that play on the same fears as Orwell? Is it that fear sells? Maybe. Or, what continues to make this work popular? Is it the frightfulness of Big Brother’s reign that keeps authors, readers, English teachers, political pundits, journalists, and politicians turning back to it? Considering the typical article that alludes to or is written about 1984 verges on political fear-mongering and that many teachers choose to establish a faux Big Brother government to help teach the book’s content, the answer is likely yes. How about another question: was this Orwellian masterpiece really about the dangers of totalitarianism or “tendencies within liberal democracies” to become totalitarian?[10] It is here that a definitive answer can be given; an answer that defies the way most seem to actually read the novel: no! Totalitarianism is not the issue that Orwell wished to address in 1984; nor is this a book “about tendencies within liberal democracies,” although both ideas govern the way it has been read in America, possibly the West in general.[11] Let’s not forget that O’Brien describes Oceania as “Collective solipsism” and scoffs at totalitarianism.[12]

The real issue that undergirds Orwell’s quintessential dystopia, the actual thread that weaves together the spine of 1984 is criticism, or the lack thereof. 1984 is Orwell’s attempt at displaying what happens when a society rejects objective reality and, therein, loses its power to be critical. 1984 is Orwell’s own Essay on Criticism, if you will.[13] As the reader is walked through Winston Smith’s life, they become witness to his ever-present fear of being caught in a deed, word, facial expression . . . even thought . . . that may be considered hostile to the party. The opening chapter, when Winston begins his diary, depicts him sitting in the one tiny spot in his apartment where the telescreen cannot see him. He knows that expressing his own ideas on paper is punishable by death although there is no such thing as law or punishment in Oceania, only repentance. A fact which defies common sense; however, in Oceania, “heresy of heresies was common sense.”[14]

Because of its use in pop-culture, those who have never read this book assume that it focuses on government, and many who read it step away petrified at what governments may be, and have been, capable of. Yet, the entire novel really draws the reader to experience 1984 mostly through the thoughts of its protagonist, Winston Smith. The reader is not focused on the government. The reader is focused on Winston. Orwell makes the reader the real Thought Police who become privy to the disturbing nature of a mind that has but four fingers left gripping onto objective reality.

What seems to make the individuality of the narrative difficult to grasp is the disconnect the reader senses in Winston’s mind: a deranged mind which at times is reminiscent of Ted Bundy. Instead of identifying with the protagonist, the reader is meant to be alarmed at the kind of sociopathic-survivalist thought pattern which has developed in Winston, Julia, and the other party members of Oceania. Winston seems animalistic to the common reader, yet he considers himself to be less than an animal because he still possesses a partial grip on objective reality. Nevertheless, the irony is that because of this partial grip, Winston also considers himself to be sane; strangely enough, many of his thoughts and some of his actions suggest otherwise in relation to almost universally accepted rules of polite society.

Truly, the reader is astonished at Winston’s depravity, and so the reader is supposed to be. When Winston suspects his will-be lover (Julia) of being the Thought Police or a snitch or simply being “young and pretty and sexless,” one of his first thoughts is to rape her and “slit her throat at climax.”[15] When discussing with Julia about a moment when he and his wife — a person he cannot stand in the least — were alone, looking over a cliff, Julia asks, “Why didn’t you give her a good shove?”[16] Winston expresses regret about not shoving her; not because he thought pushing such an “inconvenient person over a cliff” would have solved his problems, but because he prefers “a positive to a negative.”[17] In another instance of disconnect, Winston witnesses a bomb destroy a row of houses. He does not run to help. He is not overcome with dismay. As he continues to walk by the scene, he sees a hand, severed at the wrist lying in front of him. He kicks it out of the way and cuts down a side street to avoid the inconvenient crowd. The reader is meant to be petrified at what Winston is capable of considering sane, of what happens when objective morality is kicked “into the gutter as though it had been a cabbage-stalk.”[18]

With each page turn of 1984, Orwell is trying to reveal that the foundation of a Totalitarian-Collective-Solipsist government is the modern individual’s own four-fingered grip on reality, the willingness of the masses to let go of their grip when it benefits them, and the inability — nay, unwillingness! — of the uneducated-oppressed to rise up, for “they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”[19] 1984 demonstrates the complexities of individuals who have rejected three-fifths of objective reality — objective morality. 1984 is about the strange ability of the people of Oceania to collectively agree to discard their own intuition and experiences so that all facts “fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer” — this is Collective Solipsism.[20] 1984 is the creative outworking of a great concern which hung over Orwell as he watched the tendency of society to “group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples).”[21]

Five years before the publishing of 1984, Orwell sent a reply letter to Noel Willmett in which he revealed that he believed non-democratic forms of government were on the rise. He believed that though Hitler would soon pass away, the preference of the educated and ruling classes to side with the tactics of totalitarian government (Stalin) would possibly continue to influence the younger generation and the common people might come to reflect these sensibilities. He believed that the very fact that the younger generation had not yet produced a fascist movement in England was merely because they were looking “for their fuhrer elsewhere.”[22] Living through two World Wars, among other smaller skirmishes, and witnessing the failure of the Enlightenment’s progressive ideologies led Orwell to believe that the world was on a path to ultimate domination by a few superpowers. Too many times he had witnessed entire countries being mentally dominated in a fashion similar to O’Brien’s domination over Winston. He feared that two and two could really become five if the collective’s chosen fuhrer “wished it.”[23] But this fear is not the basic issue that led Orwell to work out the ideas of this letter.

Orwell also felt that this path of rejecting objective reality for the sake of the fuhrer, for the sake of power, was avoidable, even “reversible.”[24] However, this could only be avoided or reversed if the “sinister symptoms” were pointed out.[25] 1984 clearly points out the symptoms of the underlying, seemingly terminal, disease of mankind — the tendency to throw away truth for the illusion of “victory, victory, victory!”[26] The only way to stave off the cancer of totalitarian government, the only treatment for the collective hysteria of Big Brother’s syphilitic-schizophrenia (which will cause the collective to willingly deny the concrete truth of mathematics), and the only way to be certain that we are alive and it matters is “constant criticism.”[27]

1984 is the government handbook for how to stamp out criticism: ‘doublethink.’[28] As O’Brien reveals to Winston, Big Brother will not allow martyrs; Big Brother will have utter repentance. Whether by pain, fear, gin, drugs, or a combination, everyone will break their bond with the insane slavery of objectivity. Sooner or later, everyone will know, not falsely confess, that Big Brother is “FOR EVER” and Big Brother is REALITY.[29]

What Orwell could not foresee, and what remains to be the great irony of 1984’s popularity, is that it has not taken the awful charisma of an ‘infallible fuhrer’ to convince contemporary society that objective reality is likely an illusion. The trivial, mundane, and annoyingly shortsighted nihilism that has resulted in the unknowing acceptance of Nietzschean perspectivism that almost defines postmodern thought verges on the very principles of doublethink. The postmodern mind criticizes without facts because facts change with perspective. The postmodern mind can change sides at any moment, as long as the popular opinion they have deemed to be ‘fact’ shifts. Anything is justifiable as long as the ends end in their favor, as long as there is victory. Nothing can exist outside the postmodern mind: good, bad, right, wrong, gender — “Reality is inside the skull.”[30]

Orwell warned, and we have not listened. Like Winston, the postmodern mind has at least held on to convenient absolute concepts of reality: math, physics, and chemistry. However, the day will come — it is the next logical step — when such absolutes will be inconvenient. A slight shove off the cliff is all it will take; then, hwissssss . . . SPLAT! Every absolute, objective truth that draws the line between sanity and insanity will burst, head first, at the feet of subjectivity. Right now, it is morality that is the basis for rejecting certain objective principles; reality mostly comes into play when it does not fit with moral choices. Soon, without criticism, the objective ground that criticism stands on will be vanquished — objective reality is inseparable from objective morality. Then, we will have submitted to something worse than Big Brother totalitarianism or forced Collective Solipsism. We will have submitted to the tyranny of our own, individual longings for convenience. A tyranny which, unlike Nazism or Maoism, will not be struggled against, for the struggle would only be an inconvenience. A tyranny than cannot be struggled against because struggle requires a solid, immovable ground to plant one’s feet on and everything will have become malleable.[31]

Rejecting objective reality may or may not lead to the government described in 1984. That is not the ‘sinister symptom’ that concerned Orwell, merely the end he believed most likely to come of it in his own time. It will, however, certainly lead to the kind of neurotic nihilism that convinces individuals that all is permissible as long as it is convenient. This is the natural progression of which Orwell is warning. This is what may allow for Big Brother government as Orwell describes. In the end, however, such government is Orwell’s way of using what he felt to be inevitable in his time if objective reality was forsaken. The inevitable postmodern result is different, though the diagnosis is the same. A result which will not be guessed at here. And when objective reality is finally sacrificed on the altar of postmodern progress, the ability to criticize will die with it. 1984 is Orwell’s way of saying, “If you know anything better than the things I’ve just been discussing, be a good fellow and pass it on: if not, join me in following these.”[32]

Think about it. If ‘reality is in the skull,’ why fear absolute control? Why fight against the Hitlers, Maos, Stalins, Pol-Pots, or Kims if there is no absolute right or wrong? Why is Winston’s selfishness against his sister appalling?[33] Why should we be shocked when the theater cheers as the mother and child are blown to bits?[34] Why should we feel our stomach turn in knots when the father in prison with Winston would assume that he watch his whole family’s throats be cut so that he doesn’t have to feel more pain?[35] Why, when Winston asks if the individual can endure double-pain for another, do we say yes?[36] Why do we sympathize with Winston’s mother and know she has done the right thing when she loves him in spite of his beastliness?[37] Why do we desire to cast off the ever-stomping boot on the face of real love, real truth, real peace, and real freedom? Why do we feel that we would argue with O’Brien as Winston attempts to do? In the end, when even math laws become subjective, why do we reject this as utter foolishness? Why, when Orwell types the final words of Winston’s submission — “He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” — do we feel like a piece of us has been wronged?[38]

Because we know that rebelling against dictators is right. Because we know that a real big brother should love his little sister. Because we know rejoicing at the murder of women and children is abhorrent. Because we know fathers are meant to be protectors. Because we know their pain really does have meaning outside themselves. Because we know a mother is supposed to have unconditional love. Because we know that love, truth, peace, and freedom are worth the fight. Because we know that math is an unalterable building block of the universe. Because we know that submission to a lie can never be victory and, like Shakespeare’s Brutus, one can never truly love the tyrant. Due to Western society’s scriptural lens, we have a feeling that things should be a certain way; things should be good. That is why we relate to and revolt against the world displayed before us in 1984. Simultaneously (not in a doublethink), we want Winston to be happy and we know he is quite wicked, in need of redemption, and does not deserve it.

The desires behind the Big Brother worldview tend to be what C.S. Lewis would call a “mere innovation . . . of the old maxim.”[39] The idea which suffers, “has also inspired the changes,” but in the case of innovation, the change is really meant to replace the old maxim.[40] Winston is only able to overcome himself because he is using objective reality to push himself into the subjective madness required by Big Brother. Orwell is warning us not to do the same.

Most are not ready to scrap the whole truth, yet they are ready to accept a limited subjectivism that allows for certain comforts that truth does not. Albeit Orwell rejected formal religion, even he plays on mankind’s intuited search for reconciliation and desire to conquer darkness to drive home his point: objective reality is the only sure ground for ‘constant criticism’ and ‘constant criticism’ will ensure the benefits of objective reality — peace, love, freedom, truth. Unlike the ancient societies that narrated the same search with tragic expectations, contemporary Western society believes such a search will end well due to its biblical roots. We expect the truth to prevail because truth has already prevailed on the cross and in the resurrection. When Winston breaks, we feel the tragedy more deeply than Homer’s ancient reader would because we know that lies will not have the last word. Whether we want to admit it or not, we know the whole truth must be accepted, or nothing can be certain. That is why O’Brien knew Winston would break, he had just enough truth to cause him to question his own sanity. Once that was not certain, reality was up for grabs.

In the closing chapters, the reader is faced with a hopeless feeling. No one has shown up to save the day. No hero has conquered. No reconciliation. No redemption. No happily ever after. Maybe Winston was the last man, and if so, we find that we agree with O’Brien (for somewhat different reasons) on one thing: what a sad, pathetic, sickening excuse for a man. If that is all that men are made of, then it would be better for men not to exist at all. We feel this way and Orwell knew we would feel this way because there is an element in man that will always revolt against what we consider wrong. Deep inside us, as we read the closing pages, we know the ‘Brotherhood’ exists because we know that we are a part of the ‘Brotherhood.’[41] At the very least, we feel Orwell calling us to our own ‘Brotherhood.’ A ‘Brotherhood’ that not only resists, it overcomes. A ‘Brotherhood’ that fights for what is right and takes the double-pain. A ‘Brotherhood’ that will not lose the hope of objective reality.

So, here we are seventy years later. Have we learned our lesson? We must consider: are men, is language, is thought, is reality “infinitely malleable?”[42] Of course not. If so, you wouldn’t be able to read this sentence. If so, at any moment you might just float off the ground like a bubble. Still, it seems that our society is daily becoming more susceptible to the contemporary O’Briens. Have we submitted to the surveillance state? We have passively accepted it for sure, but we have not submitted quite yet. Only if we continue to allow it to chip away at our inalienable rights will we lose. The rejection of the only firm ground, objective reality, is what Orwell warned against. Have we listened? Half-heartedly.

We must listen. We must understand what Orwell is trying to teach us, to scare into us. Without constant criticism, eventually everything will become malleable to the will of a fuhrer; or worse, the will of the collective. Peace, Love, Plenty, and Truth will all become antithetical to themselves. Freedom will be slavery. Two and two will make five. Power will be God. That is what will happen if we submit to subjectivity (a doublethink in itself). We cannot criticize without objective reality. Without objective reality we are merely dead men speaking, dead men hearing, dead men writing, and dead men reading dead words.


[1] C.S. Lewis, “Bluspels and Flalansferes: A Semantic Nightmare,” in Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 251;

George Orwell, 1984 (Noida, India: Maple Press Private Limited, 2019), 8.

[2] The following sources do not necessarily represent the political opinions of this author or AUJ. These sources are being used to display that 1984 is currently used by media outlets as a sort of scare tactic because it is assumed that the basic plot is understood by the masses. Also, these sources refer to 1984’s high volume of sales, it’s status among UK readers, and its influence on culture in general. Therein, these sources give credit to the statement that 1984 is currently the ‘quintessential dystopian novel.’

Katherine Schulten, “Teaching Orwell and ‘1984’ with The New York Times,” The New York Times, February 9, 2017, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/learning/lesson-plans/teaching-orwell-and-1984-with-the-new-york-times.html;

Adam Gopnik, “Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s Election,” The New Yorker, January 27, 2017, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/orwells-1984-and-trumps-america;

Daily Mail Reporter, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is voted UK’s favourite book,” Daily Mail, August 7, 2019, accessed August, 9 2019, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7335205/The-Lion-Witch-Wardrobe-voted-UKs-favourite-book.html;

George Packer, “Doublethink is Stronger than Orwell Imagined: What 1984 Means Today,” The Atlantic, July 2019, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/1984-george-orwell/590638/.

[3] Paul Preston, “George Orwell’s Spanish civil war memoir is a classic, but is it bad history?” The Guardian, May 7, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/06/george-orwell-homage-to-catalonia-account-spanish-civil-war-wrong.

[4] Orwell, 1984, 169.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The following sources do not necessarily represent the views of this author or AUJ.

John Stossel, “Stossel: Google and Facebook Cross ‘The Creepy Line’,” Reason TV (December 2018): accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIzFw09ySAM;

John Stossel, “Stossel: Does Silicon Valley manipulate users?” Reason TV (December 2018): accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-JpwP_fhYw;

Alexis C. Madrigal, “Facebook Didn’t Sell Your Data; It Gave It Away,” The Atlantic, December 19, 2018, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/12/facebooks-failures-and-also-its-problems-leaking-data/578599/;

michaias, “Whatever You’re Thinking, Google Already Knows,” Hackernoon, March 2, 2019, accessed August 3, 2019, https://hackernoon.com/whatever-youre-thinking-google-already-knows-751b3829fe78;

Jason Perlow, “Forget the NSA: Orwell’s 1984 is alive and well in private industry,” ZDNet, December 19, 2013, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.zdnet.com/article/forget-the-nsa-orwells-1984-is-alive-and-well-in-private-industry/.

[7] Ibid.

[8] The following sources do not necessarily represent the views of this author or AUJ.

Ian Crouch, “So Are We Living In 1984?” The New Yorker, June 11, 2013, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/so-are-we-living-in-1984;

Andrew Simmons, “Teaching 1984 in 2016,” The Atlantic, November 20, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/11/teaching-1984-in-2016/508226/;

Kimberley Richards, “Trump’s latest speech compared to ‘1984’: ‘What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening’,” Independent, July 25, 2018, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-speech-fake-news-1984-orwell-kansas-a8463471.html;

Orwell, 1984, 202.

[9] Orwell, 1984, 143.

[10] Louis Menand, ““1984” at Seventy: Why We Still Read Orwell’s Book of Prophecy,” The New Yorker, June 8, 2019, accessed August 3, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/1984-at-seventy-why-we-still-read-orwells-book-of-prophecy.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Orwell, 1984, 205.

[13] Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, (London: Anonymous, 1711). An Essay on Criticism is a poem of heroic couplets in which Alexander Pope writes on the importance of good criticism, the harm of bad criticism, and the origin of true criticism.

[14] Orwell, 1984, 64.

[15] Ibid., 17.

[16] Ibid., 105.

[17] Ibid., 106.

[18] Ibid., 129.

[19] Ibid., 159.

[20] George Orwell, “To Noel Willmett” in George Orwell: A Life in Letters, sel. and anno. Peter Davidson (London: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2010), 232.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 233.

[23] Ibid., 232.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid., 233.

[26] Orwell, 1984, 227.

[27] Orwell, “To Noel Willmett,” 233.

[28] Orwell, 1984, 32.

Orwell’s defines ‘doublethink’ as a “labyrinthine world.” A world in the mind, where a person both knows and does not know, is conscious and is not conscious “of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.”

[29] Ibid., 25.

[30] Ibid., 204.

[31] Ibid., 207.

[32] Horace, Satires and Epistles, ed. Robert Cowan, trans. John Davie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 73.

[33] Orwell, 1984, 127.

[34] Ibid., 12-13.

[35] Ibid., 182.

[36] Ibid., 183-184.

[37] Ibid., 127-128.

[38] Orwell, 1984, 228.

[39] C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: HarperOne, 2001), 46.

[40] Ibid., 45.

[41] Orwell, 1984, 16.

[42] Ibid., 207.

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