June 8, 1949: George Orwell’s 1984
On 8th June 1949 George Orwell published his dystopian novel ‘1984’, whose title is a permutation of 1948, the year of composition.
An article in “The Nation” of 1984 stated it is “ Orwell’s picture of the way the world ends: actually it does not end at all, physically … but continues in a perpetual nightmare of living death…”
It was a warning of the society that would emerge if totalitarianism prevailed, but Orwell didn’t live to see the social impact of his work, since he died in January 1950, only 46.
Sixty-eight years later Orwell’s novel echoes as powerfully as ever. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have become commonplace. The adjective Orwellian, which describes a totalitarian dystopia, characterised by government control and subjugation of the people, secret surveillance, and manipulation of recorded history, has become popular.
In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005