It is a satire of totalitarianism set in the year 1984 a time assumed by Orwell as the year when his apocalyptic prophecy would come true. So it is a political satire of the 20th century, a science fiction a novel about the society of the future, with a prophetic dystopian vision of the world. It is an anti-myth with its cruel and prophetic picture of a world where individuality is destroyed. It contains many uncomfortable truths.
THE STORY. The novel is about Oceania a totalitarian society ruled by Big Brother which control and censors everyone's Behavior and even Thoughts. Britain is part of Oceania and it is ruled by "INNER PARTY" led by Big Brother. He is the ruler the dictator of the totalitarian country which control the individual's life by mass-media, through technology. In fact the main protagonist, Winston Smith with his girlfriend Julia is subjected to rehabilitation treatment, a program of mental and physical torture to destroy his thought.
Through brainwashing technique Winston is completely subdued physically, emotionally, mentally.
BIG BROTHER is the ruler of the totalitarian country. It is not a real figure but a picture on posters with a signs "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU" The posters hang everywhere, in the streets, inside the room to control and influence public opinion. So the government has the total control on the life of the citizen whose private and public behavior is constantly watched through telescreens. Bid brother is the phantasmic leader of nation whose image appears everywhere on posters or on televisions.
Big Brother is the symbol of a distant, mysterious, omnipresent oppressor who has become the symbol of the total control of the individual's life by mass media in highly technological society. But he is also the parody of a historical figure, Stalin.
The name Big Brother has become also the title of TV programs which means the domination over the individual's life by mass media.
The phrase Big Brother was first coined by Orwell in his novel 1984 and it has entered the English language and other ones to describe organizations and systems that extend their control over a large number of people and invade their privacy and life. Newspeak is the Party language, the official language of the Totalitarian State which distorts and redefines reality and truth according to the State's wishes. It is so limited that people find it is impossible to express their ideas. It is an instrument to brainwash people with the paradoxical slogans WAR IS PEACE, LOVE IS HATE, FREEDOM IS SLAVE.
THE PARTY has absolute control of the press and communication. Any form of rebellion is punished with prison and torture
The setting There is a gloomy atmosphere of London, the city of the future with the lack of privacy, freedom, thought and speech. The story is set in 1984. the last two numbers of the year were reversed to give the title of the novel.
The themes. The increasing influence of mass media, the description of a future tyrannical world headed by the dictator "Big Brother" who control men's action thoughts and feelings through mass media.
The aim He wants to attack contemporary Britain, the loss of values of the country. He makes a parody of totalitarianism, he warns against the danger of a totalitarian state. He wants to educate, to inform, to denounce man's enslavement to mass media. The novel reflects a deep disillusionment, a pessimistic vision of the future under the threat of totalitarian regimes where people lose their identities and freedom.
HIS MESSAGE. His political message is to draw attention on the problems of contemporary life, to warn us against the danger of a totalitarian policy which destroys language and thoughts through mass- media, So the message is that a society based on a totalitarian system, totally destroys our individuality because it destroys our language and thoughts through mass media.
From" Animal Farm" to" Nineteen Eighty-Four"
The message we find in the novel Animal Farm is "A society which cannot control its language is doomed to be oppressed"
The next logical step is in the message of "Nineteen Eighty-four". It is "the total destruction of the language leads to the destruction of thought itself" and of the individuality.
Similarities. There are both against the evils of a totalitarian state. Both the novels were the precise and passionate expression of his feelings about the failure of socialist utopia in Soviet Union, that is THE END OF IDEOLOGY.
Dystopian novel is the word coined in the present century to describe fiction giving a picture of an imagery world where the negative aspects of the society have been carried to unpleasant extremes.
Utopian novel describes an ideal society in its positive aspects. It was coined by Tommaso Moro with his work Utopia.