About his life: George Orwell is a pen name, it is the pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair. He was born in India; after school he joined the Indian Imperial Police and served in Burma for 5 years; he began his career as a journalist; he worked in Paris and in London, and he participated as a reporter in the Civil war of Spain [The civil war between republicans and the dictator Francisco Franco/Orwell joined the republican side] Orwell developed strong sympathies for the working class. He was ideologically a “socialist”. His dislike of colonialism, and his working-class sympathies developed into strong left-wing political convictions. But, because Orwell was a left-wing person, he criticized the left-wing policy of his time, because that left-wing policy, with the Marxism, and the man ideology, transformed the Russian Revolution [Soviet Revolution] in a Dictatorship. [It suffocated individual freedoms].
Orwell developed these matters in his two main works: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-four (1984).
In Animal Farm Orwell uses two very old narrative forms to point out a moral and to illustrate political convictions. Animal Farm is a political fable and an allegory of Russian Revolution. [Fable: work that uses anthropomorphized animals to teach a lesson] The general lesson of this fable is that the “power corrupts” all people.
About the story: Mr. Jones is the owner of a Farm. Mr. Jones is a tyrant who mistreats and neglects the animals. One of them, a pig called Major, inspires the other with a dream of freedom from Tyrannical human beings. He dies, but his ideas live on, and the young pigs rebel against the owner, in name of freedom, and democracy.
So the pigs became the brains of the brains of the new community, and they create a slogan for their community: “All Animals are equal”.
But, the pigs begin to enjoy small privileges, and in short, time the power corrupts the pigs. They become dictators. Then, they begin to believe with the language they can take the control of the other animals. So, they change the slogan of their community in: “All Animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than another”.
In this way, because the other animals live in the ignorance, the pigs at the power can do anything, because the other animals believe pigs are also “more equal than the other animals”.
For the first time Orwell underlines the main characteristic of any power and dictatorship, that is to say the Manipulation of Language.
1984 is a dystopian novel published in 1949, and written in 1948. [The title is the inversion of last two number]. In this novel, the world is divided into three super-states in contrast war which each other: Oceania, Eurasia and Estasia. The novel is set in London, the capital of Oceania. This State is governed by a dirty political party, called “SOCENG”, that is the anonym of “English Socialism”. In London, in all streets, in all buildings, there are some Tele-screen, on which, at every hour of the day and the night, appears an eye in a triangle (that is the iconography of God), that represents the BIG BROTHER.
On these Tele-screens appears also some written:
A. “The big brother is watching you”
B. War is peace
C. Freedom is slavery
D. Ignorance is strength
So the big brother, who sees all and knows all, and which nobody has ever seen in person, controls this society. In this world everything is allowed, there is no written. Nothing, apparently, is prohibited. Except thinking. Except love. Except fun. Except live freely. In this society under the control of the Big Brother, who does something different from what the party imposes, is subjected to the brain washing. [Undergoes the brain washing].
In Oceania, there are many ministries, like the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of truth or the Ministry of Love.
Methods used by the party to control people in 1984
The novel is set in London, a city of Oceania, governed by a dirty political party called SocEng.
This party uses some methods to control the population. First of all, it uses fear and propaganda: in London, in each street, in each building, there are some telescreens; through these telescreens the party controls what happens everywhere at every hour of the day. Also, on these telescreens appears an eye in a triangle, and some slogan, like ‘’the big brother is watching you!’’; that is to say, the eye represents the iconography of God, so, it represents the omnipresence of the big brother.
However the party uses some slogan, like: ‘’war is peace’’, ‘’freedom is slavery’’ and ‘’ignorance is strength’’.
In this way, the party controls the population, and who does something different from what the party imposes, is subjected to the brain-washing.