Orwell's Influence in 1984

Better Essays
Anthony Bernard-Sasges
5 May 2012
Orwell’s Influence in 1984 Influence--from the day one is born to the day one dies, this constantly affects people in their lives. All of this experience is then reflected in everything that they do. One will never forget the most powerful memories he or she has, they will be forever ingrained in their minds. George Orwell, a British writer during the twentieth century, wrote his famous novel in the wake of the World Wars that had rocked the entire globe. In 1949, he published 1984 . This novel is about a future in Oceania, where the citizens are ruled by a totalitarian government called The Party. Winston Smith, the main character, works for Big Brother, the government, but secretly hates The Party and dreams of rebelling against Big Brother. Orwell introduces the ideas of total government control, such as thoughtcrimes, which are illegal thoughts. Not only does the government control its citizens’ actions and words, it also controls their thoughts in 1984. This novel was influenced by many of Orwell’s previous experiences.
This influence came from a few books written during Orwell’s time. For example, when writing 1984, Orwell was influenced greatly by We, a satire depicting the destruction of a totalitarian state, and by the exile of its writer, Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (Frodsham 143). Just like We, 1984 is a satire about the destruction of a totalitarian government. In addition to We, Orwell 's book bears a similarity to Arthur Koestler 's Darkness at Noon, which had been published a few years prior to 1984. Similar to Orwell’s, Koestler 's book depicts the horrors of a totalitarian state (Rehnquist 986). The characters share similarities as well. The relationship between Winston and O 'Brien in 1984 is very complex and the only human interaction between two characters in Orwell 's novel. This relationship can be compared to the one between Rubashov and Gletin in Koestler 's Darkness at Noon, written a decade before 1984



Cited: Frodsham, John David. “The New Barbarians: Totalitarianism, Terror and the Left Intelligentsia in Orwell’s 1984.” World Affairs 147.3 (1984-1985): 140-3. Web. Köseman, Zennure. “Textual Horizons Considered in an Age of Global Crisis: George Orwell’s Coming Up for Air, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.” 1178-84. Web. Ranald, Ralph A. “George Orwell and the Mad World: The Anti-Universe of 1984.” Novels for Students. Ed. Deborah A. Stanley. Farmington Hills: Gale Research. 251-4. Print. Rehnquist, William H. “1984.” Michigan Law Review 102.6 (2004): 983-6. Web. Tyner, James A. “Self and Space, Resistance and Discipline: a Foucauldian Reading of George Orwell’s 1984.” Social and Cultural Geography 5.1 (2004): 131-46. Web. Wilson, John Howard. “Brideshead Revisited in Nineteen Eighty-Four: Evelyn Waugh’s Influence on George Orwell.” Papers on Language and Literature 47.1 (2011): 4-7. Web.

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