NSA Scandal Creates Summer’s Hottest Best Seller: Orwell’s 1984

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Isaac Asimov described George Orwell‘s dystopian novel 1984 as an “attempt to show what life would be like in a world of total evil, in which those controlling the government kept themselves in power by brute force, by distorting the truth, by continually rewriting history, by mesmerising the people generally.”

The novel was written in 1948 and thus set just thirty-five years in the future. This purpose, Asimov explains, was “so that even men who were already in their early middle age at the time the book was published might live to see it if they lived out a normal lifetime.”

Those men were around for the very beginning of the Digital Age and now their sons and daughters are remembering the warnings and apparently encouraging others to read it as well.  Although sixty-four years have passed since the publication of 1984, sales of the novel have skyrocketed, up by a whopping 6,000% .  The dramatic sales are attributed to revelations last week that the National Security Administration has been secretly using Big Data to collect information about the communications of Americans,

Here are ten  passages from 1984 that are giving a new generation of readers pause:

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Visualizing George Orwell’s 1984

1984 in pictures = very plusgood.

1984 is one scary, scary book. Just think of what our lives would be like had Orwell’s imaginings of the future come true. We’d all be massive TV addicts living in a state of heightened government security, devoted to machines. Phew, I’m glad those ideas didn’t pan out…

Actually, there may be nothing more chilling in the fictional world or our own than the Newspeak lexicon. Just seeing the word “gooder” on paper frightens me more than a massive cage of rats. Thank Big Brother we all use perfect grammar nowadays. lolz.

Read on for our eNotes exclusive infographic to help you visualize this infamous dystopian novel, Newspeak and all (shivers).

Look out for more eNotes original infographics in the near future!


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