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The BBC look into why George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984, still matters to our world now, in 2019. The year in which the book takes place is long past and yet it still feels like it could be our future.

The term “Orwellian” has become a by-word for a dystopian, totalitarian state. Some countries have been described as Orwellian at times, even America and the UK. In 1950s Britain, Orwell wrote the novel looking towards the defeated Nazi Germany and the growing Stalinist Russia. Orwell also looked towards the heavy censorship of media seen in Franco’s brutal reign in Spain.

As time went on, different aspects of 1984 were focused on. In past eras, the book was seen to reflect the intrusive nature of CCTV and surveillance. Now, in a world of “alternative facts” and “fake news” people are looking at the book’s antagonist’s desire to reform language, making it impossible to rebel. Both this video and Orwell point out how it’s impossible to fight for freedom when you don’t even know what the word means.

1984|BBC|Broadcast

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