Yeap. It has became a dreadful cliche, and maybe used by people with no conception of what they are talking about. But I think the dreadfull cliche is the right way to make a synopsis of the book.
1984 could be understanded in two ways. The present sociological situation in East european countries after the war and the what if scenario that people should avoid to have in their own countries.
The essence of book had is nature in the political evolution of Orwell. Since his revolutionary socialism waythat took him to fight in Spain by the Republican army against the Nationalist army - Franquist. And his after political changes to a more liberal way, with several critics to the east block after WWII.
1984 critics the present in 1948 and give us an advice to the future.
In a simple and general point of view, but correct too, the similarities between 1984 and the world he lived and the world we live in, are not overstated.
It was not an attempt to create an "What if" scenario but to show a present scenario in other countries and to avoid that scenario developemnt in his country.
Sometimes dreadful cliches are right, even if people don't know what they are talking about.
His real name is Eric Arthur Blair (I believe). When he wanted to write "The Road To Wigan Pier" he went to Wigan and stayed at a very downscale lodging house. Fearing his name might be recognised if he called himself Orwell when he went, he used his real name there.
(Incidentally, if any of you have read Wigan Pier, I can tell you that Wigan is my home town, and it's a LOT different now to how Orwell depicts it, although there is a pier.)
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I read 1984 a couple of months ago and i must say that its one of the greatest political novels ever written. I do agree with most of you that the novel was a warning instead of a prediction, But the book was not only meant to show what the world would become if comunism and facism were to take over. The book shows that any government can become oppresive. Especially the dangers of nationlism and patriotism aswell. I do comment that the ending was very weak and devoid of hope. Basically George Orwell is saying that there are times when the human spirit( living, feeling and dreaming) Will not defeat oppresion.
Pretty boring at the start, certainly at a young age, But never the less a classic, tho more because of the concept and story than the literary talent of Orwell IMO (but reading a translation generally doesn't help that)
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