George Orwell: A Reassessment by Ira B Nadel, Peter Buitenhuis

By Ira B Nadel, Peter Buitenhuis

During this assortment a gaggle of political scientists, literary critics, social historians and writers think again "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and different components of Orwell's oeuvre. Bernard Crick's "Orwell and English Socialism" serves as an creation to many of the threads up in those essays - Orwell's evolving political principles, his devotion to strong writing, and the ultimate focus of his concept into the savage satire of "Nineteen Eighty-Four".

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A hundred years after Huygens' invention of the pendulum clock, which epitomised the modern mania for accurate time measurement, the use of chronometers by such seamen as Cook, Bligh, and Vancouver resulted in a world that became increasingly too well surveyed to permit imaginary settings for either utopias or dystopias. As a result, a whole series of such works, beginning with Mercier's L'An 2440 (1768-71), are now projected into the future but comment directly on the present. In our century, the three major dystopias - Zamyatin's We (written in 1920), Huxley's Brave New World (1932), and Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) - are projected into the future like the Wellsian works by which they are influenced.

287). Even when Winston and Julia visit the country, he is escaping from time, and this is not merely because he finds himself in a landscape that he recognises out of memory. Paradoxically, despite the 'military precision' (p. 256) of the journey that he has made, we learn that on this occasion Winston 'had no watch' (p. 258). The peripeteia in the plot comes when Winston discovers that the antique shop is controlled by the Thought Police (or, on another level, that they understand the innermost workings of his mind).

334). ) This society has been constructed by the intelligentsia of the middle class: 'bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organisers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists and professional politicians' (p. 334). The division of the Party into two strata designates Winston's impoverished Outer Party as the lower middle class. Winston's world maintains a state of political frenzy reminiscent of Hitler's Germany - a sort of continuous Nuremberg rally. ) With very few exceptions the members of the Outer Party lack the capacity for abstract thought, and thus Winston feels intellectually isolated - a minority of one.

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