I've been doing some Internet research, and the only thing that people agree on is that we don't know. There are, however, three theories.
One (slightly convoluted) theory is that he took the date from Alexander Chayanov's Путешествие моего брата Алексея в страну крестьянской утопии (My Brother Alexei's Journey Into the Land of Peasant Utopia)...
The year 1984 was probably chosen to sound like 1948 while still being in the future.
Anthony Burgess, in his book 1985, part novel and part commentary on Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, gives the following explanation of the title:
You have to remember what it was like in 1948 to appreciate Nineteen Eighty-Four. Somebody in 1949 told me - that was the ...
I'm pretty sure it's a satirical jab at the perceived takeover of Britain by the United States. Just as in real life the US has filled Britain with its airbases, in the world of 1984 the entire country is seen as just a minor offshoot of US military power, a mere "airstrip" for the USAF to launch their warplanes from. We already know that the ...
We don't know for sure, but he may have known the river.
Blair originally submitted a list of four possible pseudonyms to his agent, Leonard Moore, telling Moore that he could make pick of the four1:
H. Lewis Allways
There are several reasons Blair chose to use a pen name at all, one being that he thought that "...
As well as Riker's answer, which focuses on why O'Brien would wait so long from the point of view of crushing Winston specifically, there's also a different motivation which applies regardless of whether a personal victory over Winston is really seen as an important goal.
It's common practice, for an intelligence officer who's detected one or two possible ...
Oranges and Lemons is not just a nursery rhyme, it is also a children's dance or game.
Two children place their hands together to form an arch - an arch of sanctuary.
The other children pass under the arch in pairs as the song is sung.
At the end Here comes a chopper to chop off your head, a pair of children is caught.
That caught pair makes another arch.
The UAE banned it because:
"it contained text or images that goes against Islamic values, most notably the occurrence of an anthropomorphic, talking pig." - from Wikipedia
Vietnam has the book censored due to its involvement with communism.
Kenya likely has it banned due to the nature of the book, it:
criticizes corrupt leaders who amass wealth and ...
Room 101 is named after a conference room at Broadcasting House. Orwell used to sit through boring meetings there.
When it was to be demolished at the BBC, Rachel Whiteread made a plaster cast and it was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, from November 2003 to June 2004.
Sources - Wikipedia, BBC, Public Art Online, The Times (You'll need an ...
A variety of other possible answers have been put forth, put succinctly in a Guardian column from 2009:
Orwell's title remains a mystery. Some say he was alluding to the centenary of the Fabian Society, founded in 1884. Others suggest a nod to Jack London's novel The Iron Heel (in which a political movement comes to power in 1984), or perhaps to ...
This is really more of an extended comment, than an answer. But my feeling about that rhyme is that part of the reason why Orwell used it in the story, was as another example of Winston being "betrayed" by something he trusted. Basically one of the themes of the book is inescapable doom, and even the things that seemed good and seemed "on his side", O'Brien ...
The song represents the successful eradication of shared English culture by The Party. It's a nursery rhyme the majority of British people would be familiar with, but in 1984 characters can only remember fragments of it. Winston tries to gather more information about the song as he does other aspects of pre-party culture, but fails.
Why, then, that ...
Initially, Winston has no idea what room 101 is. However, because Winston realizes how people would rather die than go to room 101, O'Brien expects Winston to think the worst possible torture appartus was contained within the room. For each person, this worst form of torture would be different, and so for Winston, O'Brien expected Winston to believe room 101 ...
The Party and State appear to be atheistic, or rather fully in worship of Big Brother.
Countless other words such as honour, justice, morality,
internationalism, democracy, science, and religion had simply ceased
'These things happen,' he began vaguely. 'I have been able to recall
one instance — a possible instance. It was an ...
Yes. In the words of Jesse McDevitt-Irwin:
suggests that she could represent the educated of Russia, more specifically, the educated who did not believe that communism was the correct path. She also skips out on work, which could mean the educated because they did not do physical nature. One more clue is the nature of a cat on a farm: the cat performs a ...
The closest thing to a statement of allegory is the often-ignored subtitle of the book "A Fairy Story". This was on the cover of the original editions, but was dropped by U.S. publishers and most subsequent editions followed suit. Fairy Stories, traditionally, contain a moral lesson or imperative. So this indicates that the novel is to be read as such.
Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia are all named for their geographical features.
The best description we have of the three superpowers and their geography comes from Chapter III (War is Peace) of Emmanuel Goldstein's magnum opus:
Oceania comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia, and the southern portion of Africa. ...
I don't know if he read them, but Hemingway owned two copies of 1984, see this list (p 275) of his books, cataloged by the JFK library.
Here is a catalog of books Orwell owned at his death; it is not complete, and there are some books in it that are doubtful, so it can not be taken as any kind of proof, but there are no books by Hemingway in it.
In conclusion, QI believes that this saying was introduced by
Richard Grenier who was attempting to provide a pithy representation
of an idea he ascribed to George Orwell. Later writers and speakers
turned his phrase into a quotation and directly attached it to Orwell.
Over time variants were constructed with modified phrasing.
The cat does have significance, but it's hard to say who exactly she represents.
She skulks around and doesn't do any work, votes for both sides, and makes people satisfied enough that she never actually has to do anything.
the behaviour of
the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when there was work
to be done the cat could never be ...
Did Julia really betray Winston almost immediately?
I think that what you call a revelation was, more likely, nothing more than a torturer's ploy.
‘What have you done with Julia?’ said Winston.
O’Brien smiled again. ‘She betrayed you, Winston. Immediately — unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone come over to us so promptly. You would hardly recognize her ...
George Orwell feared totalitarianism. He wanted to fight it and the book reads as a (dire) warning. There is at least one letter by his hand that goes into this in detail.
"I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase."
He saw nationalistic initiatives being on the rise due to the pressures and ...
As acknowledged above, the cat probably represents opportunistic, underground criminals who persisted after the revolution. Her attempts to lure the wild birds by offers of camaraderie are simply a modified form of her (presumed) exploitation of weaker beasts pre-Animalism. Bribery was said to be ubiquitous in Soviet Russia and the cat managing to charm the ...
Almost certainly yes.
First of all, let's look at a few quotes from the previous chapter, just to set the scene:
Winston was gelatinous with fatigue. [...] He had worked more than ninety hours in five days.
Before he starts to read Goldstein's book together with Julia:
The clock’s hands said six, meaning eighteen. They had three or four hours ahead ...
The Thought Police know everyone intimately.
This is strongly hinted at all the way back in the very beginning of the novel:
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched ...
TL;DR: Orwell’s ‘good bad’ poetry is ‘bad’ because it is superficial (lacking in aesthetic, intellectual, psychological or moral depth), but ‘good’ because it is skilfully written and enjoyable to read.
Orwell gave eight examples of ‘good bad’ poems, in addition to the works of Rudyard Kipling. I’ll give four lines from each, but follow ...
Winston is the only character whose point of view we have access to in the novel, a necessary precursor for the potential of an unreliable narrator. After all, without an external perspective, we can never be sure what he's not telling us, nor whether the context in which he presents the information is accurate.
Take, for example, the way he blames himself ...
I believe "good bad poem" is a description specific to Orwell. The more common term for critically disdained poetry is doggerel. This can either mean a poem in verse that is structurally flawed (irregular rhythm, off rhymes, etc.), particularly when done deliberately and for comic effect, or conversely --and a closer match to what Orwell and Barr describe -...