1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What is the setting in 1984, and why is it important? What impact do the setting and time have on the story?   

The setting of 1984 is the fictitious country of Oceania, a dystopian version of England, in the year 1984. The government of Oceania is totalitarian and forces citizens into submission through advanced surveillance, brainwashing, and other forms of manipulation. The impact the setting and time have on the story is that they make the story realistic to the reader and allow Orwell to present a vision of the society he feared they were approaching.

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As its title suggests, George Orwell's 1984 is set in the year 1984, although it is published in the year 1949. This is significant because Orwell wants to imply that the events of the novel take place in the not-so-distant and potentially realizable future. In other words, the novel is meant as a warning to the Western world about what could happen should they allow governments more and more power, particularly as it relates to language.

The primary setting of the novel is Oceania, a dystopian version of England. Oceania is a totalitarian state, meaning that it is run entirely by a shadowy government which tyrannically enforces its will. Although England was nothing like Oceania in 1949, Orwell feared that they were heading in that direction, particularly because of harsh censorship. Orwell believed that language should always be free from government rule.

In 1984 , however, Orwell portrays a society in which language—and thus reality—is completely dictated to the people by their...

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