1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What makes 1984 a classic?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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That's a very good question. Most people will have their own idea of what counts as a classic, but for myself I would say that a classic should, at the very least, deal with universal themes that speak to many different people throughout the ages, in all cultures and civilizations, and I would argue that 1984 fits that description perfectly.

In an age of fake news, with its unbridled attack on truth through the cynical distortion and manipulation of language, the dystopian world of Oceania takes on a special relevance to contemporary Western society, but 1984 also gives us much more than that. It speaks to those in the developing world, most of whom live under brutal, repressive dictatorships. Such appalling regimes, no less than the one-party state of Oceania, systematically lie to their own people while keeping them in a state of permanent subjection.

Also, in the character of Winston Smith , one can see the power of the human spirit to transcend the harshest conditions and the very greatest...

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