What is the relationship of Orwell to the values and world views presented in 1984?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that Orwell himself fought as a soldier against Franco in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, on the side of the socialist left. Orwell was never a communist, but he described himself as a Democratic socialist who believed that the government should be responsible for the production and distribution of goods rather than private businesses. Linked to this belief was a very big concern about the fate of the working class in such a world where systems and structures seemed designed to disempower them. We can therefore see that in his novel, Orwell created a world that shows the dangers of communism and too much government control. Consider the position of the Proles in this novel, and how they are left occupying the lowest position of society with no hope of any change or improvement in their lives.

In addition, Orwell was sharply critical about totalitarianism, and the way in which Stalin in particular maintained his power through the use of purges and fear. This novel is above all else an exploration and a fascinating study of a totalitarian regime and how powerful it is. It is impossible for the characters in this novel to triumph over such a regime, and true victory comes for Big Brother not when he has killed rebels such as Winston and Julia, but when he has made them love him. Orwell of course completely disagreed with the values of the world he depicts, only writing this novel to show the way in which totalitarian regimes operated.

 

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