Historiography and Censorship Analysis

At Issue

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) describes an authoritarian government that distorts history through a Ministry of Truth that constantly changes historical records to meet its government’s needs. The authoritarian government in Orwell’s novel eliminates all traces of individual lives and past political actions. Although its logic is often contradictory and inconsistent, the Ministry of Truth reveals how control over history can enhance power. Orwell’s novel focuses on authoritarian governments; however, similar censorship of history also exists in democratic nations.