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1984 fifty years on - in what respects has the fictitious future vision of George Orwell "come true"?

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Introduction

1984 fifty years on - in what respects has the fictitious future vision of George Orwell "come true"? George Orwell wrote his famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four between the years 1945 and 1948. Although the title is 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', the novel wasn't meant to be a detailed description of the exact year of 1984 but a critical, futuristic novel. In Orwell's criticism of a perfect society, his novel became known as one of the greatest anti-utopian novels of all time. Although the novel starts out as a story of a neurotic man, it quickly turns into a protest against a totalitarian government. The novel seems to be a satire at the start, similar to novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, but quickly the reader will discover that it is not wholly satire. ...read more.

Middle

Although Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Nazi Germany obviously gave the model for Oceania, Orwell and no-one else in the end of the 1940s knew what exactly was happening inside these states. For example the truth of Stalin's government came up only after 1952 when the head of the country died. KGB could be linked to the Thought Police in the sense of "vaporising" people who were against the leader mysteriously during the night. In this sense, Orwell interpreted in his novel quite well the secret actions inside the totalitarian government. Also Orwell's view of television seems to have partly "come true". The television was a quite new invention in the end of the 1940s when Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, and therefore Orwell developed the idea of an unswitchable TV, telescreen, for his novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the governments of today are not trying to eliminate more and more words from our vocabularies in order to eliminate our ability to unite or conspire against them, the language is changing. Words that sound as if they were the purest Newspeak already exist, for example the word 'infomercial' (information + commercial) could be straight form Oceania. Also new words come to existence at the same time when old words almost disappear. The disappearing, or forgotten words are usually names of old objects that are not used anymore. New technology in turn brings new products that need new names. No other work of the 20th century has inspired people with such love of liberty and hatred of tyranny. Because of the many predictions of the future that Orwell made over fifty years ago and which later on have actually "come true", Nineteen Eighty-Four remains one of the great novels of the previous century. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This response is directed at a question the asks about the accuracy of George Orwell's totalitarian prediction about the future in his novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. The answer given is very focused and considers a number of thematic and literal elements ...

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Response to the question

This response is directed at a question the asks about the accuracy of George Orwell's totalitarian prediction about the future in his novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. The answer given is very focused and considers a number of thematic and literal elements of the novel, from the language of Newspeak and the destruction of language to the use of Telescreens to spy on the population. The structure of the answer lends itself well to the analysis as the candidate turns to each element in turn and goes to a good level of depth in each circumstance. There could however, been a deeper level of analysis in some areas and quote possible a selection of quotes from the novel that help illustrate the candidate's points.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown is very systematic but covers a good range of elements from Orwell's novel to gain a high B grade/low A grade for GCSE. There is a sound analysis of how the times have changed and with them, the introduction of new words and technology that mimic what Orwell forecast in his novel. The reason therefore, this answer did not score full marks is that the candidate missed a very large element from the novel and forgot to introduce this to their essay. The theme of paranoia and higher powers observing the public through the eye of Big Brother and the telescreens (which are mentioned, but only as a relation to TV and this piece of analysis is quite dubious). With the introduction of CCTV and reality TV, we are obsessed with watching other people; keeping them in order and making them do as we will (think most reality TV); the sense that someone is always watching whether you can see them or not is explored to great lengths in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and was one of the biggest themes of the future that has evolved into something that is so inherently normal to today's society and so this really should not be omitted from the analysis.
The candidate excels in their appreciation of context. The social and historical factors that influence Orwell's writing are greatly considered when analysing this text and it shows the candidate has the ability, drive and enthusiasm to conduct external, independent research to help fortify their answer and the examiners love to see this, as it can set answer well above the standard C grade answer, which all say the same thing.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is very high. The paragraphs are structured coherently and cohesively and show a good understanding of how to shape an effective analytical response. There is also a very good demonstration of the abstract themes and the words used to describe them "love of liberty" and "hatred of tyranny". An excellent QWC mark is awards to this candidate.


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