George Orwell needs no introduction.
Undoubtedly, one of his most prolific pieces of literary work has to be dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
For those who haven’t read it, I recommend getting yourself a copy; for those who have read it, here are four things you may not already know about George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Room 101 has a link to the BBC
Unlike the book, the BBC isn’t plotting a secret organisation to eliminate anybody guilty of Thought Crime. But, the torturous Room 101 was actually inspired by the time Orwell spent sitting through long, mind numbing meetings in the BBC’s Broadcasting House when he worked for The Ministry of Information. This, without doubt, also served as the inspiration for The Ministry of Truth (where the novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, works).
Aldous Huxley taught George Orwell at Eton
Novelist Aldous Huxley taught a young Orwell (then known as Eric Blair) French when he studied at Eton College. Huxley was only nine years older than Orwell, but his influence is said to have had a direct impact on the creation of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I suppose it’s quite obvious when you consider Huxley wrote A Bold New World, one of the other great dystopian novels of the twentieth century.
Anthony Burgess really, really loved Nineteen Eighty-Four
In fact he thought so much of it, his very own dystopian classic, 1985, was written as a tribute to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Composed in two main parts, 1985 begins with a series of interviews and essays discussing aspects of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The second part is a novella set in a grim, hypothetical future based on Burgess’ own observations of British society back in 1978, the year in which the book was written.
It was almost called something else
Orwell originally set the novel in 1980, before shifting the date first to 1982. Finally, he settled on 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four), which is said to be a permutation of 1948, the year in which the book was written. In addition to this, Orwell also thought about calling the book The Last Man in Europe but his editor suggested changing the title to something more commercial – and Nineteen Eighty-Four was born!
Do you have any other interesting facts or options about the book? Feel free to leave a comment.