1984 Author:George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four (also titled 1984), by George Orwell (the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), is a 1949 English novel about life under a futuristic authoritarian regime in the year 1984. It tells the story of Winston Smith, a functionary at the Ministry of Truth, whose work consists of editing historical accounts to fit the government's poli... more »cies. Smith is degraded and psychologically tortured after he is arrested by the Thought Police under the instruction of the totalitarian government of Oceania.
The book has major significance for its vision of an all-knowing government which uses pervasive and constant surveillance of the populace, insidious and blatant propaganda, and brutal control over its citizens. The book had a substantial impact both in literature and on the perception of public surveillance, inspiring such terms as 'Big Brother' and 'Orwellian'.« less