First of all, it is necessary to sketch out a brief but relatively complete portrait of George Orwell in order to determine what led him to write "1984".
There are four events which were particularly influential:
- his research among the unemployed in the North of England in 1936 which brought him in touch with the reality of the workers;
- the Spanish War in 1937 and his discovery of the totalitarian phenomenon through the rewriting of history: the events of May 1937 "reexamined and corrected" by the Communist Party;
- the German-Soviet pact in August 1939 - the "impossible alliance";
- the Teheran conference in November 1943, continued by that of Yalta, in February 1945, which decided the division of the world.
Orwell’s itinerary shows a man of a well-tempered character, surprisingly non-theoretical but with a commitment to justice, freedom and social equality which was to lead him naturally ever closer to the anarchists, although he always retained a very "British" side which led him to define himself as a "Tory anarchist".
The following study of "1984" can be divided into three main themes:
- the use of the truth and the rewriting of the past;
- the conditioning of the individual by the use of newspeak and doublethink
- the omnipotence and omnipresence of the "Party" which rendered all private life, and consequently all individual, autonomous thought, impossible since it is the latter that can provide challenges for the establish order.
The examples coming readily to mind are, obviously, the Soviet Union and, even more so, China, but a close examination of this point will show that the American "soft" totalitarianism, with the example of Maccarthyism, cannot be ignored.
The conclusion should highlight the reality of an anarchist alternative, at the same time asking whether, at the present time it is not "Brave New World" rather than "1984” that is awaiting us.