What is it about?

If Orwell were writing Nineteen Eighty-Four today and set in a London of the near future it would be instantly recognisable to us as the London of our own time, where the strongest taboos for any writer concern the cultural and social pressures caused by large-scale immigration and the spread of radical Islam

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Why is it important?

Nineteen Eighty-Four speaks to our time just as strongly as it did when it was published seventy years ago. There are many reasons why Orwell has survived and why he continues to be so relevant, and they include the strength of his prose and the courage of his views. Perhaps there has been no more critical period since the 1940s when our basic freedoms of expression have been under threat.


George Orwell saw clearly that the rise of totalitarianism was democracy’s main enemy and believed that literature was doomed if liberty of thought perished

John Dale
University of Technology Sydney

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This page is a summary of: What would Nineteen Eighty-Four be like if it were written today?, New Writing, January 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/14790726.2019.1566370.
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