Nineteen Eighty-Four

ISBN : 9780198829195

George Orwell; John Bowen
304 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jan 2021
Oxford World's Classics
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  • An introduction which draws on the very considerable amount of criticism, debate and controversy that the work has incited and takes a fresh and independent look at its distinctiveness and fictional success.
  • Explores the unsettling ways by which Orwell interweaves the story of its main characters with the book's political narrative through recurrent figures of emotional ambivalence, perversity and pliability, in the idiom of 'paranoid Gothic'.
  • Detailed explanatory notes provide essential explanatory social and historical context.

'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.'
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), George Orwell's final novel, was completed in difficult conditions shortly before his early death. It is one of the most influential and widely-read novels of the post-war period, and has been a huge international bestseller over many decades. Continually in print, it has long been controversial, both in its immediate Cold War context and in later history.
It is in some ways a realist novel, but in others is more akin to a work of science fiction, a dystopia or a satire. It also has strong affiliations to Gothic in its plotting, motifs and affective states. Full of horror and terror, it contains prophetic dreams and a central character who thinks of himself as a 'monster', a 'ghost' and 'already dead'. Like Frankenstein and Dracula, it is fascinated by the power of a documentary remnant addressed to an unknown reader.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

George Orwell
Edited by John Bowen, Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature, University of York
John Bowen is a Professor of English at the University of York. He has written widely on nineteenth-century and twentieth-century literature; his publications include Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit (OUP, 2000) and editions of Barnaby Rudge for Penguin and Trollope's Barchester Towers and Phineas Redux for Oxford World's Classics.

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