nineteen eighty-four

Cultural Dictionary

Nineteen Eighty-Four definition


(1949) A novel by George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four depicts a totalitarian society of the future, ruled by an omnipotent dictator called Big Brother. In this society, called Oceania, people's thoughts are controlled as tightly as their actions. The government maintains an organization called the “thought police” and engages in constant propaganda. (See also Big Brother is watching you.)

Note: Orwell coined the term doublespeak to describe one kind of propaganda practiced by the state in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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