Further Study

Companion Texts

Further Study Companion Texts

So Are We Living in 1984?
Orwell’s 1984 and Trump’s America

1984
has always resonated with readers as a commentary on current events and a warning about what could happen if we succumb to totalitarianism, and sales of the novel often peak in times of political turmoil. These two articles, both published in the same magazine four years apart, compare the novel to both the Trump and the Obama administrations.

The Politics of 1984 Through the Years
A short selection of 1984 references in current events since the book was published.

1984 Radio Play
An early adaptation of 1984, as a radio drama intended for people in Orwell’s day.

What “Orwellian” Really Means
An animated short explaining the difference between merely totalitarian and “Orwellian.”

Little Brother is Watching
In this article from The New York Times, the author argues that in contemporary society, the threat of “Big Brother” has been transformed into “Little Brother”—online mob mentality and collections of internet trolls.

Does the Language I Speak Influence the Way I Think?
Does the language you speak influence the thoughts you think? Could Newspeak’s goal of eliminating independent thought by removing complex words have worked? The Linguistic Society of America provides some answers.

Santa Claus and the Surveillance State
In 2014, two researchers claimed that the Elf on the Shelf was unwittingly training children to live in an authoritarian state and to accept regular violations of privacy.