Thought Police. Big Brother. Orwellian. These words have become part of our national vocabulary because of George Orwell's classic novel 1984, the story of one man's nightmare odyssey through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but individual thought and memory. A minor functionary named Winston Smith joins a covert brotherhood and pursues a forbidden love affair against the cold, gray backdrop of the Republic of Oceania—only to become a hunted enemy of the state . . . and of Big Brother.
Today, half a century after it was written, Orwell's prophetic, haunting tale of conformity and identity strikes a disturbing chord. As we follow Winston Smith through his rebellion, imprisonment, torture, and reeducation, we witness firsthand the worst crime we can inflict upon ourselves and others: the destruction of the truths and freedoms that make us who we are.
WARNING: 1984 will NOT enter the public domain in the United States of America until 2044 and in the European Union until 2020, although it is public domain in countries such as Canada, Russia, and Australia. We link to text on the Australian Project Gutenberg site. If you live in the US or the EU, please do not print the text. (Remember, "Big Brother is watching you!")