1984 by George Orwell (Englisch)

In this study guide we will help you analyse the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. You can also find a detailed summary of the novel, as well as inspiration for interpreting the text and putting it into perspective.

This study guide is based on the Penguin Books edition of the novel from 2008.

Presentation of 1984

Title: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Novel

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) is one of the most famous British authors of the 20th century. He is most well-known under his pseudonym George Orwell.

Orwell’s life led him all across the world. He worked as a law enforcement officer in Burma (today known as Myanmar), he participated in the Spanish Civil War (where he was badly injured), and he did a lot of journalistic work during the Second World War. Orwell’s health was very poor in the final years of his life, and in 1950 he died of tuberculosis.

Orwell’s writing spans many different genres, but he is especially famous for his works of fiction, which often have strong political overtones. Many regard the science-fiction novel Nineteen Eighty-Four as his masterpiece, and its terrifying depiction of a totalitarian surveillance state still inspires comparisons to political reality today.


You can see a short extract from our study guide below:

Most of the plot takes place in the city of London. However, the middle section also zooms in on specific locations, such as a small bit of countryside near the city, or Winston and Julia’s secret hideout. The last section is almost entirely set within the Ministry of Love’s heavily guarded headquarters.  


London is part of Airstrip One (previously England or Britain, p. 34), a province within Oceania (p. 5). Oceania is one of three superpowers which are in control of the earth at this point in history, alongside Eurasia and Eastasia. We are told in an extract from ‘Goldstein’s book’ that “Oceania comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia, and the southern portion of Africa” (p. 193).

London is described in mostly negative terms. It is clearly a city dominated by poverty, with apartment complexes smelling of “boiled cabbage and old rag mats” (p.3) and electricity being strictly rationed (p. 3).

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1984 by George Orwell (Englisch)

  • 07.05.2022