Analysis Of George Orwell 's ' Orwell ' Essay

1007 Words Jan 31st, 2015 null Page
At some point in the past half-century the adjective “Orwellian” entered the American lexicon. In my experience, the mere utterance of this term has the tendency to overwhelm a conversation with a sense of debonair sophistication. Interestingly, this word has a similar effect on an audience regardless of how familiar they are with George Orwell’s works. The cause of this effect, however, is different for those who have read Orwell as compared to those who have not.
Prior to my study of 1984 I can recall hearing the term “Orwellian” used on several memorably suave occasions. On each of these occasions I was familiar with Orwell as little more than a name loosely associated with dystopian sci-fi. Still, the conversation was made to feel that much more sophisticated just by my recognition of a literary reference, even one which I did not understand. I remember one such occasion during which my classmates were discussing the new security measures. While the sentiment of the group was largely anti-surveillance, most comments sounded whiny until someone remarked that “these new security measures seem very Orwellian!” In my eyes, this remark catapulted the conversation from some lowly status to that of the most sophisticated social critique. My reaction was especially enabled by Orwell’s status as not just an author but a literary celebrity. What I recognized, then, was less a literary reference and more a pop culture one. I was excited not by the intricacies of Orwell’s literary…

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