George Orwell’s classic was published nearly seven decades ago. However, the story speaks to this generation, a generation fearful of government manipulation of information. 1984 is a dystopian novel which follows Winston, a man trying to avoid the thought control patterns of the government. The spoken language of “newspeak” is implemented by the government in an attempt to repress freedom of thought within the population.
After Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway defended press secretary Sean Spicer’s conflation of inauguration attendance numbers, referring to his comments as “alternative facts,” people noted the similarity to 1984. The response to Conway’s comments have been mixed. While some are purchasing 1984 to draw parallels between a Donald Trump presidency and a dystopian society, others are simply poking fun at her.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Twitter account reminded people what the definition of “fact” is on twitter:
This isn’t the first time 1984 surged in popularity. It happened in 2013 as well, shortly after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents about American spying practices to the world. 1984 is read in schools around the country, giving new generations of readers the opportunity to take lessons from the novel and apply them to the present day.
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