Cultural impact

The effect of Nineteen Eighty-Four on the English language is extensive; the concepts of Big Brother, Room 101, the Thought Police, thoughtcrime, unperson, memory hole (oblivion), doublethink (simultaneously holding and believing contradictory beliefs) and Newspeak (ideological language) have become common phrases for denoting totalitarian authority. Doublespeak and groupthink are both deliberate elaborations of doublethink, while the adjective "Orwellian" denotes "characteristic and reminiscent of George Orwell's writings" especially Nineteen Eighty-Four. The practice of ending words with "-speak" (e.g. mediaspeak) is drawn from the novel.[64] Orwell is perpetually associated with the year 1984; in July 1984 an asteroid discovered by Antonín Mrkos was named after Orwell.

In 1977 the British rock band The Jam released the album This Is the Modern World, which includes the track "Standards" by Paul Weller. This track concludes with the lyrics... "...and ignorance is strength, we have god on our side, look, you know what happened to Winston."

In September 2009, the English alternative rock band Muse released The Resistance, which included songs influenced by 1984.[65]

References to the themes, concepts and plot of Nineteen Eighty-Four have appeared frequently in other works, especially in popular music and video entertainment. An example is the worldwide hit reality television show Big Brother, in which a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world but continuously watched by television cameras.

In November 2011, the United States government argued before the US Supreme Court that it wants to continue utilizing GPS tracking of individuals without first seeking a warrant. In response, Justice Stephen Breyer questioned what this means for a democratic society by referencing Nineteen Eighty-Four. Justice Breyer asked, "If you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States. So if you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like Nineteen Eighty-Four... "[66]

In 1984, the book was made into a movie which starred John Hurt as the central character of Winston Smith. In 2006, the movie version of V for Vendetta was released, which has many of the same running themes and principles as 1984 and, coincidentally, also stars John Hurt taking on the role of the leader of a totalitarian party, though the film is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.[67][68] An episode of Doctor Who called "The God Complex" depicts an alien ship disguised as a hotel containing Room 101-like spaces, and quotes the nursery rhyme as well.[69]

The book touches on the invasion of privacy and ubiquitous surveillance. From mid 2013 it was publicized that the NSA has been secretly monitoring and storing global internet traffic, including the bulk data collection of email and phone call data. Sales of Nineteen Eighty-Four increased by up to 7 times within the first week of the 2013 mass surveillance leaks.[70][71][72] It is also seen in the book how mass media was a catalyst for the intensification of destructive emotions and violence. Since the 20th century news and other forms of media has been publicizing violence more.[73][74] It is no coincidence that in the same year, the Almeida Theatre and Headlong staged a successful new adaptation (by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan) which twice toured the UK and played an extended run in London's West End.

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