by Rana Asfour
It seems that George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ book, which was first published in 1949, has made it to the top of many bookseller’s bestseller lists. The book talks of a futuristic totalitarian state run by ‘Big Brother’ and according to a spokesman for Signet Classics which currently publishes '1984' and as reported by npr, the sales of the book have increased almost 10,000 percent since the inauguration.
According to The Guardian ‘Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian drama '1984' have soared after Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the reality-TV-star-turned-president, Donald Trump, used the phrase ‘alternative facts’ in an interview'. According to CNN, Penguin has begun printing more copies of ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four’ to meet the demand.
In the book Winston Smith is hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, skilfully rewriting the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
Orwell wrote 1984 just after World War II ended, wanting it to serve as a warning to his readers. He wanted to be certain that the kind of future presented in the novel should never come to pass, even though the practices that contribute to the development of such a state were abundantly present in Orwell's time.
Speaking to PBS (full article HERE), British historian and Orwell biographer, Peter Stansky said that Conway’s phrase ‘alternative facts’ was ‘very Orwellian’, ‘very newspeak’’ and that he believes the novel is witnessing a comeback in big part because of President Trump’s governing tactics.
It seems that this is not the first time that sales of this book in particular have soared. It enjoyed an increase in sales after President Ronald Reagan took to office, and again in 2013 after Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the extent of American surveillance operations came to light.