'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever.'
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), George Orwell's final novel, was completed in difficult conditions shortly before his early death. It is one of the most influential and widely-read novels of the post-war period, and has been a huge international bestseller over many decades. Continually in print, it has long been controversial, both in its immediate Cold War context and in later history.
It is in some ways a realist novel, but in others is more akin to a work of science fiction, a dystopia or a satire. It also has strong affiliations to Gothic in its plotting, motifs and affective states. Full of horror and terror, it contains prophetic dreams and a central character who thinks of himself as a 'monster', a 'ghost' and 'already dead'. Like Frankenstein and Dracula, it is fascinated by the power of a documentary remnant addressed to an unknown