Orwell wrote 1984 during the time of World War II, where atomic bombs dropped with a bang, dictators dominated vulnerable countries, and technology grew industriously. World War II brought about a scarce, hectic economy that consisted of “the negative aspects of the dystopian world” (Wright) as a European dictator captured weaker societies, affecting American citizens to fear the worst, inspiring Orwell to venture out of the desired comfort zone and into the dreaded possibility of what America could be like after war: a “nightmare” (Deery). “While World War II clearly had a major impact on the United States prewar trends, values, and patterns of life and politics, it also continued to shape the postwar nation” (Paul). The United State’s propaganda to join the military emphasized “Orwell’s mistrust of empty political slogans” (Protherough) to imagine the influence and power the posters really have with slogans like, “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” (Orwell 17) to direct the reader’s mind of obeying the poster.
The European dictator was Adolf Hitler, the man who “had become the principal European power” (Adolf Hitler Biography) in Germany, the man solely responsible for the start of World War II. “All non-Nazi parties, organizations, and labor unions ceased to exist” (Adolf Hitler Biography) when Hitler took charge. Hitler had not only dominated Germany, but he invaded more than seven countries surrounding Germany. Hitler’s type of character intimidated Orwell in the sense that inspired him to write about a totalitarian society, much similar to the eastern hemisphere’s experience.
Similar to Hitler in the mindset of dictators, Joseph Stalin “was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union and the leader of world communism” (Joseph Stalin) and responsible for “the loss of millions of lives; massive material and spiritual deprivation; political repression, an untold waste of resources, and the erection of an inflexible authoritarian system of rule” (Joseph Stalin). He was often thought of by “some historians to be one of the most offensive in recent history” (Joseph Stalin) with his “crude and cruel” (Joseph Stalin) way of life. Orwell took from Stalin the deprivation and repression system of rule into 1984.
Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, has a motive behind his name. Winston comes from Winston Churchill, “universally acclaimed as one of the greatest statesmen who ever lived” (Winston Churchill), a great leader who “time and again faced disappointment and adversity with courage, strength, and determination” (Winston Churchill). Churchill has an impressive biography, where he “was hailed as a hero,” “named minister of war,” and served as prime minster twice (Winston Churchill). His “ability to lead the nation” (Winston Churchill) (of England) helped shaped who he became in life. With this brilliant record, Orwell named his main character, Winston Smith, after him. The Smith part of his name originates from ‘Smith’ as...