Nineteen Eightyfour

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Date: 1981

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Literature


Artist: George Orwell (1903 - 1950)

Confronting Bodies: Widefield School District

Date of Action: 1981

Location: Jackson County, Florida, USA

Description of Artwork: Nineteen Eighty-Four (first published in 1949) is a novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party. Life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control, accomplished with a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc), which is administrated by a privileged Inner Party elite. Yet they too are subordinated to the totalitarian cult of personality of Big Brother, the deified Party leader who rules with a philosophy that decries individuality and reason as thoughtcrimes; thus the people of Oceania are subordinated to a supposed collective greater good. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the


historical record is congruent with the current party ideology. Because of the childhood trauma of the destruction of his family — the disappearances of his parents and sister — Winston Smith secretly hates the Party, and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.

The Incident: The School Board challenged the presence of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in its schools and libraries, claiming that the book was pro-communism, anti-Semitic, and had sexual references.

Results of Incident: It was banned in 1981 but now it is no longer banned.

Source: forbidden library;; Wikipedia