Trivia / Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • Author Phobia: The Room 101 scene was inspired by Orwell's personal fear of rats, and the name "Room 101" itself was inspired by a conference room where Orwell had to sit though boring meetings.
  • Banned in China: Banned in the Soviet Union for fairly obvious reasons.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Not necessarily Orwell, but his wife (who holds the license for adaptations and so on after his death) made no secret of her disdain towards the 1956 film adaptation.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea seems to have taken many, many cues from Orwell. In a bad way. Christopher Hitchens, after his visit to North Korea, described it by saying "it was as if someone had taken 1984 and said 'Can you make it as much like this as possible?'" They have even gone as far as to build a giant pyramid building. And by law, North Korean libraries may not stock books older than fifteen years — the books must be re-edited and reprinted. Wonder where they got that idea.note 
    • There exists an actual political ideology known as 'National Bolshevism', whose aims include: a rigidly hierarchical society led by a small group of inner elites; the intentional stagnation of technology and culture; the creation of a totalitarian society featuring elements of Stalinism, Maoism, fascism, Nazism, and theocratic absolutism; war for the sake of destroying excess; mass murder and genocide for the sake of itself. Also, its followers wish to establish a superstate known as "Eurasia". Mercifully, it's only a small banned fringe party.
  • Meaningful Release Date: The Film of the Book came out in 1984. And according to some sources, the location shooting was across the actual weeks the book was set in (at least according to Winston's diary).
  • Production Posse: Maybe three is bit small to constitute a proper posse, but Michael Radford, Gregor Fisher, and Phyllis Logan had all previously worked together on Another Time, Another Place.
  • Reality Subtext: The 1984 film. Richard Burton was dying during filming, and it shows.
  • Trope Namer For:
  • What Could Have Been: The novel was originally going to be set in the year 1948, but due to Executive Meddling, Orwell later shifted the setting into 1980 and 1982 before settling with 1984.
    • The soundtrack for the 1984 film version was supposed to be performed by David Bowie, whom sadly demanded too much money for the job, which opted the studio to settle with Eurythmics instead.
    • Before Michael Radford signed in, Francis Ford Coppola was offered to direct the film adaptation, but he declined.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Orwell's commander in the POUM, Georges Kopp (first mentioned in Homage to Catalonia), possibly inspired the character of O'Brien; see this biography excerpt.
    • Friends and colleagues of Orwell believe that his second wife, Sonia Orwell, is to be the model for Julia. Sonia's biographer suggests that a July 1946 essay about totalitarianism that Sonia had written was the possible inspiration of Julia.

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