To Orwell Today,


Unsure if anyone else here has said this, but could 1984 be an allegory about Christianity? BB symbolising God, Goldstein Satan, Inner Party are high priests ("we are the priests of power", admits O'Brien) the telescreen is God's all-seeing eye, Ministry of Love is Hell, etc...

BTW, I actually liked the John Hurt movie! does anyone have the words of the closing Oceanian national anthem?

Thanks for great site, read the book in 1968 when 12, never forgotten it.
Derek, N. Ireland

Greetings Derek,

There are many different ways of trying to explain and understand Big Brother, Goldstein, O'Brien, the Inner Party etc and there are some religious connotations. But "1984" as a whole can't be confined into an allegory of any particular religion. It does have some references to Christianity, Orwell having understood and liked some of the rituals of the Anglican Church. But on the whole Orwell was a scoffer of organized religion and its writings weren't how he related to or understood God. See ORWELL SAW GOD IN MAN

In "1984" Big Brother has attempted to replace God with itself. Big Brother has power over all the world - having destroyed its opposition. Big Brother is an evil organization -"a dedicated sect doing evil". Big Brother's creator is Emmanuel Goldstein who wrote the secret book "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" which lays out a plan for destroying society. Members of the Brotherhood - like O'Brien - worship Big Brother, not God, and do Big Brother's work as described in "the book". As members of the Inner Party they love the power Big Brother rewards them with. That is why they call themselves "the priests of power".

2.Big Brother and 35.The Brotherhood and 5.Pyramidal New World Order and 3.The Party Tells 'Why' and 45.Chestnut Tree Cafe

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - You're the first person I've heard of/from who liked John Hurt's "1984". Notice how Hurt is popping up all over the place these days. He played a priest in a Rwanda film and recently he played a Big Brother character in the movie "V for Vendetta" which had Satan in a mask playing the hero for blowing up symbols of England's government and justice systems etc.

Jackie Jura
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