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Free course

George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Free statement of participation on completion
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This course will introduce you to the work and writings of George Orwell through a study of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). By studying the book, well-known for its depiction of a totalitarian state, and the techniques, language and oppressive methods used by such states, you will gain a wider understanding of the meaning of totalitarianism. The course will also explore the influences on Orwell, the historical context in which the novel was written, and the book’s relevance for today’s politics.

You are encouraged to read Nineteen Eighty-Four while taking the course and explore its meanings through the use of activities.

This OpenLearn course is produced in association with The Open University course DD316 Modern political ideas.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • appreciate and recognise the distinctive language and terminology of Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • understand the historical and political contexts of Orwell's writing
  • understand how political language, including concepts and ideas, is used
  • appreciate the contemporary relevance of Orwell's novel and the reasons for its enduring appeal.

First Published: 05/08/2022

Updated: 05/08/2022

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