Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel by George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or, in the government's invented language, Newspeak, called Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrimes". The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their oppressive rule in the name of a supposed greater good. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, Telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularized the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005, the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor's list, and 6 on the readers' list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Gattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan Arkin appearing in supporting roles. The film presents a vision of a future society driven by eugenics where potential children are conceived through genetic manipulation to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. The film centers on Vincent Freeman, played by Hawke, who was conceived outside the eugenics program and struggles to overcome genetic discrimination to realize his dream of traveling into space. The movie draws on concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. It also explores the idea of destiny and the ways in which it can and does govern lives. Characters in Gattaca continually battle both with society and with themselves to find their place in the world and who they are destined to be according to their genes. The film's title is based on the first letters of guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA. It was a 1997 nominee for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.
V for Vendetta is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd (with additional art by Tony Weare), set in a dystopian near-future United Kingdom imagined from the 1980s to the late 1990s. The story depicts a future history of the United Kingdom in the 1990s preceded by a nuclear war in the 1980s, which has left much of the world destroyed, though most of the damage to the country is indirect, via floods and crop failures. In this future, a fascist party called Norsefire has exterminated its opponents in concentration camps and now rules the country as a police state. V, an anarchist revolutionary dressed in a Guy Fawkes mask, begins an elaborate, violent, and intentionally theatrical campaign to murder his former captors, bring down the government, and convince the people to rule themselves, while inspiring a young woman, Evey Hammond, to be his protégé. Warner Bros. released a film adaptation of the same title in 2006. The first filming of an adaptation of V for Vendetta for the screen involved one of the scenes in the documentary feature film The Mindscape of Alan Moore, shot in early 2002. V for Vendetta is a 2006 American-German action thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1982 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in the United Kingdom in a near-future dystopian society, Hugo Weaving portrays V—an anarchist freedom fighter who stages a series of terrorist attacks and attempts to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime that has subjugated the United Kingdom and exterminated its opponents in concentration camps. Natalie Portman plays Evey, a working class girl caught up in V's mission, and Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V. The film was originally scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on Friday, 4 November 2005 (a day before the 400th Guy Fawkes Night), but was delayed; it opened on 17 March 2006, to positive reviews. Alan Moore, having already been disappointed with the film adaptations of two of his other graphic novels, From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, after reading the script for V for Vendetta refused to view the film and subsequently distanced himself from it. At his own demand, he is not credited.
The film has been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government; libertarians and anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs. Activists belonging to the group Anonymous use the same Guy Fawkes mask popularized by the film when they appear in public at numerous high-profile events, emulating one of its key scenes. Lloyd is quoted saying: "The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way."