What struck me in Orwell was his lack of historical sense and of psychological insight into political life coupled with an acute, though narrow, penetration into some aspects of politics and with an incorruptible firmness of conviction.
Oceania was at war with Eastasia. This happened about once a month, and was a popular spectacle. Orwell has specifically warned us about the danger of a government having control over everything that happens in the state and he achieves this by using language in motifs and themes.
A thousand rocket bombs would not batter it down.
Suddenly he began thinking of O'Brien again. The Last Man in Europe was an early title for the novel, but in a letter dated 22 October to his publisher Fredric Warburgeight months before publication, Orwell wrote about hesitating between that title and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. He was not sure of this: What Zamyatin seems to be aiming at is not any particular country but the implied aims of the industrial civilisation The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes. In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark-chinned man named Tillotson was working steadily away, with a folded newspaper on his knee and his mouth very close to the mouthpiece of the speakwrite.
He had worked all day to take those words away from himself.
It was exactly the kind of detail that might betray you. His conscience could not be soothed by the Stalinist justifications and sophisms which at the time did soothe the conscience of, for instance, Arthur Koestler, a writer of greater brilliance and sophistication but of less moral resolution.
On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall.