“1984” Signing at Cranberry Bookstore Planned for Saturday

Katie Clark, Staff Writer

This Saturday, March 4, Richard Blair, the adopted son of George Orwell, will be at the Cranberry Barnes and Noble to discuss and sign Orwell’s book “1984”. The discussion will begin and 12pm on Saturday with the book signing to follow.

The classic novel “1984” was originally published in 1949 and told a story about a totalitarian government, based off Germany and the Soviet Union at the time. The book focuses on the government’s ability to influence the thoughts of its citizens, as well as monitor their actions.

A large part of the book is the government’s use of a surveillance system and a poster in all homes that reads, “Big Brother is watching.” Big Brother is the anonymous leader of the government and is monitoring everyone. Due to the context of the novel and themes of communism and abuse of power, it is listed in the top ten banned and challenged classic novels by the American Library Association.

There has been an increase in the sales of “1984” since the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States in November. President Trump has been scrutinized for making legislative decisions by himself, as well as presenting unverified statistics that have created a connection between the novel’s authoritarian government to the Trump administration.

The claims of “alternative facts” by Kellyanne Conway when describing the size of Trump’s inauguration created a direct connection between Orwell’s book and the Trump administration.

“1984” has climbed to the top spot in Amazon’s Bestseller List for 2017 since Conway’s use of the term “alternative facts.”

The last time the novel’s sales have increased was in 2013 during the National Security Administration surveillance scandal, when Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government was collecting phone records and other personal information with the goal of preventing terrorism acts.

Richard Blair is the patron of the Orwell Society, a group dedicated to promoting the writings of George Orwell and sharing the author’s life story. The Orwell Society has involved themselves in recent events through their Facebook page by commenting on and responding to the news using lines from Orwell’s works.

The Orwell Society mainly speaks out about censorship and the abuse of power in the government. The organization has frequently spoken out about “alternative facts” in podcasts across the globe.

Regardless of the political relevance, the main purpose of Blair’s visit to Cranberry on Saturday will be to promote his father’s novel and continue the long-lasting legacy of “1984”.

For more information about the book signing, visit barnesandnoble.com.