Nineteen Eighty-Four (sometimes abbreviated to 1984) is a classic dystopian novel by English author George Orwell. Published in 1949, it is set in the eponymous year and focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture.
The novel has become famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control, and government's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual. Since its publication, many of its terms and concepts, such as "Big Brother," "doublethink" and "Newspeak" have entered the popular vernacular. The word "Orwellian" itself has come to refer to anything reminiscent of the book's fictional regime.