From 1984 to One-Dimensional Man: Critical Reflections on Orwell and Marcuse

Abstract
Occasionally literary and philosophical metaphors and images enter the domain of popular discourse and consciousness. Images in Uncle Tom's Cabin of humane and oppressed blacks contrasted to inhumane slave owners and overseers shaped many people's negative images of slavery. And in nineteenth century Russia, Chernyshevsky's novel What is to be Done? shaped a generation of young Russian's views of oppressive features of their society, including V.I. Lenin who took the question posed by Chernyshevsky's novel as the title of one of his early revolutionary treatises. In the twentieth century, George Orwell's vision of totalitarian society in his novel 1984 has had a major impact on how many people see, understand, and talk about contemporary social trends. {1} Subsequently, Herbert Marcuse's analyses and images of a "onedimensional man" in a "one-dimensional society" shaped many young radicals' ways of seeing and experiencing life in advanced capitalist society during the 1960s and 1970s --though to a more limited extent and within more restricted circles than Orwell's writings which are among the most widely read and discussed works of the century.
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