Following Trump’s ascension to office and a bizarre press conference held by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer where he lied about the amount of people who attended the President’s inauguration, senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway gave an even stranger interview on NBC News where she called any falsehoods delivered by Spicer “alternative facts.”
“You’re saying it’s falsehoods,” she said to host Chuck Todd during the program. “And they’re giving -—Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts.”
While this spurred on numerous memes and legitimate concerns regarding the Trump administration, some literature fans were quick to notice the similarities between Conway’s statements and the dystopian world painted by British author George Orwell.
In fact, the similarities are so strong that people have been buying up copies of 1984.
As The Guardian reports, Orwell’s novel is currently number one on Amazon’s bestseller’s list, with the British newspaper noting that many drew comparisons between Conway’s “alternative facts” and Orwell’s “newspeak,” a term used in the novel to signify language that is used to eliminate any personal thought.
Indeed, many people on Twitter also saw comparisons, too.
Orwell later wrote an essay detailing the principles of “newspeak,” in which he detailed how the language of Oceania had been “designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.”
As some also pointed out, the term “alternative facts” is also reminiscent of 1984‘s “doublethink,” a term meaning “the acceptance of contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.”
Originally published in 1949, George Orwell’s 1984 is a dystopian novel that imagines the a superstate, lead by Big Brother, having control of the entire world, and who attempts to quash any and all independent thought.