'Woke' University Slaps Warning on George Orwell’s 1984: 'Offensive and Upsetting'
Irony as Orwell’s dystopian story is censored
As free speech is destroyed under the guise of "wokeism," one would agree there is no lack of irony in a recent report that a trigger warning was placed on Orwell’s novel due to “offensive and upsetting” material.
The University of Northampton, UK, placed warnings on the grounds of "explicit material" it claims is contained within the iconic book.
The advice has enraged critics who argue it runs contrary to the themes of censorship in the book.
Orwell’s dystopian story, published in 1949, is set in a totalitarian state which persecutes individual thinking.
The book’s main character is a government employee arrested and tortured over an illicit love affair, outlining how the version of academic freedoms and history can do to a society.
Ironically, the book is one of several literary works which have been flagged for students at Northampton.
Students were warned that the module “addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas, and offensive language.”
Academics also identify several works in the module are “offensive and upsetting,” including the Samuel Beckett play Endgame, the graphic novel V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing The Cherry.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen was not lost on the irony either, saying:
“There’s a certain irony that students are now being issued trigger warnings before reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
“Our university campuses are fast becoming dystopian Big Brother zones where Newspeak is practised to diminish the range of intellectual thought and cancel speakers who don’t conform to it," he added.
“Too many of us – and nowhere is it more evident than our universities – have freely given up our rights to instead conform to a homogenized society governed by a liberal elite 'protecting' us from ideas that they believe are too extreme for our sensibilities.”
Orwell biographer David Taylor said:
“I think 13-year-olds might find some scenes in the novel disturbing, but I don’t think anyone of undergraduate age is really shocked by a book anymore,” he said.
A spokesman for the university said:
“‘While it is not university policy, we may warn students of content in relation to violence, sexual violence, domestic abuse, and suicide.
"In these circumstances, we explain to applicants as part of the recruitment process that their course will include some challenging texts.
"This is reinforced by tutors as they progress through their program of studies.”
“We are aware some texts might be challenging for some students and have accounted for this when developing our courses.”