Orwell’s 1984 Now Comes with a Trigger Warning at a British University

Well, one of those things we joke about, the elite using 1984 as an instruction manual rather than a warning, has finally come true in one of the most literal ways possible: it was just slapped with a “trigger warning” by the University of Northampton in the UK.



Yes, the left literally and unironically gave a warning that the book about freedom and free speech is dangerous. Or, as Auron MacIntyre put it on Twitter “The most famous story about dystopian speech codes now comes with a warning telling students it doesn’t conform to dystopian speech codes.”

The background is that the Daily Mail sent a Freedom of Information request and it revealed that the university had labeled the book, which warns about the dangers and evils of censorship in the name of “public safety,” as dangerous.

That label came from the university’s English department, which has an “Identity Under Construction” (whatever that means) module. It was that module that taught the book and warned students that the book contains “explicit material” that might be “offensive” and upset them. Big “Gender Ambiguous, Blue-Haired Sibling” is always watching for non-woke thought, it seems.

Given the focus of the module, the label isn’t overly surprising. As Breitbart reports, “The ‘Identity Under Construction’ module is advertised on the University of Northampton’s website as including the study of literature and poetry through a lens of “feminism, postmodernism and postcolonialism” and has a “primary focus” on the ‘constructions of identity, around issues such as race, class, gender and sexuality.’

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Of no concern to the “postcolonialism” class is the fact that Orwell was a fierce critic of Britain’s imperial system. More important, apparently, is teaching students to shy away from anything that might be “offensive,” which just means a challenge to their narrative.

Nor is 1984 the only book that the University of Northampton’s woke English department is slapping with “warnings.” As the Daily Mail, which discovered the 1984 trigger warning, reports:

Yet it is one of several literary works which have been flagged up to students at Northampton who are studying a module called Identity Under Construction. They are warned that the module ‘addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas and offensive language’.

In addition to Orwell’s book, academics identify several works in the module that have the potential to be ‘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.

Fortunately, not all those Brits with power are so woke. Again according to the Daily Mail, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said:

“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.

Too many of us – and nowhere is it more evident than our universities – have freely given up our rights to instead conform to a homogenised society governed by a liberal elite “protecting” us from ideas that they believe are too extreme for our sensibilities.”



Ironic indeed. But far from being outside what one now has to expect from the left. Which American schools will hit it with the same trigger warning? Many, I suspect.

By: Gen Z Conservative, editor of GenZConservative.com. Follow me on Parler and Gettr.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.