When it comes to dog names based on classic literature, few authors are better to choose from than that of the great George Orwell, also know by his real name of Eric Arthur Blair. Not only was Orwell a seminal part of dystopian literature, but a proactive and ethical journalist who pushed against totalitarian governments and for equal rights through democratic socialism. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Nineteen Eighty-Four had some overarching themes that could be considered dog-related as well, such as the presence of the all-seeing eye of Big Brother (whether that is you or them), obedience and even individualism. Plus, there are tons of perfect Orwellian terms and names to choose from that will help to cement your dog and their name amidst the lore of classic literature.
Nineteen Eighty-Four Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
Like many other great authors, George Orwell was also quick with a turn and his writing thick with symbolism. Whether that was as overt as Nineteen Eighty-Four or a bit more buried like in Animal Farm, it remained steadfast throughout his writing and with it, he was able to make overarching commentary about the state of the world during his tenure as a vigilant and insightful writer.
So it should come to no surprise that when Orwell penned Animal Farm, he was able to use dogs as symbols as well. The first we hear of the novella’s dogs are in the form of Jessie and Bluebell, each of which have a litter of puppies that are quickly scooped up by the power-hungry pig Napoleon, whose intent is to “educate” the puppies from an early age. In doing so, Napoleon draws direct correlations to Joseph Stalin, a considerable terror when the book was being written as well as during its first months/years of publication.
With that comparison, Orwell turned the nine dogs into a version of Stalin’s NKVD, a powerful and secret police force used for political repression, a theme that continues in Animal Farm as Napoleon attempts to assert his control over the barnyard. The dogs themselves represent various attributes from brute strength to power in numbers, but above all else, they seem to reinforce a very powerful theme throughout the book: there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.
But the concept extends beyond even the corrupt pigs as well. In fact, throughout the process of posturing the dogs within the hierarchy, they are linked to human beings as well, specifically Mr. Jones, whose drive for inebriation and lack of action and care are further symbolic of mankind’s often laissez-faire attitude toward responsibility and the exertion of control. The dogs themselves are often seen as menacing, quick to respond with intimidating force on the heels of a whistle, but in turn, also represent loyalty and generally only stand to reinforce the power structure more than standing on their own as abusers of power individually.
In turn, their position in the book is meant to link together the powers that exist, from human to pig. Even once the humans are out of the picture following the rebellion, a large enough void is formed for the pigs to cement themselves as rulers, continuing on with the pre-established corruption, say in no small terms that loyalty can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on who and what those followers are most loyal to, no matter their form.
Nineteen Eighty-Four Inspired Dog Name Considerations
Considering that the appearances of the characters in the books are only somewhat vaguely described and still up for interpretation, giving your dog a name based on a character will likely come to down to similarities in their personalities or quirks. Should you choose to dig a bit deeper and give them the name of an Orwellian term instead, you may have to get extra creative.
For instance, if your dog has many different vocalizations or is particularly good with conveying their thoughts, the name Syme might be a good fit. If they slowly over time become more and more of a rebel, then the names Winston and Chestnut would be good fits. If they’re always trying to crack down on those who are trying to break the rules, then the names O’Brien and Martin would both be suitable. If they’re particularly heroic, then the name Ogilvy, after Comrade Ogilvy, would be a solid choice as well.
There are lots of directions you can go, many of which will be instantly noticeable for other fans of the book. If you need inspiration or a refresher course, check out a book summary online or better yet, just read it again and see what jumps off the page at you.