What Orwell's experiences – both as figure of authority and as scullion – had given him was a lived understanding of the human condition. It was this grounding in reality that bestowed a more profound political instinct than would be available to some sloganeering zealot. He had acquired a capacity to empathise with the foot-soldiers of history, the put-upon people generally taken for granted, ignored or squashed by the great isms of one sort or another. It conferred upon him the remarkable ability to achieve what every journalist and essayist seeks.
Although Orwell's health was now steadily falling apart, he started work on Nineteen Eighty-four. Published in 1949, this book is an elaborate satire (a literary work that uncovers the corrupt morals of humans) on modern politics, foretelling a world in which humans are made less than human in a world where citizens are at the mercy of the state's absolute control. Orwell entered a London hospital in September 1949 and the next month married Sonia Brownell. He died in London on January 21, 1950.