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1984 is a novel by George Orwell that was published in 1949. It covers a totalitarian government. One of the main characters is the Big Brother. He appears a fictional character in this novel, a dictator in Oceania in which the ruling party exercises total power for its own benefits at the expense of the inhabitants (Orwell, 1992). In Oceania society, all the people are under total surveillance by those in authorities, mainly through the tele screens. The phrase “Big Brother is watching you”, constantly remind people that the government is in full control over them.
Big brother not only controls the knowledge of the citizens but also controls them physically. Monitors have been put to watch them in their homes and also everywhere they go. In every blank wall, signs are posted with a message, “big brother is watching you” (Orwell, 1992). The posters have enormous face gazing from the walls with eyes that look like following you everywhere you go. This instills fear of torture or arrest to citizens who always have to keep watch of what they do or say. The government invades privacy in their homes where children are taught to report their parents to police. They also have to be careful with any person they come across because they could be members of the “thought police”. This is a secret society of people hired by the government to monitor actions and thoughts of people who may be a threat.
In his book, “Brave New World,” Huxley combines his satirical skills with his scientific fascination to come up with a dystopian world, where a totalitarian government controls the society through science and technology. He explores the shortcomings of linking associating science and technology with politics and argues that this link or association is likely to reduce human individuality. Huxley, in my view, anticipated the occurrence of World War II and the cold war, associating this with technology. This is evident as Hitler assumed in Germany one year after the book and six years later the World War II broke. The cold war was initiated when the atomic bomb was dropped, thirteen years later. Therefore, Huxley uses his book to prophesize radical struggles and themes that dominated debate and life later in the 20th century. This would continue to dominate into the 21st century. In a way, the book attempts to create an imaginary society as Huxley attempts to come up with ideal conditions for the human race by eliminating evils of the world.
George Orwell 1984 and Brave New world both depicts dystopia in their novel where all the actions and behaviors of people by a state that is all-powerful. This state does this in order to preserve and maintain its own power and stability (Orwell, 1992). In “Brave New World,” the new world maintains power by the use of technological advances and interventions, which begin before and are used all the way to death. The new world manages to control its citizens by ensuring that they are superficially fulfilled and so happy that they forget about their personal freedom. This state control results into loss of emotions, dignity, values and morals, and eventual loss of humanity. This can be compared to George Orwell's book where the government under Big Brother attains its power by controlling actions, the mind and knowledge of the people. The people’s knowledge is controlled through the government rewriting all past documents in its favor (Orwell, 1992).
There lies differences with the two books; the first is that in the Brave New World, the author sees the modern society as one which moral relevance is not a priority. This, he lays the blame on technology and technological advances. For instance, the name of the founder of the automobile company, Ford Motor Company, is frequently replaced by “Lord,” a term used to refer to Christ. This is an indication of how the modern society is obsessed with technology to the extent of disregarding religion or equating technology to religion. The Director remarks “in Our Ford’s day,” games (Huxley, 2003). The author also views the modern society, in which the reproductive rights and sexual mores are rigidly controlled by state authorities.
In this society, approximately two thirds of the women technology is sterilized, and contraceptives use is required for the rest. This means that the modern generation is overly dependent on technology. Processes that are supposed to occur naturally such as reproduction are done by surgical removal of the female ova and artificial fertilization. It is also a society in which virtues and vices are always opposing. For instance, the desire that Lenina has to have sex with John conflicts with John’s desire for love. Those advocating end up losing or giving up like in John’s case. He gets insane and commits suicide due to the conflict between the values he hold and the cruel reality surrounding him. “…a swarm of visitors descends on John’s lighthouse, discovering that he has hanged himself (Huxley, 2003).
However, this is not the case in George Orwell's book where the focus is on the government. Big brother has control of everything; their money, food, job, clothes and their well being. With time, the citizens feel that they cannot live without him. In the novel, the citizens are accustomed to speaking words that praise Big Brother. Several times, Winston finds people saying that Big Brother is incredible. The government keeps the people tired through daily exercises, lack of sleep and long working hours. The name big brother is inviting because big brothers are people one can depend on and look up to. The government gives false sense of protection.
The most powerful tool that is used by the Big Brother government is propaganda whereas in the Brave New World it is by the use of technology. Big Brother rules with a philosophy that subordinates the people to total surveillance. Big Brother's government has various ministries that operate contrary to their names. These are ministry of plenty, ministry of plenty and ministry of peace. The Ministry of Truth is responsible for historical revisionism and propaganda. Winston work for the Ministry of Truth. His role is rewriting articles of the past newspapers. This is done to change the historical data to make it congruent with Big Brother’s current party ideologies. He hates the party secretly and has a vision of rebelling against Big Brother.
Winston rewrites magazine articles, which refer to, things the government want forgotten. The citizens believe what the government tells them without evidence. Big brother ensure that citizens let out anger toward the government by allowing them to have “two minutes hate” where they express all anger. Citizens are not permitted to possess personal documents like diaries, books and photographs in order to prevent them from saving information. This enables the government to manipulate the present and past. Winston hides when writing his journal.
The most powerful tool that world state uses to control its citizens is technology. Therefore, Huxley uses this book to warn of the dangers that are linked with the state controlling new and powerful technologies. This can be illustrated; by the way, the state controls the reproduction process by the use of medical and technological intervention. This includes removing ovaries surgically, hypnopaedic conditioning and the Bokanovsky Process. The states, “…human beings no longer produce living offspring. Instead, surgically removed ovaries produce ova that are fertilized in artificial receptacles and incubated in specially designed bottles.” (Huxley, 2003) Another technological approach that the new world uses in controlling the society is through the creation of entertainment machines that are complicated which provide harmless leisure or encourage a high level of consumption.
These entertainment machines are technologically advances aimed at maintaining stability of the world state. There is a thin line between science and technology as the state talks of science and progress. This scientific progress forms the basis of developing or building technology. This technology is aimed at creating a happy, seamless and superficial world through the creation of the likes of “feelies.” However, the state limits or censors science in a way as it views science as the ultimate threat to the state’s stability. It is quite clear that scientific progress is not used to support itself, but it is used to facilitate technological control. This is the ultimate goal of the state in using the technology as confirmed by the state’s motto “Community, Identity, and Stability (Huxley, 2003)."
Orwell, G., & Symons, J. (1992). Nineteen eighty-four.
Huxley, A., & York, M. (2003). Brave new world. North Kingstown, RI: BBC Audiobooks America.
George Orwell wrote the 1984 book. He wrote the book when he was nearing his death. After a period off suffering from tuberculosis. These is believed to be the root of him writing about the gloominess which is the characteristic that has stood in the book. The book tries to warn people who were opposing the soviet threat that were with conflicting ideas with the English, thus why the story is set in London (Orwell, 1992). Orwell had tried to show how the state where the truth did not exist but the leaders claimed it was there. Only those that portrayed loyalty to the party would have the freedom, and love was only known to those that only loved the ruling party.
It defines and explain how the communist system were oppressing the entire world. The government also could harass its people by monitoring them in every move without even having the search warrants. They would also dictate the words that their citizens would use, they did not even follow the laws set for the country.
Brave new world it’s a book that is science fiction, prophesy that is very important warning to the current society. The story is set in London, it focuses on the future world, where the people are to live in life with rigid hereditary system. It reveals the secret that have been affecting the current world. The Huxley tries to show a society where the old culture that the human had still survives within the people in the current world. The book is very clear, simple, and very insightful and is not so obvious. The Brave new world focuses on the capitalist system. These is the system that the people are manipulated and get forced to do things they do not wish to do. It is a society full of dictatorship and people are manipulated in order the government increase their consumer-base (Orwell, 1992). The people are designed to be passive in the ruling.
Both books they have the same idea where the people are manipulated by the ruling regime, they talk about how those that oppose the power are cruelly treated. In both the books there is conflicting ideas to both the rulers and those that are ruled.
In both the books they have the idea of using the media, the Brave new world, Huxley uses the movie idea to conveys his message to the people, he invents a movie like medium, and explain how they moved from the talkies to fillies, he gives the audience the chance feel and experience how the movie through the connections of the feelings from the nervous system. Orwell focus on the past experiences of listening to the televisions and listen to the people as they broadcasted their empty messages full of propaganda.
In both the books they have used characters that have similar roles and characteristics. They show some resemblance of one another who is character in the Brave new world and Julia in the 1984. The two characters have similar sex, in the books the authors says that the two would use their bodies to have sex with different partners and yet they would find it still very enjoyable. Both the characters in the books plays a prime role in the books and are depicted as very attractive that every man wishes to lie with them. Both the authors tries to depict them as whores (Huxley, 2003).
Despite the similarities between the two characters they also have their differences, in the Brave new world, Lenina has been born with a mental condition to entertain men with sex and enjoy it but in 1984, Orwell’s says that Julia uses the power of sex as rebellious act that wins against the famous and powerful political group and enjoys manipulating them through sex. Julia also emerges to be smart, very sharp, and does not associate with conflict while Lenina on the other hand is too weak to face the challenges and uses anti-depressant drug by the name soma that helps a person to escape the reality (Orwell, 1992).
Orwell and Huxley wrote their books in regards to the future, they focused on the future which they believed would come to pass. Brave new world predicts a world that the science and technology would rule and control the world. He explains these by employing characters that are developed in the incubator and that are mentally conditioned through technology (Huxley, 2003). Orwell on the other hand predicts a world that the government and the political power would dominate the world and take fully control. As much as the two authors focuses on the future they were trying to warn people about how fast the world was changing on the science and technology as well as in the government and political regime
Brave new world focuses on what is wrong with people in the current society while 1984 tend to focus to what is wrong with the ruling government (Huxley, 2003). The people in the Brave new world lacks the time to think for themselves, in Huxley, opinion thinking to them hurts. Having said that the ideal tool of oppression is pleasure, he say that their time is consumed when they are having their own pleasure and forgets to think about the pressing issues that are affecting them. In 1984, Orwell says that the people lacks the pleasure since they have limited pleasures, the government itself has already taken all their time and they have limited time to have their pleasures. He argues that the people have developed the fear that their pleasures will be taken away by the government when it discovers that are taken a lot of time.
In contrast with 1984, Huxley says that with exception of a few number of people, the others do not care or feel anything about their pleasures, they have no control of their pleasures and don’t feel anything if they lose it. Only a few who thinks tend to care
The brave new world is more focused on the future than the 1984, the book is not yet overtaken by the by the events of the world, it has crowned characters and more advanced reproductive science that making it more prescient. The point that Huxley’s tries to bring to attention of the people is more relevant to the present world, he uses the technology yet to come and things that the current world is at spur with, unlike Huxley, 1984 Orwell has the image of the soviet union of Russia that dominated some years ago, although the party that he brings to us is more ruthless it has great resemblance with the Russian state. The use of television and the spy using the surveillance is much familiar with how those states controlled their countries. He uses the idea of communism that has today fallen in the Europe (Huxley, 2003).
In conclusion, despite the books portraying some differences, the authors had the same idea on the future and they focused on changing the society by educating them how fast science and technology was taking over as well as how the political regime and government was becoming relevant to them and gaining dominance over the country . They thus give the people the responsibility to think on how they will be able to control their states and lives.
Orwell, G., & Symons, J. (1992). Nineteen eighty-four.
Huxley, A., & York, M. (2003). Brave new world. North Kingstown, RI: BBC Audiobooks America.
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