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1984 and Metropolis Essay Essay

The quote “The object of power is power” is heavily supported by George Orwell’s 1949 novel ‘1984’ and Fritz Lang’s 1927 film ‘Metropolis’ through their intertextual connections and shared perspectives. Both texts were composed around the context of pre and post World War 2 which is clearly evident through their settings, characterisation, themes and ideas. Through Orwell’s and Fritz’s use of dystopic societies, empowerment of women and detrimental dictatorship rule it is blatant that George Orwell’s quote “The object of power is power” is quite strongly supported by the intertextual connections and shared perspectives of Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Lang’s ‘Metropolis’.

Through the use of Orwell’s and Lang’s intertextual connections of political reform and shared perspectives of dystopic societies it becomes apparent that the quote “The object of power is power” is strongly supported throughout the two texts. The meaning of this quote is also made abundantly clear within the texts as the dictatorship rulers within both texts acquire power simply to have power and authority, instead of for the good of the people. This features predominantly in both texts through their shared perspectives on dystopic settings made apparent by their use of symbolism. In Orwell’s ‘1984’ only 2% of the populace resides in the ‘Inner Party’ whilst the other 98% is suppressed within the lower classes in either the ‘Outer Party’ or the ‘Proles’. This totalitarian, power based society is made dystopic by the overwhelming power and control exhibited by the tyrant dictator ‘Big Brother’.

This is emphasised through Orwell’s use of symbolism in O’Brien’s words as he says “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.” (pg 307) The symbolism between the boot and big brother, and the human face and society emphasises the suppressive nature of this totalitarianism rule, casting the society into dystopia. This also forms a contextual connection to Nazi Germany’s strive for a totalitarianism society. This same idea of a dystopic society is epitomised within Lang’s film, ‘Metropolis’ through the suppression of the working class in ‘the depths’ by the powerful master, Joh Frederson. The working class in this film are forced to endure agonising labour in extremely dangerous environments whilst the upper class, the ‘sons’ are free to live at their will.

The dystopic setting of the ‘depths’ becomes evident through Lang’s use of symbolism when the dictator’s son, Freder, journeys to the depths and starts to see the workers being eaten up by the machines in the scene ‘Slaves of the Means of Production” (14.58-17.52). This symbolises the dystopic society in which workers do not have the right to be safe. This idea forms a contextual connection to the 1920’s Weimar Republic where there were two distinct classes, the conservative elite, who were free to live at their will, and the workers who were forced to endure labour with no guarantee for safety. Through the contextual connections of political reform and the shared perspectives of dystopian societies the quote “the object of power is power” is strongly supported by George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’.

Similarly, the quote “the object of power is power” is also supported by Orwell’s and Lang’s shared perspectives of the rebelling of women and the intertextual connections of the empowerment of women during the times these texts were created. This is made evident through the use of juxtaposition throughout the two texts. In Orwell’s ‘1984’ the dystopic totalitarianism society is suppressed into worshipping Big Brother and dares not to step away from the control of the organisation. The female protagonist in the novel, Julia, however is not as suppressed as she leads the organisation into thinking and begins to rebel against them. This is seen within dialogue between her and Winston when she says “I’m corrupt to the bone.” This juxtaposition between her and the suppressed masses outlines her rebellion against the tyrant power of the organisation.

This links in with the contextual connection to the empowerment of women during the post World War 2 period as a result of women refusing to give up the power they had acquired during the war. Correspondently, Lang also uses this shared perspective of the rebelling of women in his film, depicted through the character of Maria. Maria is displayed as neither a citizen of Metropolis nor a worker in the depths but as a source of optimism and rebellion for the suppressed workers of the depths. Lang uses lighting to juxtapose her from the workers in the depths, illuminating her whilst keeping them in shadowed tones.

This juxtaposition emphasises the rebellious mentality of Maria against the dictator of metropolis, Joh Frederson. Even though Maria’s rebellious nature is far more peaceful than Julia’s, she still epitomises the contextual connections of the empowerment of women as a result of refusing to give up the power they had acquired during World War 1. Through Orwell’s and Lang’s use of juxtaposition, it is evident that the shared perspectives of the rebelling of women and the intertextual connections of the empowerment of women as a result of refusing to give up the power they had acquired during the World Wars, strongly supports the quote “the object of power is power”.

Equivalently, through the use of Orwell’s juxtaposition and Lang’s symbolism, the shared perspectives of the detrimental impact of dictatorship rule and the contextual connections of political reform are shown to strongly support the quote “the object of power is power”. In Orwell’s ‘1984’ the dictatorship rule of Big Brother in the totalitarianism society is shown to brainwash the populace, making them believe whatever the organisation wishes them to and bending them at their will. This is most prominent in Big Brothers slogan “WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS KNOWLEDGE.” This quote is seen multiple times throughout the novel and signifies the total power and control the organisation has among the people, forcing them to believe the illogical and thus taking away their humanity.

Through this we can see both Orwell’s shared perspective on the detrimental impact of dictatorship rule and the intertextual connection to political reform as he makes a statement against the dictatorship of Nazi Germany during World War 2. Comparably, Lang also shows his shared perspective on the detrimental impact of dictatorship, however he has done so by the use of symbolism. Lang has showed how the total power of dictatorship can be detrimental to humanity by the way in which the workers move in the depths. He shows them to have rigid, machine like movements symbolising their loss of their humanity to the powerful dictatorship rule.

This is seen in the scene “Slaves of the Means of Production” (14.58-17.52). This also links in with the intertextual connections of political reform as it shows Lang’s approval for the government of the time, ‘the Weimar Republic’ and his disapproval of the old dictator monarchy of the Kaiser. Through Orwell’s use of juxtaposition and Lang’s symbolism, it is evident that the shared perspectives of the detrimental impact of dictatorship and the contextual connections of political reform strongly support the quote “the object of power is power”.

The quote, “the object of power is power” is strongly supported by the shared perspectives and intertextual connections of George Orwell’s novel, ‘1984’ and Fritz Lang’s film, ‘Metropolis’. Through the use of techniques such as symbolism and juxtaposition the two texts incorporate shared perspectives of dystopic societies, the rebelling of women and the detrimental impact of dictatorship rule as well as intertextual connections of political reform and the empowerment of women. Through these shared perspectives and intertextual connects it is evident that George Orwell’s quote, “the object of power is power” is strongly supported in both George Orwell’s 1949 novel, ‘1984’ and Fritz Lang’s 1927 film, ‘Metropolis’.


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