“ Do you see, then, what kind of world we are creating? ” (Orwell, 1950 p. 267)George Orwell, author of 1984 released in 1950, present the idea of a society that proves to be a dystopia as it is completely based on fear and rarely does one see happiness while in the other hand, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World presents the idea of a functional utopia were feelings are destroyed and no one is unhappy because they don’t know happiness but all this could change by the hands of one outcast.
These two societies ruled in different ways-one through fear and the other through psychological and physical manipulation- present successful ways to maintain order and power, although they differ greatly and outcasts have different aims and uses. In a society where fear is predominant, physical and mental capacities reach a stagnant state as the will to survive and loyalty become predominant. In a different society where men are created to the liking of their rulers and are controlled with drugs instead of fear, the meaning of a utopia can disappear but yet subjects will think everything is perfect.
Finally a sense of false equality, manipulation, and fear allow total and utter control. In societies like the ones depicted in these two books, nothing is perfect and nothing is true. Members of these communities cannot know what is true because this will make them become dangerous to their leaders. The use of fear in 1984 and the idea of Big Brother facilite control as the idea of constant surveillance and Thought Police puts everything a member of this society does to the test and when they make a false move, they know they are done for.
The scene where Winston talks about two plus two not being for or if Gravity is a force that works really depicts the kind of fear installed by the party. “The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not only that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? ” (Orwell, 1950 p. 80). As explained by the quote, doubting whatever the party said could end up in negative ramifications. It is incredible how people can adjust to these changes.
Things that seem so simple be questioned and believed, which is even worse. The mutability of the party’s adherents is astonishing as they change whenever the part needs them to follow the most ridiculous ideas as if they were normal and all of this is achieved through fear. Winston also mentions the fact that your mind can fail you. “The most deadly danger of all was talking in your sleep. There was no way of guarding against that, so far as he could see. ” (Orwell, 1950 p. 64). Even thinking erroneously about the parties flaws and going against their ideas can be lethal as sleep talking cannot be controlled and can always be heard.
The third example of fear and its installment in Winston’s mind is when he receives the letter from Julia. “One, much the more likely, was that the girl was an agent of the Thought Police (…) the thing that was written on the paper might be a threat, a summon, an order to commit suicide, a trap of some description. (Orwell, 1950 p. 106). This displays how fear can make something normal seem completely hazardous and how reliance on others can be purged as you do not know what to expect from anyone. Even though people may be unhappy, this demonstrates to be successful as no one goes against the status quo.
In contrast to 1984, Brave New World doesn’t need fear since if they want change, they create new beings to change or just bring out soma but still, control is maintained. Physical and psychological manipulation gives a sense of order even though it is non-existent, and drug use maintains a false control that seems alright to everyone inside that sphere however, when someone notices this false control, he will become a problem. In Huxley’s Brave New World, which is supposed to be a Utopia, equality is not present and this is what a utopia is supposed to be about.
Within the social classes, the top ones still think of the lower ones as useless and basically inferior. Lenina demonstrates this through the following quote. “What a hideous colour khaki is,” remarked Lenina, voicing the hypnopaedic prejudices of her caste. ” (Huxley, 1946, p. 42). This quote demonstrates that even messages coming from the government promote separatist ideas and at the same time they promote equality. Drug use and psychological manipulation allows this to maintain epsilons happy with how they are, also maintaining absolute control over society.
Hypnopaedia as seen before, doesn’t always promote the values of a Utopia as it should. Another hypnopaedic message demonstrating this is “Every one works for everyone else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons. Every one works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone. ” (Huxley, 1946, p. 50). The use of Soma is a very important factor as it is a way of escaping the reality of a supposed utopia that in reality is everything but a utopia. “Why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly.
So jolly,” she repeated and smiled (…)” (Huxley, 1946, p. 62). It is very important to realize how this method of control still proves to be successful and allows organization for the government to preserve. Whether it’s installing fear, secret organizations, and complete surveillance or actually creating subjects, it is evident that both methods are thriving as they sustain order and undemanding management of society. Winston, who was the soul and heart of change in 1984 , ended up failing and the idea, person, or whatever Big Brother is, who he hated the most actually ended up taking over him and it is mentioned in the novel.
He won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. ” (Orwell, 1950 p. 268) The only man who was capable of causing change and denouncing the artificiality his government was based on. Fear has now proved to be a functioning method of control. In comparison to Brave New World, the outsider and only man capable of making others realize the lie they lived in ended up killing himself. “Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south- west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left.
South-south-west, south, south-east, east.. ” (Huxley, 1946 p. 176) This also verifies the effectiveness of this method and according to this, both men failed to change the status quo. By the end of both novels, no change was made and both fear and manipulation proved to be effective ways of maintaining control. As the predominance of both fear and manipulation grow, methods of changing society and its governance method become scarce and even those who go to extremes find themselves with unfeasible situations where physical and mental capacity will be pushed to new limits but yet, not enough to revolutionize their societies.
This is mainly due to most of those who have been subjected and accepted the reality in which they live in, which is what both Winston and John go through but their ways to accept it, were vastly different. Even though there are some with strong minds and others who have not been toyed with, it will never be enough to fight fear nor manipulation of the human being.
Courtney from Study Moose
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