1984, By George Orwell And Gattaca, By Andrew Niccol

1041 words - 4 pages

Nineteen Eighty-Four written by George Orwell and Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol are prophetic social commentaries which explore the broad social wrong of a totalitarian government. Both texts depict a futuristic, dystopian society in which individuality is destroyed in favour of faceless conformity. Niccol and Orwell through the experiences of their protagonists reflect the impact isolation from society has on individuals. The authors of both texts also use their protagonists Winston, who cannot understand the rhetoric of the government party and Vincent, who is trapped, unable to achieve his dreams because of his imperfect genome, to demonstrate individual rebellion against society and explore the significant social injustices of a totalitarian state.
Destruction of individuality is an idea both authors explore to expose the broad social wrong of an oppressive society. Both Orwell and Niccol use their protagonists to demonstrate how dictatorial governments that destroy any semblance of individuality are inherently wrong. Orwell uses third person narration, which directly follows his protagonist as he fights to maintain his individuality in a society driven to eliminate the capability of “love, or friendship, or joy of living” by making him “hollow”. By employing the use third person narration Orwell portrays to the reader that even an individual with powerful intent to remain different can be broken down and made to believe that “2+2 = 5”. Similarly, Niccol uses extreme close up shots focusing on Vincent’s cleaning process and the motif of constant DNA checks to reinforce how authoritarian societies can demolish all sense of individuality. Vincent, an “in-valid” must take extreme measures to overcome the prejudices of society. Posing as the near genetically perfect “Jerome Morrow” and performing constant cleansing routines in which viewers see him scrub himself clean and prepare urine and blood samples Vincent is able to beat the ever-present DNA testing facilities that run through all facets of society. He seeks to destroy any sense of his own individuality reinforcing how the expectation of society can drive an individual to conform. Both authors through their protagonists show how the social injustice of a totalitarian society can lead to the complete destruction of individuality.
Furthermore, both authors also use their protagonists to depict how the social wrong of a dictatorial government can isolate individuals from society. Orwell uses the setting of “Oceania”, his protagonist’s “region”, to expose how the constant surveillance of “telescreens” can force an individual to become significantly introverted. “Every sound” that Winston makes is “overheard” and “every movement [he performs] is scrutinised”. Consequently, Winston must isolate himself from all people in order to protect himself and not express his true rebellion. This symbol of the “telescreen” is another way that Orwell exposes to the reader that dictatorial...

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