Life Is Beautiful Vs 1984 Essay

1143 words - 5 pages

[Type text] [Type text] [Type text]English Studies Paired Text Emmy Thomson2. Compare the ways in which Benigni and Orwell use setting to reinforce the central ideas of their texts.Both Benigni's Life is Beautiful and Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four examine the effect of control on the protagonists. Exercised by both authors, the texts develop their themes through the importance of setting. The level of control the protagonists of each text have over their lives fluctuates as they are dictated by authoritative figures. Winston Smith, a quiet rebel, is controlled through almost every aspect of his being. Life Is Beautiful's protagonist; the outrageous Guido Oreface is restrained through categorisation and imprisonment. The crucial theme of control, in both texts, is shown to alter significantly. Throughout most of both texts the protagnoists are fully or moderately controlled such as Winston at Miniluv and Guido in the concentration camp. Additionally, through at least one point through the narratives the protagonists are epitomised as free individuals including Winston's time in the proletarian society and Guido, when the holocaust had not yet begun. Evidently, Orwell and Benigni implement their major theme of control through the key device of setting.Benigni and Orwell both feature certain settings that deliver complete control over the protagonists. After Winston's capture in Nineteen Eighty-Four, he is sent to the infamous 'Ministry of Love', or in newspeak, "Miniluv". Winston is subjected to torture in its simplest form; being forced to sit motionless deprived of any food for an unknown period of time in 'the place of no darkness'. Ironically, adding to Oceania's concept of Newspeak, Miniluv, is Orwell's darkest and gloomiest location featured in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Throughout his period at Miniluv, Winston is completely controlled, physically and mentally. Most notably, the use of the telescreens and observation heightens, as even slight movements are reprimanded, "He had already learnt to sit still. If you made any unexpected movements they yelled at you from the telescreen." (pg. 237) Likewise, in Life Is Beautiful, Guido is also under absolute control whilst in the concentration camp. Through physical imprisonment, Benigni shows how the Jews were discriminated against and forced into submission. However, Guido, through sheer perseverance and quality of character, refuses to let himself be controlled mentally, determined to shelter his son, Joshua from the horrors of the holocaust. This is shown in the concluding narration of the film, as an adult Joshua explains, "This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me.." Unlike Guido, Winston is easily manipulated and controlled mentally through the ever-present fear of the unknown as a consequence of his life long domination. The ambiguous 'Room 101' and what may happen from resistance paralyses Winston into compliance. Clearly, Orwell and Benigni have exhibited...

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