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Totalitarianism In Brave New World By Aldous Huxley And Nineteen Eighty Four By George Orwell

1592 words - 7 pages

Both Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four directly exemplify the destructive effects of a totalitarian government hidden behind the mask of a seemingly utopian society. Although each dystopia is depicted in very different ways, many similarities are evident: for example, the oppression the citizens are forced to suffer. Unjust control, cruel treatment, and dramatic punishments are typical of each society. The threefold government of Nineteen Eighty-Four ensures constant, total control over all civilians through fear and ignorance. Brave New World’s “world controllers” act as Huxley’s version of the Inner Party, or the elite, ruling minority, and have the same responsibility. Their incredible power is clarified early in the novel, when students first meet Mustapha Mond, the “Ruling Controller of Western Europe! One of the Ten World Controllers” (Huxley, 34). In this instance, Western Europe does not literally refer to the left half of the continent. Nine official states in total, it comprised of the non-communist countries during and after the Cold War, along with any that remained neutral. Putting such a small amount of people in charge of so many others creates a need for an easy mechanism of control. In both cases, uniformity and brainwashing heavily influence the effectiveness of oppression in each population. However, as history has shown, oppression leads to rebellion, and rebellion to revolution and eventual change. Both societies go to extreme measures to prevent even the slightest disobedience.
People are controlled by their fears, and each government has its own idea of terror. In the case of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the general public is subjected to constant monitoring. Every mistake is caught either on camera or by a fellow citizen. Once noticed, the government then observes the suspect closer, waiting for the perfect opportunity to ensnare them. Every criminal, however, is subconsciously aware of their mistake, however insignificant, which invokes a constant guilt and makes them more likely to commit another crime. Oceana’s government is broken into four sections, or “Ministries”: The Ministry of Peace (which is concerned with war), The Ministry of Truth (lies), The Ministry of Love (torture), and the Ministry of Plenty (starvation). The names are used to illustrate the practice of doublethink, “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” (Orwell, 40). The Ministry of Love classifies, observes, captures, and remodels legitimate and insubstantial rebels. To Winston’s knowledge, the rebel is beaten (both physically and mentally) and tortured, then, when near-dead, is sent to Room 101 to face their ultimate fear until loyalty for Big Brother and the Party succeeds their rebellious thoughts. Once the process of “reintegration” is complete, the criminal is killed, and all evidence of their existence is destroyed. The alarming fear of “vaporization” intimidates nearly every...

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