Essay Compare and Contrast Themes of Brave New World and 1984
1174 WordsDec 18th, 20125 Pages
Science Fiction Essay
Two classic novels, 1984 written by George Orwell and Brave New World penned by Aldous Huxley both possess similar topics and themes. In both novels societies are striving for a utopia, or a perfect society. These novels also take place in societies with versions of totalitarian governments, which is a government that rules by coercion. Not only are the topics similar, but in both novels a rebellious character is the protagonist; Winston Smith from 1984 and John the Savage in Brave New World. Another parallel in the books are the tactics that the government uses to instill fear and power over the citizens. A common theme expressed in Orwell’s novel 1984 and Huxley’s novel Brave New World is that government uses…show more content…
The Bokanovsky Process is when zygotes are cloned into roughly 32 sets of identical twins. Being part of just a group of cells that were produced desensitizes those to individuality. Although the leaders in the government of this society state that the Bokanovsky Process provides stability which leads to happiness; some characters such as John the Savage crave to escape technology and lack of independence. After his mother had passed away, John the Savage went and spoke to Mustapha Mond who explains: “But people never are alone now, we make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them to have it” (Huxley 235). The commonality between Brave New World and 1984 is that the prevention of individuality allows the government to control its citizens.
In both 1984 and Brave New World a method to convey government control is displayed in the way both governments control knowledge. In 1984 many of the citizens of London are illiterate and are unable to write. This is because society practically forbids the expansion of knowledge. A Party doctrine in this society is “Ignorance is Strength” (Orwell 4); the slogan prevents a rebellion by conditioning the citizens of Oceania not to crave knowledge. With more knowledge a citizen might discover how the government treats the society and will attempt to challenge it. When this was played over and over again in the background people would start
Brave New World and 1984 are alike in envisioning a dystopic future in which the state robs individuals of their deepest humanity. The two governments depicted, however, are different in the ways they attempt achieve their goals. Brave New World's government succeeds by making life very comfortable for its citizens through conditioning, consumerism, orgies, and the drug soma. The citizens, thinking they are happy, don't realize they are being cheated of the pain, art, religion, and deep relationships that make us fully human. 1984's government succeeds in maintaining power by crushing outer Party members into conformity through fear, surveillance, dumbing down the language, and economic deprivation.
A comparison/contrast paper could compare and contrast Winston Smith to John the Savage. Both rebel against their dystopic worlds. However, Winston fights back through pursuing such comforts as a loving relationship. He also fights back by trying to join a purported underground rebellion. He does not want to die, but to live.
In contrast, John the Savage embraces an austere lifestyle without a woman to prevent himself from being corrupted by the comforts of his new world, and in the end, he commits suicide as a way out.
A thesis might say something like this: Both Winston Smith and John the Savage rebel against the soulless conformity of their dystopic worlds, but the different natures of their dystopias dictate different modes of rebellion: for Smith, rebellion involves embracing ordinary human comforts and a love relationship, while for John it means rejecting the temptations of both materialism and superficial sexual relations.