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Dehumanisation is often integral to dystopian novels, consider some of the ways in which this issue is presented by Huxley in Brave New World (1932) and by Orwell in 1984 (1949)

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Introduction

Dehumanisation is often integral to dystopian novels, consider some of the ways in which this issue is presented by Huxley in ?Brave New World? (1932) and by Orwell in 1984 (1949) The visionary dystopian novels, ?1984? and ?Brave New World depict dehumanising societies dominated by ruthless totalitarianism. The futuristic, radical and allegorical fantasies have different settings: ?Stalin?s Russia blends with bomb-scarred post-war Britain?[1] also recognisable through Oceania and ?the sanitised elysium?[2] of Seventh century AF. Both science fiction novels are cautionary, didactic and proleptic describing closed controlled societies radically repressing man?s human spirit. Their chillingly dehumanising realities portray insidious propaganda, revised histories, ?no use for old things here?[3] states Mond, whilst communal rituals and regulated sexual relationships ensure total obedience to oppressive regimes. Without total allegiance to omniscient Big Brother, ?It?s rats in the eyes for you?1 or the gentler ?exile to Iceland?1 for Huxley?s non-conformists: the poetically-minded Helmhotz is banished to the Falklands, for his ?limited creative dissent?[4] For Sherborne, Huxley?s parody of Well?s, Men Like Gods challenges the overconsumption and consumerism of the United States. 1984, a political prolemic, perhaps generated by Orwell?s final illness and the Cold War denies individual freedom: in a bleak, ironic and apocalyptic scenario where ?Individuality has become obsolete and personality a crime?[5]only the economically and socially deprived proles ?stayed human?[6]. ...read more.

Middle

The Controller?s comparison with innuendo ?as dangerous as it is beneficent?3 justifies the Bokanovsky Process, systematically denying embryos human identity and free will exemplified by the perfunctory, automated ?standard men and women in uniform batches?,3 rhythmically and syllabically stressed. Current stem cell research and proposed three-person IVF legislation juxtaposes ethics and eugenics, The Times? uses mechanistic imagery: ?Huxley?s wholesale eugenics? babies are mass-produced with the same cold efficiency as cars. Brave New World?s inhabitants are technologically engineered denied creativity, individuality and imagination?.[10] Huxley?s word play parodies scientific terminology, combining Maurice Bokhanowski, a French minister of commerce juxtaposed with Ivan Bokanowsky, a Russian revolutionary. Both authors satirise religion portraying dehumanisation. The Two Minutes Hate violently parodies a religious service in a ?deliberate drowning of consciousness?,6 a collective brainwashing; emphasised by alliteration and water imagery. A worshipper blasphemously addresses Big Brother as ?My Saviour?6. Conversely ironic religious perversion is suggested by Emmanuel Goldstein ?Enemy of the People?6 although ?Emmanuel? means Messiah. Goldstein?s democratic beliefs, ?freedom of speech? the press? assembly?6 are subverted into inhuman euphemisms through the compound nouns ?Doublethink?, ?Thoughtcrime? and the ironically cruel and antithetical slogan ?Freedom is Slavery?6. ...read more.

Conclusion

You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves?6 because ?reality exists? not in the individual mind? only in the mind of the Party, collective and immortal?6 denying intrinsic humanity. Sherborne hypothesises homosexuality between O?Brien and Winston, who ?did not want to be loved so much as to be understood?7 paradoxically stimulated by the Brotherhood and Room 101. The rat torture, graphically described through assonance, ?foul musty odour of the brutes?6 reduced Winston to a ?screaming animal? a black panic?6. DJ Taylor documents Orwell?s horror with vermin through experiences in Burma, the Spanish Civil War and on Jura, noting Orwell?s exposure of ?human vulnerability in the face of vicious animal intelligence?12 in 1984. 1984 and Brave New World?s dehumanising dystopias juxtapose the Greek ?eu-topos? good place? and ?ou-topos? no place?.2 The Arab Spring?s aspiring democratic rebellions ironically resulted in ideological autocracies, undermining human rights, barbarously exemplified by ISIS in Syria. In January 2013 Philip Collins wrote ?Orwell endures because his nightmare do too?[13]: the adjective ?Orwellian? implies dehumanisation. Both Huxley and Orwell satirically depict dehumanisation through subversive characterisation, vivid imagery and innovative manipulation of language, overturning our preconceptions of man?s essential dignity. ...read more.

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