• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Totalitarianism and Censorship in 1984 and Fahrenheit 451

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. "WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" (Orwell, 1984 pg.17). The Dangers of Totalitarianism: A dystopian novel, "1984" written by George Orwell, attacks the idea of totalitarian communism (a political system in which one ruling party plans and controls the collective social action of a state) by painting a terrifying picture of a world in which personal freedom is nonexistent. Orwell criticizes totalitarianism of all types and brings up questions concerning social status of citizens and the role of politics in the society. Orwell's main goal was to warn of the serious danger totalitarianism poses to society. He goes to great lengths to demonstrate the terrifying degree of power and control a totalitarian regime can acquire and maintain. In such regimes, notions of personal rights and freedoms and individual thought are pulverized under the all-powerful hand of the government. Censorship; Mass media dictatorship and ant intellectualism: In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses "artificial stimulus", such as television and radio, to provide the reader with a feeling of how isolated the public is and how their minds are being controlled by the government in the twenty-first century. He uses technology and drugs, to show the forcefulness of the government in his novel. One of the most important themes that occur in both novels is that of alienation and isolation, which is best shown through the main character of each novel. ...read more.

Middle

In 1984, the main character Winston is shown as one who does not quite fit in with the rest of his society. He has a continuous feeling in the back of his head that life as he knows it is not what it should be and begins writing in a journal about his thoughts, which is strictly illegal, "Winston saw that he had left the diary open on the table. 'DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER' was written all over it" (Orwell, page 20). The society that Winston lives in is governed by the Inner Party, and ultimately by a figure referred to as Big Brother. No members of the society are allowed to speak out, or even think out against the government. Every house, building, street, and public place has something called a telescreen, which constantly monitors the people and each of their actions, speech, and even expressions. If a person even appears to have a different thought than what they are mandated by Big Brother to have, this person will be arrested by the Thought Police and eventually vaporized. Orwell goes into great depth as to the advancement of the party's strategy against its enemies, "We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them" (1984, 265). As the book progresses he becomes more aware of his individuality and eventually is unable to hide it and all the alienated characters come before some sort of hand of the government who is ready to rationalize the right and duty of the government to possess such control over its people. ...read more.

Conclusion

In scene after scene, Montag becomes emotionally alienated from his work, his wife, and the people he works with. As this alienation increases, he reaches out to books and to the people who value them. His escape from the city to the refuge of the book people offers hope. He has escaped the alienation of the mechanical society he left behind. Perhaps he will help establish a better one by remembering the words in the book he will commit to memory. The suggestion Bradbury makes is that by staying connected to books, which are a reflection of other people's thinking, we stay connected as human beings one to the other. Books, then, are an antidote to alienation. Apathy and Passivity By portraying many characters as passive figures who never even wonder about their lot in life, Fahrenheit 451 seems to imply that apathy is a very important element in the decline of Montag's society Censorship and independent thought are also important concepts in our society today. These two ideals are constantly at odds against each other. The balance of these two concepts often determines the success or failure of a society. Uncontrolled censorship in society never works to its advantage either. Modern Americans often think of inequality quite differently. They believe that the natural social order-the market place and the acquisitive talents of people operating in that marketplace-leads to undesirable inequalities, especially in economic power. The government the government should be powerful enough to restrain these natural tendencies and produce, by law, a greater degree of equality than society allows when left alone (Wilson 29). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The bomb reminds them of the foolishness and power of nation-states and reminds them of the violability of their enclosed environment. The Italian villa In Chapter II, Hana reflects to herself that "there seemed little demarcation between house and landscape."

  2. Explore how 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' and 'Never Let Me Go' present the effects of ...

    Ishiguro maintains this, unlike deBerni�res, all the way through the novel, and the constant tone of Kathy adds still further to the complete lack of emotional attachment between reader, narrator and story. The only sign of emotion we see, in fact, comes from Madame's crying at watching Kathy's dance.

  1. Explore the consequences of Hanna and Brionys pivitol actions on a range of other ...

    Ironically, Robbie has managed to escape an extended time in prison by joining the war effort. However even while Robbie is a soldier, there are flashbacks of his time spent inside, which is a clear demonstration of the long lasting, damaging effects it has had on his life.

  2. How are dystopias portrayed in The Handmaids Tale and 1984?

    We may refer to ?when war becomes literally continuous, it also ceases to be dangerous? as reference to Harry S. Truman keeping the USA on a war footing and partly shaping the Cold War, so as his economy would not collapse as production rates shrunk.

  1. Dehumanisation is often integral to dystopian novels, consider some of the ways in which ...

    Incongruously he vacillates, wanting, ?to encircle? Julia?s ?sweet supple waist,?6 simultaneously repulsed by ?the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of chastity?6. Likewise John, overwhelmed by Lenina, uses repetition in the third person, ?How beautiful she was! How beautiful?3. John equally scorns Linda?s promiscuity and Lenina?s precocity epitomised in her rhyming jingle ?hug me till you drug me honey?6.

  2. The Day of the Triffids and Nineteen Eighty Four. A Study Into How Two ...

    It is forbidden for the Party?s members to keep written records of their lives, and the Party mandates that any photographs or documents be destroyed through "memory holes" placed throughout Oceania. Since memory is unreliable unless corresponding reality may confirm it, over time, reality becomes blurred, and citizens are soon

  1. William Shakespeare examined ideas that contributed to the development of modern society, while engaging ...

    Personification, 'bears it out' (Shakespeare twelve) suggests love unpleasantly waits. The use of personification incorporates humans. Alternatively word choice, 'edge of doom' (Shakespeare twelve) is strongly inferior, describing loves wait. The sonnet states love contaminated by the human condition. Statement, 'upon me proved' ensures the texts conviction and clarity.

  2. The struggle between being human and non-human in Aldous Huxleys Brave New World and ...

    of the way the government forces each person too be exactly ?how the fertilized ova went back to the incubators; where the Alphas and Betas remained definitely bottled, while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again, after only thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky?s Process.? (Huxley 6)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work