In his day to day life he works in The Ministry of True rewriting history in accordance to the needs of the governing Party. He keeps a secret diary, where he is writing his thoughts about the Party and about his existence.
His life is turning over when he encounters Julia portrayal by Suzanna Hamilton, a strange free sprit woman. While the Party is working how to outlaw the concept of the family to guarantee the citizens total devotions to the Party, they fall in love and begin an illegal love relationship.
It is just a matter a time when their passionate love is condemned for a defeat. The spectator knows they will be caught, and eventually they are. Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love, where he is tortured and brainwashed by O’Brian (Richard Burton), a high-ranking member of the Inner Party.
Subjected to unbearable tortures Winston’s resistance finally breaks down ‘and he repudiates his allegiances to Julia’.
To create the right atmosphere filmmakers used typical for Dystopian fiction audio-visual code.
From the very beginning of the film the scenery works wonderfully with a beautiful set design. It is bleak, dreary and so oppressive. You can almost smell the nasty cold air! Cinematographer Roger Deakins shoots most of the film in gritty, washed-out colours, to show us citizens desperate for the simplest of pleasures, which lives in world of grim humanity. The London settings – with their ruined streets, scruffy buildings devastate fields and forbidding, blackened facades. Most of the film is in greys and browns, with only the green fields in Winston’s dreams and memories and his tryst with Julia standing out. This high contrast photography, alternately harsh and low key lighting and iconic close-ups shots establish the feeling everyone must have when living in such a world.
Composer Dominic Muldowney created unusual “origin music” pieces for the dystopic world. Somehow the score compromised cruel cold feelings of an oppressive society, and a warm forbidding romance. As wrote one of the viewers ‘several of the tracts include bombastic and occasionally shrill brass performances of the opening anthem (…). The Russian choral works are enjoyable (…). The female vocals are also a highlight, with grand, operatic performances at least twice in full.’
First scene of the film shows us uniformity of appearance and behaviour of citizens. Through the ‘two minutes hate’ everyone sits watching the screen and begins to scream at images of the enemy to then, almost religious chant for the sake of their leader. It is a world where everyone looks the similar wearing the same suits, and behaves almost the same! This scene of the film shows extremely conformity of the party members’ class.
One of the typical aspects of Dystopian Fiction which we have occasion to see in the film is poor living and working conditions. Perhaps as a result of the wars, the urban area of the city lies in ruins. Everything seems to be in petite supply and what is available are of rather poor quality. People live in demolished houses and sleep in bug-infested bedrooms.
The Party claims that this is due to the war effort. As in dystopian fiction, the Inner Party members, who are at the top level of Oceania society, live in almost luxury apartments and have access to a variety of quality food stuff as wine and sugar, those are not available for the rest of population. In a fantastic way Radford shows us a hierarchical society where division between the upper, middle and the lower class are final and unbreakable.
Another common trait of dystopian fiction genre, which is presented in Nineteen Ninety-Four film is elaborate propaganda. At the beginning of the film news blurbs inform the public that a victory in some battle has brought the war against ‘Eurasia’ close to an end. The same message is repeated at the end of the film; only the enemy has changed to ‘Eastasia’.
Later on, when in the film announcer proclaims that chocolate ration will increase from 20 to 25 grams per week, we can see irony of this situation, as the film already shows us Winston rewriting old newspapers reports on this subject. But for Citizens of Oceania it is a proof that life under regime is good.
In this latest version of the film or novel audience can discover many different methods of constant surveillance the people of Oceania. ‘Telescreens’ are not only use for propaganda, but to control social class mobility and monitor everyone’s life. Working in ‘Ministry of Truth’ doesn’t give any privileges and even there, in cubicles Big Brother steers at you. People live under the watchful eyes of the party.
The war is also used as another method of control. The two, mentioned already above communicates, ensure the viewers that it doesn’t matter who Oceania is at war with, or whether or not the war is even real. The population must believe that the war is real and their suffering is necessary for history.
Huge posters with Big Brother pictures, hanged all over, almost shout ‘Big Brother is watching you’. Even the children are taught in schools to report to the ‘Thought Police’ when their parents have unorthodox thoughts called ‘thoughtcrime’. Everything is controlled and only one place you got to be free is your mind. However Party is going to deprive the citizens even of this.
Big Brother could be seen as another element of dystopian fiction. For the Inner Party members it is a leader use as an authorisation for doing whatsoever. For the proles he is a distant authority figure. God-like imagined figure, which sees to know everything, but never appears in person. Big Brother is brilliantly illustrated as a fictional figurehead that people worship fanatically through enormous personality cult.
In my opinion the most important dystopian future presented by the film inventors is its relativity. In today world any member of the audience, no matter what part of world is he from, can find similarity to his own life and society.
With all telephone conversations being recorded in United States after ‘September 11’ on behalf of antiterrorism; with security cameras installed in shop, cinemas, on the streets and everywhere else we must realised that all our movements are continually being monitored.
After being obviously false about war in Iraq slogan ‘War is peace’ seems to be great and last excuse for this war.
According to some publications we can witness how in Poland politic relations have overtaken journalism and how media are influenced by politic.
Whether we will believe it or not, we still are manipulated and controlled by our governments.
This essay analysis only some aspects of Dystopian fiction represented in the Nineteen Eighty-Four film.
The film demonstrates a life in horrifying world, where there is no escape from the authority of government. It treats about the very basic and most important issues of life in Dystopian world like a ‘society, government, wars (…), the place of the individual, the hardship of being alone, the concept of holding two contradictious thoughts at the same time, the nothingness of being human, love family (…)’.
It is powerful film, which through greatly pictured life in a soul-destroying world, put audience into real situation of fear, despair and total mind control that characters are suffering. After seeing it not one spectator feels some kind of sympathy for Winston, sharing with him his hopelessness and his desire of better life.
The hopeless of the story is portrayed tremendous, it transport the viewer to different, scary world, where ‘if you want to imagine the future of humanity, imagine a jack boot stamping on a human face for ever’.
Wikipedia On-line Dictionary available at: http://en.wikipedia.org
Wikipedia On-line Dictionary available at: http://en.wikipedia.org
Dan Goldwasser (1999) Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Music of Oceania Available at: http://www.filmtracks.com/
‘Room 102’ (2002) User comments available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087803
Here's what a star student thought of this essay
Quality of writing
Also fair as spelling, grammat and punctuation are all fine. There is the occassional typo which can be addressed through a simple re-read. Perhaps the fluency of sentence structure could be improved however generally speaking the essay is fair.
Level of analysis
Fair, this candidate examines the text through reference and quotations which is effective. However, one would expect a greater understanding of basic literary techniques and their influence upon both plot, and the novel as a whole.
Response to question
A fair response however there are flaws. These include addressing Orwell's magnum opus as a 'novel turned film' as well as explicity citing wikipedia on more than one occassion. All should be avoided if high marks are desired. Equally, this candidate's vague and often generic examination of the text leaves question marks over their understanding. However, it's not a terrible essay and certain points are valid and well-made.