Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Government Control - 1984 and Brave New World - Comparative

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Humans can be manipulated in any way in order to make them behave in a certain manner that suits the needs of others. Comparing George Orwell’s 184 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World it becomes clear that the populous can be manipulated and intimidated into supporting the leader of the government. Fear is a very powerful technique that allows the government to control what a person believes and can cause a person to support something they might not otherwise support. Through the use of technology the government can control its citizens and ensure that they conform with the rest of society. Since technology is such a large part of there society…. . Ignorance is a very important factor in deciding where ones loyality lies. If a populous is ignorant of their surroundings, as in 184 and Brave New World then it will be less trouble to convince the person to gladly support the leader. In order to maintain stability in a totalitarian society, the government forces the populous to support the leader.

Big Brother (the leader of Oceania) and by Mustafa Mond (controller of the World State) use fear as an effective way to gain the support of the populous. In 184, members of society fear Big Brother as a result of reports put out by the Party.

“People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated vaporized was the usual word.” (Orwell, 1).

This fear of being taken away by the thought-police and, the fear of death keeps individuals from having unorthodox beliefs and from committing thought-crime, which results in stability throughout the society and support towards the Party and Big Brother. Mustafa Mond also exerts the same kind of fear in Brave New World. The populous of Oceania has fear that the Mond would exile them for doing something not of the status quo, which is true. When Bernard hears that he will be exiled he pleads for mercy and begs for forgiveness. “’Send me to an Island?’…’You can’t send me.’…’Oh, please don’t send me to Iceland. I promise I’ll do what I ought to do. Give me another chance. Please give me another chance.’ The tears began to flow…” (Huxley, 06). This punishment is given to those who don’t fit in to the society. The lower-castes of society support the Mond, because that is what there conditioning tells them to do. They will always fit into the society since they don’t know anything else. These similarities between 184 and Brave New World show that when a leader influences the populous with fear a stable society and support of the populous is the result .

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Technological advances have allowed the leaders of totalitarian societies to ensure that they have the support of the populace and to maintain a stable society. In 184, The Party harnesses the use of technology to brainwash and monitor its citizens behaviour. Doublethink, a very effective method of brainwashing, is utilized to allow the government to make the populous believe carefully constructed lies told by Big Brother even when they have the contradicting truth in their mind. Since the populous is forced to believe anything that Big Brother tells them, he has their full support and stability in the society is maintained. Rehabilitation is used when a member of society commits thought crime against the Party. Winston Smith, the protagonist, does not support Big Brother at first. Eventually his unorthodox actions are caught. He is rehabilitated and is forced to support Big Brother. Brave New World uses technology differently than in 184 to gain support of the populace. In Brave New World, hypnopaedia, or sleep teaching allows controllers to condition infants so that know they have to support their leader. “[Hypnopaedia]. “The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.” (Huxley, 4). Since sleep teaching allows infants to be conditioned to support their leader, the World State doesn’t have to worry as much about rebellious behaviour. This method of forcing the populous to support the leader is very hard to undo making the society of the World State very stable. However, knowledge still must be decreased in the populous in order for stability to exist.

In both societies, the populous is shielded from a significant amount of knowledge and truth making them increasingly ignorant. The extremity of an individual’s ignorance is based on their ranking position in the society. For example, an inner party member would be permitted to read any type of literature and gain additional knowledge to the past or other areas, whereas an outer-party member would only be permitted to read certain types of literature that have been rewritten in Newspeak to give no insight into anything accept present day Oceania. Newspeak is a new language developed to eradicate unorthodox thoughts by eliminating certain words. Therefore, without being able to express the action of rebellion the populace does not know any better then to support Big Brother. All historical documents and records are rewritten to exclude references to historical events or anything else that could spark an individual to have eccentric feelings towards the Party. The original documents are then destroyed and no record exists.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed � if all records told the same tale � then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the party slogan, ‘controls the future who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past, though of it’s nature alterable, never had been altered.’ (Orwell, 7).

The parties ability to alter the past allows for corrections in Big Brothers speeches that would otherwise be inaccurate. Stability is maintained in that Big Brother is always right and therefore is supported by the populace. Knowledge is distributed similarly in the World State as it is in the Party. In Brave New World, a greater amount of knowledge is given to the higher Alpha and Beta castes. The lower Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon castes become increasingly more ignorant with the Epsilons completely striped of there individuality. The lower castes have no reason not support the World Controller, Mond, since all they are capable of is working and socializing. However, the higher castes have some of there individuality intact which allows them to make decisions on there own. “A society of Alphas couldn’t fail to be unstable and miserable. Imagine a factory staffed by Alphas - that is to say by separate and unrelated individuals of good heredity and conditioned so as to be capable (within limits) of making a free choice and assuming responsibilities.” (Huxley, 0). This proves that higher caste individuals and lower caste individual must both be present in society in order to maintain stability.

If there were no measures in place to force the populous into supporting the leader many individuals in the society would rebel. The totalitarian society would fall apart since the rulers would not be able to control their citizens. Measures such as supplying ignorance to individuals, technologic involvement, and fear are all used together to maintain a stable society were the populous supports the leader. If the society in which we live didn’t have methods to gain our support towards the leader then our society would not function and stability would be lost. Therefore nobody would live happlily.

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