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Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four: When the future meets the past

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  1. Introduction
  2. 'Brave New World' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four '
  3. A totalitarian government in 'Brave New World' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'
  4. 'The theme of thought control' in both the novels
  5. Conclusion

Freewill has always been an attribute of humanity that is to be protected at all costs, as freewill plays an important role in defining who we are. Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four go to great lengths to show the effects of loss of individuality when governments take control of the faculties that define us. Control of the masses as it is exercised to its fullest extent in Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four demonstrated through the control exerted upon one's emotions, actions, and thoughts.

However, the methods used to employ such harsh measures are different. As well, each author has a different insight into how the masses should be controlled; Brave New World fighting for control over the mind, and Nineteen Eighty-Four focusing on control through physical restrictions. Both of these novels deal with the problems of futuristic societies. The first novel, Brave New World, is said to be ?one of the most bewitching and insidious works of literature ever written? as it focuses on the broad aspects of a ?utopian? society.

In this novel, many of the fundamentals of a utopian society are outlined and described in detail. The second novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is about a conformist society which, in the eyes of Sara Bedinghaus, is a preview of our not so distant future. Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four are amongst the most influential novels of the 20th century. They were written during the 1930s and 40s when technological advances and political turmoil were quite intense.

With the end of two world wars and the Holocaust lingering in the recent past, freewill and justice were at their most necessary point in history. The authors of these novels seized this opportunity to expand on these technological advances and unforeseen consequences of dictatorships and absolute control in an attempt to forebode and possibly prevent such future situations. From reading these two novels, one can deduce certain tendencies in today's society simply because governments and other authorities have increased surveillance and breached privacy in many areas of our lives.

Tags: Freewill, Brave New World, ?utopian? society, Holocaust, dictatorships

[...] Throughout Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the control of one's emotions plays an important role in the maintenance of stability in the two incredibly similar societies. In Brave New World, children are conditioned as embryos in order to establish their caste. Children can fall into one of the five main castes Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, or Epsilons. The Savages make up another class that is far below any other and are placed in reservations where they remain uncontrolled and unsupervised. [...]

[...] To evoke fear and therefore complete devotion, Big Brother's face is illustrated on every bulletin board along side the phrase BROTHER IS WATCHING Another effective way in which the Party of Nineteen Eighty-Four can control thoughts is by constant policing. Thoughts of the Party members are monitored and determined by their actions and facial expressions. Party members can no longer trust anyone, even their own family, in fear that they are members of the Thought Police. In the end, the Party will acquire total control over thoughts. In conclusion, it is evident that both Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty- Four have very effective yet different methods and reasons [...]

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