Dystopia Essay: 1984 and Harrison Bergeron
Year 11, English Extension Essay (2 CORE texts and 1 RELATED text) What concepts do you see connecting the texts you have actually studied through your expedition of Utopias and Dystopias. The novels Paradise by Thomas More and 1984 by George Orwell and short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut explore the Utopic and Dystopic category through the structure and policies of their societies. In Paradise, More provides us with a modern understanding of society and humanity, with an indepth research study of morals, worths and beliefs in England around the Renaissance Age. 984 was published while the 2nd World War was fresh in people’s minds, creating worries among society with Orwell emphasizing the possibility of such a dehumanised and regulated world if people did not work out vigilence. Harrison Bergeron is a futuristic science fiction short story which exagerates the degree of authority and its abilities to control society, composed during the time of the Cold War. Each text presents a society which reflects the growing issues of the time and questions the nature of the individual within the society.
The themes of flexibility and governmental authority are explored which enhance the utopic and dystopic views through the nature of the societies. In the texts, the crucial idea of flexibility is explored where all individuals should be freely entitiled to this right. Nevertheless, through the constraints and limitations of the societies, we see that individuals are not able to do as they please and work out free choice. Although the unique Utopia targets at presenting an apparently ideal and perfect world, the concern of flexibility is neglected.
Through the juxtapostion of the 2 sections of the unique, Book 1 and Reserve 2, More highlights the concerns of his time where European rule impeded the flexibility of the people. While More aims to convey a paradise, the regimented and orderly way of life of Utopians emphasize the loss of liberty. “They go to bed at 8 p. m., and sleep for 8 hours.” This quote shows the cumulative nature of the society whereby liberty is lost. Utopians follow a strict and purchased routine and must jointly comply with the guidelines enforced amongst individuals.
Some have actually even explained such a society as communist, with everything being planned and done according to social structure. Likewise in 1984, we see that this basic right of specific liberty is violated through the totalitarian authority governing the society. We see the constraints that are imposed on individuals through the intrusive system including secret cops, planted microphones and tv screens in both public and personal places.
Winston Smith, the lead character, takes us through his life where we share his thoughts and memories, and follow his journey, from his very first minutes of disobedience right through to his interogation and ensuing change in mindset to Big Brother. The author uses a third person narrative voice so we can see the story from Winston’s perspective, enabling us to see his loathing of the present society. There is repitition of the phrase, “DOWN WITH BIG SIBLING”, emphasizes Winston’s hate for Huge Sibling and the flexibility deprived society which Big Sibling and the Party have actually developed.
Orwell presents a really regimented and structured way of life by which both the Celebration members should follow. Orwell uses paradox in the party slogans such as “Flexibility is Slavery” which highlights the Celebration’s view on liberty and how the person’s in the society lack liberty. “Thoughtcrime was not a thing that might be concealed permanently. You might dodge succesfully for a while, even for several years, however sooner or later they were bound to get you”. We can see the worry that is engrained in Winston, and the worry of the Party that the society feels as a whole.
The tv screens and planted microphones are likewise in place to stop anyone from commiting any criminal activities highlighting the rigid system in location which avoids totally free thoughts and discussion. Orwell presents a dystopic society in 1984, through the loss of fact in the society. “Flexibility is the flexibility to say that 2 plus two make four. If that is approved, all else follows.” This shows that the Party’s adjustment of the ‘truths’ has successfully prevented the flexibility to believe. Orwell also uses the Red-armed prole female represents a symbol of flexibility, by her capability to sing passionately, which the celebration members never ever do. Her voice drifted upward with the summer sweet air, very tuneful, charge with a sort of delighted melancholy”. Winston and Julia see her as “stunning” through her largeness and strength and her ability to bring to life many kids. Orwell’s characterisation of the prole female permits us to see the loss of freedom of the Celebration members on the other hand with the rest of society. In Harrison Bergeron, there is also a loss of liberty through the 211th, 212th and 213th changes to the United States Constitution.
The people in this society have lost the freedom to be people and are instead “disabled” for having various capabilities, having different looks and being private people. “They were strained with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a totally free and stylish guesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the feline drug in”. This metaphor highlights the extent to which this society makes sure that nobody is much better than anyone else.
But in doing so, these ammendments have made the freedom to achieve and be succesful obselete as it is no longer possible to be proficient at anything without being handicapped. A common theme in the three texts is the control by federal government authority and the power they have over the society. We see that those in charge have the ability to impose the rules and consequently have control over all of the society. In Utopi, from Book 1, More discusses how the hierarchy system is controlled by the King in his time. By reffering to the king as “His invincible Majesty”, we can see the value and how much power the king had.
Through Raphael, More discusses the abuse of power by Kings and how by “hook or by criminal” they attempt to get new kingdoms instead of govern the existing ones effectively. More highlights the king’s aspirations in getting power, cash and growth of kingdoms showing their negligence of their real tasks. Raphael uses an example the King of France aims to seize milan while likewise keeping his authority over his current kingdom. This example shows how effective the kings are and also their greed in attempting to get more than they currently have.
We see that their focus is not on their people, but on acquiring properties and getting new kingdoms. In Book One, More uses am accumulation of examples and anecdotes to stress the nature of authority in 16th century Europe. This European design governance is later on juxtaposed with the design of Federal government in Utopia in Book 2. This highlights how the King of France is so nelgecting of his individuals, unlike the Utopian rulers. “Why do you suppose they made you a king in the first place,? Not for your advantage, however for theirs.” More through the persona of Raphael, warns against the power-hungry and ambitious kings in Europe.
In 1984, Orwell utilizes the Party to reveal the dystopic nature of the society through the all-powerful and controlling government. Through its various ministries, it has the ability to take control of Oceania in addition to oppressing individuals. In the Ministry of Fact, the Celebration has the capability to control news and home entertainment. Ironically, it is named the Ministry of “Truth” when we realise that nearly all history has been modified in some method. Through Winston’s job, we see that the Celebration aims to alter all that is true inorder to make the history of events matched to the Celebration’s teaching. A paradox increases due to the fact that although the Ministry is accountable for falsifying history, it is in fact producing “truth”. Through such a managing governernment, we see the concerns that Orwell had in his time and the fear of such a society arising after The second world war. Orwell utilizes the paperweight and St Clement’s Church as signs in the book. “What attracted him was not so much its beauty but the air it appeared to possess of belonging to an age quite various from today one”. Not just is the paperweight a symbol of beauty however it is likewise a remanant of the past, something which has actually been changed so considerably by the Celebration.
These signs are evidence of a past that once existed. Through all the propaganda, contradictory “facts” and memories, Winston seeks out these items, to revitalize his memories of the world that existed before the Celebration took control. Although the Party, with all its power, has actually destroyed the way the world was previously, these signs are a suggestion of what life utilized to be like. The picture of St Clement’s Church likewise stimulates memories from Winston who has the ability to remember it is when being a church. “. If it was fairly brand-new in look, was immediately declared as having actually been developed since the Revolution. This quote shows the Party’s abiltity to falsify the past as well as its capability to make everybody think that the Celebration had built it. The signs highlight the federal government’s authority in rewrting history, stressing the need for people to understand the past and the truth inorder to live free and happy lives. Likewise, Harrison Bergeron checks out a society where the 211th, 212th and 213th ammendments to the United States constitution have actually allowed authority to control individuals and authorise “handicaps” to attain equality.
Diana Moon Glampers is the handicap basic and represents power and authority in the short story. Although she appears in just completion, her actions are extremely impacting. “Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, entered into the Studio with a double-barreled ten-auge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emporer and the Empress were dead before they struck the flaw.” The reference to the weapon she uses to eliminate, reveals her violence and how she has no mercy for people who do not abide by the law. “She targeted at the artists and told them they had 10 seconds to get their handicaps back on”.
Like the Celebration in 1984, her controlling authority demonstrates the dystopic world managed by government. In the apparently ideal paradise presented in Paradise and the dystopic societies provided in 1984 and Harrison Bergeron, we discover the nature of such societies where the loss of flexibility and the overdominance of federal government authority result in a really dismal society. In the texts liberty and governmental authority are checked out enabling us to see the vulnerability of people as well as the extreme and overbearing societies in which individuals live.