Comparing Nineteen Eighty-Four And 1984

1866 Words8 Pages
Imagine a world in which you are constantly being watched. False history, monitored sex, no freedom. Obfuscating fact with falsehood becomes the standard, it is expected. Your entire life is decided for you, and you do not even know it. You are even content with it. Cogitate about how this would be, having no choice or self-determination. This lachrymose dystopia is the reality of the citizens of Airstrip One, a province of Oceania in George Orwell’s 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. This story depicts an oppressive government that takes control of every aspect of the lives and thoughts of their citizens. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four teaches its readers to not let someone else decide what everyone should do, say, and think. George Orwell’s…show more content…
“Nineteen Eighty-four was influenced by Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin's 1924 dystopian novel We, in which citizens of a future police state are forbidden to have proper names, only serial numbers, and must live in transparent buildings, under observation at all times” (Encyclopedia of British Writers). The two novels share many similarities. For example, We also has an overbearing figure known as the Benefactor “watching over” its citizens. However, there are a few differences between the books that also change their respective meanings and depth. “The characters in We are numbered rather than named: its Winston Smith is D-503, and its Julia I-330...Where Orwell's apartments come complete with an all-seeing "telescreen", Zamyatin's buildings are simply made of glass, allowing each of the residents – and the "Guardians" who police them – to see in whenever they want” (The Guardian). The lack of names in We makes the story less personal to the reader, while at the same time adding more emphasis to its point. Orwell’s use of names humanizes his characters, which makes his audience feel more sympathetic towards them. Another difference is the writing style of each author. Zamyatin writes in a series of diary entries, which could serve to seek a deeper understanding of the character’s thoughts and actions. Orwell’s use of the third person and a narrator is…show more content…
They have an entire department specifically dedicated to rewriting history, ironically named the Ministry of Truth. George Orwell uses the name of this department to point out the hypocrisy of the government of Oceania. Along with this, things like basic mathematical facts become falsehoods. Orwell says “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell). This is an extremely powerful quote because it shows how intense the lies in this society are. The rapacity of the government will not allow its citizens to know things such as basic mathematical facts because it could lead them to learn more and go against the
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