Essay on The Utopia of Orwell and Foucault

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The Utopia of Orwell and Foucault

“Two ways of exercising power over men, of controlling their relations, of separating out their dangerous mixtures. The plague stricken town, transversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual bodies-this is the utopia of the perfectly governed city” (Foucault, 6) This quote extracted from the Essay Panopticism written by Michel Foucault perfectly describes in detail the controls put on the citizens of Big Brother’s Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984. Through control of relation, surveillance, and separating out their dangerous mixtures Big Brother obtains a government
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To have the threat of being watched present, but not knowing whether or not in actuality you are being watched is what leads you to become that ideal member of the Utopia which in essence is exactly what the government wants. The effect of the telescreen was simply complete control over Winston’s every move, thought, and word that came from his mouth.
You watch as he lived in life in fear of the Party, in fear of the Thought Police stripping him of the little that he does have. His mind was racing full of thoughts he couldn’t speak. His heart burned with hatred and anger for the party, which he couldn’t act upon. You can see by the party watching him they suppressed what he said, and did all by posing that tiny threat of being under watch.

The very same threat of being watched constantly can make ones stomach turn but to know that there is an outside force slowly integrating its way into your life can be just as nerve racking. “Thus the Christian school must not simply train docile children; it must also make it possible to supervise the parents, to gain information as to their way of life, their resources, their piety, and their morals.” (Foucault, 18) To truly understand someone you must not only know the individual, but those associated with that individual. By knowing and understanding the lifestyle that this person chooses to live you have gained

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