Two of the most iconic dystopian novels are 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. These novels expanded the genre significantly and while having different details about Dystopian life, share remarkable similarities. Throughout the novels, similar themes such as media control and war demonstrate that both authors share common ideas about what would be important in Dystopian life. On the other hand, the way in which the authors approach each issue highlights a difference in both time period and values.
A principle component of both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 is war. In 1984 war is used as a way to keep the populace in a state of perpetual fear and anger. It is used as a rallying point for the people and strengthens the Party’s control over its citizens. The Party presents the war as an constant danger even though it is revealed through Goldstein’s book that the war is not a threat and that the purpose of constant war is allow manufacturing but reduce the amount of goods available essentially leaving all of the citizens in poverty on purpose. The reality of war is much different in Fahrenheit 451. The government attempts to downplay the severity of the war to keep the citizens calm. Unlike the Party the government in Fahrenheit 451 prefers that people are stupid and happy instead of simply oppressing them. This obviously blows up in the face of the government because a nuclear weapon comes in a destroys the city. In both of the novels war is used to both advance the plot and as a crucial part of the government 's control over its citizens.
Another important aspect of the dystopian societies in both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 is control over the media. The Party makes it clear early on that one of thei...
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... the majority of this Winston holds on to one of his core feelings, his love for Julia. To take this away from Winston the Party uses the “nuclear option”, or room 101. In room 101 is whatever a person fears the most and this extreme method takes away the last little bit of Winston’s humanity.
The erie dystopias described in both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 paint powerful images of possible futures. These worlds share many characteristics like focus on war, control over the media and the general squalor of the people, but differ in how they present these motifs. These subtle differences reflect the ideas of the individual authors and the time in which the novels were created. When the government focuses on the destruction of literature or on mind control the most powerful theme persists through all dystopian novel, unchecked power harms the people and stagnates society.
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