Comparing the Dystopian Novels

Я нашла свое старое эссе, пока плакала над тройкой по сочинению по Гамлету :---) оно конечно не лучше, но почему-то оценку все равно хорошую получила. Грустно стало, так скучаю по мр. Лиллу и вообще по сентябрю 2014 (я не перестану это говорить)


Doubtless, in our world, a  reality is  given to us, a  reality that  formed for millions  of years.  All  that  people  have  to do is  live  in it.  A  long time  ago, to make  life  easier for people  and to stop them  from  going out  of their safe  zone  of ignorance, religion was  invented. Marvels  and wonders  could be  explained by «intervention of God». Richard Dawkins  said:  «The  Bible  should be  taught, but  emphatically not  as  reality. It  is  fiction, myth, poetry, anything but  reality.  As  such it  needs  to be  taught  because  it  underlies  so much of our literature  and our culture.»  Individuals were  taught  to recognize  one  truth only;  if they thought  otherwise, God would forsake  and abandon them. Creating a  powerful  idol  like  God allowed the  popes  and monarchs  to frighten people.  Truth itself is  a  flexible  term. Such an irony — the  word «truth»  can be  manipulated as well.  Truth is  a  belief in something, or maybe, truth is  something that  was  seen happening, something that  can proved, though is  it  really truth?  No one  can ever tell. People's  perception of truth and reality depends  on the  government's  control  of information and citizens.  Although believing in this  thesis, it  is  easy to say that  controlling people  and information is  bad, but acknowledging the  opposite  side, the  government  has  their reasons  to do that, since  there  might be  things  that  are  too dangerous  to know;  as  well  apologizing to religious  people;  this  was  not meant  to insult  the  belief. In this  essay, the  comparison and discussion of two cult  dystopian novels,  1984  and  The  Giver,  will  be  introduced. 

 

1984  and  The  Giver  are  both dystopian novels  set  in a  post-apocalyptic  worlds.  The  Giver focuses  on a  twelve  year old boy Jonas, who becomes  a  receiver of the  memories. He  has  to face the  bitter truth about  his  world and cope  with the  painful  beauty of the  past.  1984  tells  a  story seemingly opposite  to  The  Giver.  Winston Smith, a  small  employee  working in the  Ministry of Truth, who has  to bear the  burden of living in a  cruel  and lawless  world, at  the  same  time  slaved under a  ruthless  regime  set  by the  hand of the  Big Brother, the  god-like  idol  of the  whole  society of Oceania.  The  characters  have  the  capacity to see  beyond what  is  around them  and that  brings them  more  trouble  that  they ever knew  it  would when they try to hide  their knowledge  from people around them. The  world of  The  Giver  is  quite  different  from  Oceania  (1984) from  the  first  glimpse, but  they have  some  things  in common and one  of them  is  controlling and watching people.  “the announcement  ATTENTION,  THIS  IS A REMINDER  TO  MALE  ELEVENS  THAT  OBJECTS ARE NOT TO BE  REMOVED FROM THE RECREATION AREA AND THAT SNACKS ARE TO BE  EATEN, NOT  HOARDED  had been specifically directed at  him, the  day last  month that he  had taken an apple  home."  (Lowry, pg 44-45).  As  claimed above, citizens  were  watched and given a  notification about  things  they've  done  wrong. Common people  could never turn off the speakers, though there  are  exceptions. «It  was  the  same  sort  of speaker that  occupied a  place  in every dwelling, but  one  thing about  it  was  different.  This  one  had a  switch, which the  man deftly snapped to the  end that  said OFF. [...]  To have  the  power to turn the  speaker off!»  (Lowry, pg 133).  The  Giver has  the  privilege  to turn off the  speaker, because  he  is  an important  man and the Committee  respects  his  privacy and comfort.  The  ability to turn the  speaker off is  given to him, because  they are  aware  of his  knowledge  and afraid that  the  Giver will  betray them  and use  the knowledge  against  the  Committee. «The  voice  came  from  an oblong metal  plaque  like  a  dulled mirror which formed part  of the  surface  of the  right–hand wall. [...]  The  instrument  (the telescreen, it  was  called) could be  dimmed, but  there  was  no way of shutting it  off completely.»  (Orwell, pg 7). In this  excerpt  from  1984,  a  similarity is  observed;  the  civilians  have telescreens, which are  not  only talking like  speakers  do, but  also watching and listening to people all  the  time.  As  a  worker in the  Ministry,  Winston had a  privilege  to dim  it, but  couldn't  shut  it down, whereas  a  higher authority, O'Brien, is  able  to shut  it  down for a  certain time. «He [O'Brien] stopped, turned aside  and pressed a  switch on the  wall.  There  was  a  sharp snap.  The voice  had stopped.»  (Orwell, pg 360).  Again, the  higher their position in the  hierarchy is, the more  they know  and the  more  they can afford to do.  However, it  also shows  how  the  people  are actually controlled. Being aware  that  they are  watched, they do not  dare  even to think about breaking the  rules.  Turning off the  speaker or telescreen would cost  them  their lives, because  no one  can escape  the  control  of the  government. Keeping everyone  under a  constant  fear also allows  the  authorities  to avoid explaining their actions.  The  next  discussed topic  is  the  reason why the dystopian civilians never question anything. 

 

A lot  of things  are  hidden from  common people  and that  is  no secret  to anyone, except that  in  The  Giver  and  1984, people  do not  desire  to discover the  truth, because  they are convinced that  truth is  what  they're  told by their community or scared to break the  rules. Both  dystopias  have  euphemisms  of the  unwanted terms. One  of them  is  «release». «For a  contributing citizen to be  released from  the  community was  a  final  decision, a  terrible  punishment, an overwhelming statement  of failure.»  (Lowry, pg 13). Release  is  applied to the  ones  who have committed crimes, newborns, who do not  fit  into society's  requirements, and elders, who have lived their lives  already.  Throughout  the  book, it  is  only closer to the  end when Jonas  has  finally revealed what  release  truly is. It  is  death. «He  pushed the  plunger very slowly, injecting the  liquid into the  scalp vein until  the  syringe  was  empty. [...] the  newchild, no longer crying, moved his arms  and legs  in a  jerking motion. [...]  Then he  was  still.»  (Lowry, pg 243-244).  The  word is  an euphemism  for death, so no one  can realize  that  they're  just  euthanizing people.  There  can be  no death in the  perfect  society, but  release  is  acceptable, release  is  being a  pariah, a  unnecessary part of the  mechanism  of the  society.  There  was  not  only death that  was  replaced with an euphemism, but  also «stirrings»  instead of «love», «newchild»  instead of «newborn». Doublethink is  an important  euphemism  used in  1984  and it  is  the  word for «reality control». «Who controls  the past,'  ran the  Party slogan, 'controls  the  future:  who controls  the  present  controls  the past.»  (Orwell, pg 75).  This  is  a  vivid example  of doublethink.  The  past  can be  changed and no one  will  say a  word. How  can it  be  a  lie, if the  Big Brother said so?  The  thing about  people  of 1984 is  that  they can be  on two sides  at  the  same  time  and be  right.  There  are  no laws, only the word of Big Brother, there  is  no language  but  Newspeak, which will  only contain a  few  basic words, so people  can't  think anymore  and speak only to express  their basic, animalistic  thoughts such as  «eat», «hate», «kill».  “WAR IS  PEACE. FREEDOM  IS  SLAVERY. IGNORANCE  IS STRENGTH” (Orwell, pg 12).  War is  peace, because  if war is  continuously going on, it  becomes the  peace. It  is  a  casual  and on-going state. Freedom  is  slavery, because  we  are  all  slaves  to our own desire. Ignorance  is  strength, since  when people  know  nothing, they accept  any orders  and they are  not  stopped by doubts  as  if they were  if they had knowledge. In the  next  paragraph, there  will  be  given a  closer look how  blurred are  the  borderlines  of what  is  wrong and what  is right in 1984 and The Giver.              

 

People  have  to hide  all  of their feelings  and be  very careful  with what  they do and say, because  they are  aware  that  they're  under a  constant  control. In  1984, the  citizens  changed their mind about  events  often and if they disagree, it  might  cost  them  their lives, because  it  is  a thoughtcrime. «This  was  not  illegal  (nothing was  illegal, since  there  were  no longer any laws), but  if detected it  was  reasonably certain that  it  would be  punished by death.»  (Orwell, pg 16-17). It  is  difficult  to understand what  exactly are  the  crimes  and what  is  allowed in the  Ingsoc community.  Although, a  conclusion could be  made  out  of it;  a  crime  won't  be  one  anymore  if it  is done  in the  name  of the  Party and Big Brother. For example, Orwell  in the  book mentioned that the  ongoing war allowed people  to steal, rape  and kill, because  it  was  for the  good of the  Big Brother, but  hating the  Big Brother or not  accepting doublethink could cost  the  thought  criminal his  life. In the  book,  Winston joined «The  Brotherhood», which stood up against  the  reign of dictatorship and tyranny in the  country. He  was  aware  that  he  can be  captured and killed anytime soon, but   he  didn't  expect  the  way he  was  captured. O'Brien, the  man who brought  him  in the Brotherhood and appeared to be  Thought  Police.  Therefore,  Winston was  convinced that  he  was with people, who felt  the  same  way about  the  world they were  living in and he  was  right, which is  the  strangest  thing about  all  of this.  Yes, O'Brien gave  away many secrets  and he  was  against the  tyranny. However, as  we  said, he  was  on both of the  sides  and that  means, he sold out Winston, because  Winston was  only on one  side. Both of the  societies  show  that  whatever the citizens  do, it  all  should be  for the  good of the  society, though decision of what  is  good and bad for the  society belongs  to the  ones  who have  the  power. “Once, when he  had been a  Four, he  had said, just  prior to the  midday meal  at  school, «I'm  starving.»  Immediately he  had been taken aside for a  brief private  lesson in language  precision. "...."   He  was  hungry. No one  in the  community was  starving, had ever been starving, would ever be  starving.  To say «starving»  was  to speak a lie.”  (Lowry, pg 11). Precise  language  is  something that  is  taught  to children in the  community from  a  young age. It  seems  unimportant, but  actually, there  is  a  lot  hidden beneath it, because look how  the  concept  of lie  is  interpreted here. Using a  wrong word would be  a  lie. Exaggerating is  lying, because  in this  case  it's  claiming that  community is  imperfect  in a  way. It's  claiming that the  community is  bad. If an adult  would have  said that, they would be  released immediately. Government  has  a  right  to set  the  laws  and manipulate  and deform  them  however they want  and that  is  dangerous  for citizens.  Again, that  puts  them  under a  control  and they have  to accept  the truth and reality given to them  and never doubt  it. Everything has  to be  smoothened out  and the harsh concepts  must  be  either substituted or eliminated.  There  is  no other way. Having this  last point stated, it's time for the conclusion.              

Control  of information and people  is  happening all  the  time  an even in our world, though we  don't  realize  it.  There  are  certain things  that  are  taboos  and no one  talks  about  them, people  accept  the  decisions  of their governments, because  they can't  do anything, the  information that  is  on news  is  filtered and processed by government  and that  alters  people's  opinions. Both of these  books  illustrate, what  altered opinions  or complete  obedience  can bring a  society to.However, meaning of it  is  not  to rebel  the  government, but  to decide  what  is  good and bad for ourselves, analyze  information in order to be  able  to think for ourselves, to be  able  to handle knowledge.  The  smarter the  person is, the  harder they are  to control.  The  dystopian novels  show the  consequences  of truth and reality being processed:  «eliminating»  concepts  that  don't  fit  into the  perception of a  great  society, always  following the  rules  and never going against  the  higher power, agreeing with them  on everything.  The  thesis  of this  text  was  that  the  way people perceive  truth and reality depends  on the  government's  control  of information and citizens, therefore, the  extreme  control  of people  in the  dystopias  gives  the  capacity to compare  that  to the real  world.  The  world depends  on the  skeptic  minds  of this  generation. Jonas  and  Winston from the  novels  taught  the  readers  that  only when there  are  skeptic  people, the  world is  stable, because if everyone  believes  in the  same  thing — the  world needs  rescuing.

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Комментарии (3)

Ты просто бог англицкого! Завидую с лучшей стороны. Я бы такое даже на своем родном языке не написал

спасибо) я уверена, что будь ты на моем месте, ты бы не хуже выучила, зависит все от обстоятельств х)

Это да, согласен! Все равно поражаешь :3

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Lannistae
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