Totalitarian Government In George Orwell's 1984
The 20th century has shocked the world with its atrocities and the truth is that most of these disasters have been related to the two major totalitarian regimes the world knew: fascism and communism. George Orwell is definitely one of the foreseers of this entire century of horror and both his novel 1984 and Animal Farm show just how far the totalitarian madness can go.
George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 and he gave his book this title precisely because this is what he believed the world would have been until 1984. In this novel, he describes a world in which totalitarianism has taken over completely and in which freedom seems to be just a myth that has been long forgotten.
Everything in the world portrayed by Orwell is completely controlled by an almost-invisible government that seems to have taken over every single moment and aspect of its citizen’s life. From the moment people wake up in the morning and to the moment they go back to sleep, every single part of the day is thoroughly controlled. There is no such thing as intimacy, not to mention actual freedom.
The totalitarian ruling portrayed by George Orwell in his 1984 novel controls the minds of the people living in this society. Every single household has a giant telescreen that constantly promoted propagandistic messages and they control the minds of the people with the idea that the “Big Brother” is watching everyone everywhere they go, like an omniscient and omnipresent God.
Even more, the government in Orwell’s 1984 also controls the bodies of its “subjects” as well. The control reaches such a high point that even a face twitch can show that a person has not been loyal to the Big Brother and to the totalitarian ruling in the society.
The information people have access to and the history of the place in which they live is also thoroughly controlled and nothing gets through without thorough beforehand analysis. The totalitarian government in this novel has completely reinvented history, so that they are portrayed in a good light.
All in all, Orwell’s novel can be considered to be a great alarm signal over the wide series of bad things that can come with a totalitarian ruling. Written in 1948 when the Nazi party and the fascist parties had already fallen, but when communism was flourishing in the entire Eastern Europe, this book can be considered to be an actual premonition on the things that might have happened if things had been let to go too far.
The 1984 novel by Orwell portrays a perfect totalitarian society considered the most extreme realization imaginable modern government with absolute power. The Brazil story, Sam as the central, character is inspired by George Orwell’s novel 1984. Both the novels portray a state in which the government monitors and controls all human life aspects to the extent of having a disloyal thought against the law. The presence of bureaucratic governments in both stories reveals that everything is under control, and everyone is watched. Likewise, the main characters in both stories are protagonists of their governments and exhibits similar thoughts, actions, and personalities. The similarities between Winston Orwell (1984) and Sam Lowry (Brazil) mentions their lives as both live in pathetic little flats. Also, they both work for the government that controls news and records and finds their jobs monotonous but they don’t want promotion but the both love their jobs. Another similarity between the two characters mentions that they both try to destroy the government that employs them. Sam develops a negative attitude of destroying his government after meeting Jill. Likewise, Winston secretly wants to corrupt his government beginning of 1984.
Also, the protagonists rebel against their governments because they are entangled in love with women. They are both caught with women in similar circumstances. They were both lying on the bed after lovemaking session and they are alerted by a sound of people rushing in their rooms. As such, both couples are caught in bed under similar circumstances by their authorities and end up being tormented. Likewise, the reason for destroying their governments is because of love for the two women. There is also similarity in the way these two heroes dealt with their government. Sam is caught by betrayal by his two best acquaintances, similar to Winston who is caught by betrayal and deceit.
The major differences between the protagonists are that the love Sam as for Jill is genuine while Winston is driven by lust. The main reason why he wants to sleep with Julia is because he loves the corrupt nature of the relationship. As such, Winston betrays Julia while Sam never betrays Jill. During the torture in their respective ministries, Winston is mostly worried by his torture, and he begs for stop and asks the authorities to torture anybody else, Julia included. However, Sam is concerned about Jill during his torture, and when he learns of her death, he still dreams of her. After learning of the death of Jill during his arrest, he dreams of being rescured by Tuttle and moving towards the countryside with Jill (Gilliam, 1996). As such, Sam doesn’t lust for Jill or because he wants to break the law. Jill is the girl of his dreams and he has no ill intentions for his government. Also, Winston, through his thoughts, had begun to deviate that would lead to his torture and death. However, Sam had not intentions of betraying the government, yet it turned out that way. In terms of government, the two stories criticize two forms of government. Gilliam tries to satirize capitalism while Orwell satirizes fascism and socialism (Radford, 1984).
Gilliam, T. (1996). Brazil: The Criterion Collection Director’s Cut, The Voyager Company 1985, Irvington, New York.
Radford, M. (1984). Nineteen Eighty- Four (1984), Polygram Home Video, Chatsworth, California.