A Cultural Comparison: 2 + 2 = 5 By Radiohead

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A Cultural Comparison:
“2 + 2 = 5” by Radiohead
For many centuries, art has been a medium through which writers and musicians have chosen to express their political views and opinions on the world around them. One of the world’s most celebrated political writers, George Orwell, strongly influenced culture, including music, with his dystopian novel 1984. The 80s English alternative rock band, Radiohead, was inspired by the book’s commentary on what the world will look like in the future and wrote a song imbued by 1984’s main ideology, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows,” (Orwell, 81). Both the novel as well as the record are didactic in nature; aiming to entertain, yet simultaneously
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If music like “2 + 2 = 5,” was spread amongst the proles, Radiohead’s warning of society’s impending doom would infiltrate and make a significant impact amongst the masses. To begin with, the record’s title refers to the concept of unquestioning orthodoxy to a higher class’s beliefs and claims. In 1984, Orwell depicts the Proles’ blind obedience to the Inner Party’s doctrines and propaganda supporting it. The Party’s grip on all the classes below it is so unyielding if it claims that two plus two make five, then the statement is rendered into existence as the absolute truth. In the first two verses, Radiohead illustrates what the middle class looks like from an outside perspective, exposing their constantly desire to, “Stay at home forever / Where two and two always makes up …show more content…
Radiohead’s, “2 + 2 = 5,” and George Orwell’s 1984, are both perfect examples of artists who used their art to convey this message - both urge their audience to take action before it is too late, as well as illustrate the need for cultural education for society to become aware of what is happening around them. The novel, as well as the record, both emphasise mankind’s attraction to flight over fight and the comfort or safety one finds in the enticing web of lies created by a higher class wishing to trap them. 1984, “2 + 2 = 5,” or any other kind of educational entertainment, has the potential to ignite a spark within the Proles to simply become aware, and inspire us to rise up and

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