Dystopian Vision Of Power In George Orwell's 'Metropolis'

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Both texts are effectively able to present a dystopian vision of life in a society based on inequality and conformity and are heavily influenced by their respective contexts to help the composers shape their visions of the future. George Orwell’s satirical presentation of power in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is far more bleak and shows the extreme physical and psychological control of the masses and is able to present a pessimistic future for humanity to a great extent. However, Fritz Lang only reflects this pessimistic perspective of society to a limited extent in his film “Metropolis” (1927), as he demonstrates the humanity of society and the power of the individual to oppose the authoritarian power structure.

Orwell is able to maintain
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Lang uses the opening sequence of his film to establish the enslavement of the workers. The transition shot from the 10 hour clock to the 24 hour clock is symbolic of the dehumanization of the workers and Joh Frederson’s control of the bodies and minds of his workers and a long shot of the workers in the tunnels depicts their mechanical movements as they march in unison. The use of an ominous non-diegetic soundtrack for this scene, in conjunction with the painted on workers further emphasizes their subservience to the machines. The illustration of machines as almighty and powerful is reflective of Weimar Germany as the machine was celebrated for its variety of uses. Lang is also able to reflect the disparities between the classes of Germany through the use of lighting. The fractured and artificial lights illuminating the City of the Workers is symbolic of their degradation, in contrast the members of the Sons’ Club are presented in natural light, representing their prestige. Lang is able to utilize the physical setting of Metropolis to reflect a pessimistic vision of the future, where the working class suffers from …show more content…
Lang uses Maria to convey messages of peace and warn against revolution, demonstrated through her sermon in the catacombs, where she urges that the “mediator between the head and hands must be the heart” and that they must wait for their savior. The religious imagery of the candlelight and altar is symbolic of the purity of the message that she is conveying to her audience, reflecting the hope for a better future. However, Cyborg Maria is used by Rotwang and Joh Frederson to incite riot so that he can remind them of his power, as her mission is to “sow discord among them and destroy their confidence in Maria”. The Cyborg Maria is also depicted as the Whore of Babylon to symbolize the seven deadly sins to encourage violence among the men in the Yoshiwara Club. Nevertheless, the final mid range shot of Grot, Freder and Joh Frederson reveals Lang vision for a peaceful resolution between the classes of society, thus ending the violent rebellion. Lang is able to utilize rebellion to show its dangers, as evidenced by the communist uprisings in Weimar Germany, and that a peaceful resolution can be accomplished in order to gain

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