Essay On 1984 And Metropolis

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Dystopian texts subvert ethical standards, extrapolating on contextual fears to present inter-textual perspectives on harrowing political landscapes. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) value freedom and self-determination by positioning responders to invest emotionally in the plight of individuals. Metropolis represents an industrial cityscape to convey the division of labour in the Weimar Republic and the need for the “heart,” characterised through Freder. 1984 reacts to post WW2 concerns about the rise of totalitarianism, using the prose fiction form to satirise government intrusion into private life. It is portrayed through Winston’s narrative point of view as he resists the all-pervading authority …show more content…
Orwell’s inclusion of ‘Goldstein’s Book’ allows him to develop a socio-political discourse on equality as “technically possible” in the 20th century. He then draws on the horrors of fascism and Stalinist repression to critique the practices of “imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves,” highlighting the irony that these social agendas were marketed as “enlightened and progressive.” Orwell extends on the prioritisation of science in the WW2 war effort to envisage a world where it is “concerned only with… the taking of life.” The notorious depiction of technological surveillance fore-warns how “private life came to an end” which reduces humanity metaphorically to “a beetle under a magnifying glass.” While Lang expresses concerns associated with the unethical use of technology, Orwell completely diverges from the Enlightenment view of scientific advancement as human progress “will be progress towards more …show more content…
He parodies the way “one makes a revolution to establish the dictatorship” in O’Brien’s dialogue, indicating that after WW2 the deep conflict between state and public interests was exposed. The sacrosanct legacy of Winston’s mother “she had died loving him,” is tragically dismissed as a “false memory” to demonstrate the extreme degeneration where even the “freedom to say 2+2=4” is obliterated by an ironic “love” of Big Brother. Winston’s necessary subversion of government control is paralleled in the workers’ demand for change in Metropolis. However, Robot Maria’s rebellion is shown as counter-productive, alluding to the 1918 upheaval and revolution of Germany which ironically left major political institutions intact. Ultimately, in the motif “The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart” the compromise involves a stable regime with compassion as a basis for social harmony. To a large extent the film reflects Germany’s authoritarian traditions and the distrust of the Weimar democracy but in light of 1984, the oblique aerial shot of the workers’ re-organisation into a hierarchical structure is an unsettling precursor for more extreme forms of repression. Metropolis and 1984 offer complex insights into the misuse of power and its destruction of compassion and individuality in their respective

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