Analytical Research Paper Example
A Comparison of Brave New World and 1984
To write a comparison on 1984 and Brave New World is difficult and intriguing, as there are a lot of differences and similarities between these two books. Brave New World describes a world filled with enjoyment, desire and love, while 1984 is about a world full of oppression and horror. The two books are like two different mazes, one is called individualism and anarchism, and the other is called collectivism and totalitarianism. While the paths are different, all of them lead to the one and only exit from the maze; the end of society. The novels have the same principles, despite the surface differences between two dysfunctional worlds.
I. Consuming overabundant production
In 1984, this problem is solved by war, proclaiming, “Wars are peace.” Wars against Eastasia are daily affairs in totalitarian Oceania, although there are no ideological differences or material reasons. The meaning of wars comes to long-term lack of consumption. According to the book, the importance of war is an attempt to escape from over abundant production without trying to raise the general standard of living.
In Brave New World, this problem is solved by the politics of over consumption. It has become a key issue of the World Nation population, as people are instilled with such expressions “Ending is better than mending” and “more stitches fewer riches during sleep teaching.” As most products are consumed in an increasing way, there is no need to worry about overabundance of products.
Why overabundant products become one of the major problems in two different worlds? It seems to be against practical sense, because in our world we endorse overabundant production as the basis of scientific development. The answer is that these two worlds, totalitarianism and anarchism, hate science development.
In 1984, science is meant as a continuous experience and thinking habit. The base of science is logic. However, logic is dangerous to totalitarian Oceania, because it is the road to individual ideas. There is no history in an oppressive nation — everything is under total control. Therefore, the need for a new ideas, logic, and science is pointless.
In Brave New World, science is described as a devastating force for change. World Nation calls for stability, but not for truth. The nature of science is constant development, which does not correspond to stability, and does harm to the foundation. Science also is a key to find the truth, which is regarded as a tip to happiness. Happiness is cheap and easy, but truth is not.
II. Society classification
In 1984, the society has pyramidal structure. Starting from the top with Big Brother, then goes Outer Party and Inner Party members, and ends with Proles. The Party uses both thoughts and materials to control each class level. The Party makes the life of Proles so poor that they do not have desire and time to evaluate new ideas. Their needs are satisfied with cheap and easy entertainments. The Party has a department to compose novels and songs for Proles. There are the Ministry of Truth and Ministry of Love that take charge for Party members. The life of every individual is under 24-hour bilateral surveillance. Any actions or ideas against the Party are found immediately, and every thought crime in Oceania leads to torture, arrest, and conversion.
Brave New World’s society has simpler classification. In World Nation, classifying is done after the baby is born, as sleep-learning and reproductive technology are common. After being born, the baby was specified to be alpha, beta, gamma, delta or epsilon. Alpha tends to be the highest caste, as the smartest and strongest, and epsilon is the lowest caste. Each caste has work, which is appropriate to their conditioning. Everyone thinks that their caste is the best due to sleep-learning.
The books of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell show that equality in society is impossible.
Neil Postman once said that Huxley feared that our desires will ruin us, and Orwell feared that our fears will ruin us. Nowadays, our society is running between dystopia and utopia. We combine truths and lies, fear and desire in our society and maybe it is the best way to keep the balance and not to bring about ruin.
1. Christopher Hitchens, “Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught History.” Harper’s Magazine. November 1998, pp. 37–47.
2. George Orwell: Review, Tribune, 4 January 1946.
3. G.W.F. Hegel, The Philosophy of Right, ed. and trans. by T.M. Knox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946), p. 156.
4. Meckier, Jerome (2006). “Onomastic Satire: Names and Naming in Brave New World”. In Firchow, Peter Edgerly; Nugel, Bernfried. Aldous Huxley: modern satirical novelist of ideas. Lit Verlag. pp. 187ff. ISBN 3-8258-9668-4.
5. “The New Leader”, 11 March 1932. Reprinted in Watt, (pp. 210–13).