Brave New World and 1984 are alike in envisioning a dystopic future in which the state robs individuals of their deepest humanity. The two governments depicted, however, are different in the ways they attempt achieve their goals. Brave New World's government succeeds by making life very comfortable for its citizens through conditioning, consumerism, orgies, and the drug soma. The citizens, thinking they are happy, don't realize they are being cheated of the pain, art, religion, and deep relationships that make us fully human. 1984's government succeeds in maintaining power by crushing outer Party members into conformity through fear, surveillance, dumbing down the language, and economic deprivation.
A comparison/contrast paper could compare and contrast Winston Smith to John the Savage. Both rebel against their dystopic worlds. However, Winston fights back through pursuing such comforts as a loving relationship. He also fights back by trying to join a purported underground rebellion. He does not want to die, but to live.
In contrast, John the Savage embraces an austere lifestyle without a woman to prevent himself from being corrupted by the comforts of his new world, and in the end, he commits suicide as a way out.
A thesis might say something like this: Both Winston Smith and John the Savage rebel against the soulless conformity of their dystopic worlds, but the different natures of their dystopias dictate different modes of rebellion: for Smith, rebellion involves embracing ordinary human comforts and a love relationship, while for John it means rejecting the temptations of both materialism and superficial sexual relations.
1984 vs. Brave New World
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There are lots of ways to compare 1984 by George Orwell to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. They both have to do with very futuristic ideas.
I noticed that they both had basically the same character structure. In 1984, there is the leading lady Julia, and in Brave New World, there is Lenina Crowne.
The main male character in 1984 is of course Winston Smith, and the leading man in Brave New World is a cross between Bernard Marx and John the so-called savage.
There are also two god-like figures in
the novels. I noticed this. One is O'Brien from 1984 and the other is
Mustapha Mond from Brave New World.
The basic ideas of the two novels are also similar. They have to do with rebellion against the so-called perfect new world and the sanctuary
they find at the end. John the savage found peace by hanging himself. (It
was hard to notice that, but I did. It made an excellent ending to the novel.)
Bernard found peace by being transferred to an island where things were different and supposedly better. Winston found peace by being brainwashed into becoming a person with a totally different personality so that things felt more agreeable.
A highly discussed topic in both of the books was sex. In 1984,
Winston felt like sex was a rebellion. He is drawn to his lover Julia because
she is corrupt and she enjoys sex, although she hides it by being a member of the "anti sex rally". In Brave New World, sex isn't looked upon as a crime, nor is pleasure. In fact, sex is promoted. As long as everyone uses regulation birth control and no one gives birth to a child naturally, then sex is considered perfectly normal. It is even promoted with the children who are decanted, which means that the Utopian embryos are taken out of the bottles in which they've matured. The sexual activities the children participate in is called "erotic play", in which they run around naked exploring one another's bodies in which ever way they please. It is designed to forestall any adult feelings of guilt concerning sex when they are older.
So that is one way in which the two stories differ. One promotes sex where
the other doesn't and actually demotes it.
I will now compare Lenina Crowne to Julia. Lenina Crowne is a girl who would be described as voluptuous or the majority of the Utopian society in which she lives call her pneumatic.
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Brave New World Winston Smith Birth Control Bottles Ending Hanging Erotic Embryos
It is obvious that Lenina's life revolves around sex and amusements, and also that the men find her to be extremely attractive. Julia is a simple woman who uses sex for fun as well as for rebellion and hides her personality behind her good girl image. She stands for something forbidden. And both of the girls end up betraying their lovers in the end.
Bernard Marx and Winston Smith are two characters who are extremely alike. They both know that there is something different about them than from anyone else. They're rebellious and as far as they know, they might be the only men of their kind. They have forbidden thoughts and are considered odd by others.
Another interesting point is that both of the novels have machines that tell you things while you're sleeping. In 1984 it is the telescreen and in Brave New World it is called hypnopaedia. The telescreen is a giant tv screen in every public and private place that both transmits Party propaganda and entertainment, and keeps and eye on Party members, looking for traces of thoughtcrime. Hypnopaedia is teaching during sleep.
If I were to choose which society to live in, I would probably choose to live in the Utopian society rather than Oceania. Although both novels are extremely negative, I'd rather be safe and have fun and even be brainwashed then be hiding my true thoughts and living in fear.
Overall, I think both books were very cleverly written and excellent examples for what novels about the future should be like. I think the most common topic for stories is rebellion. Think of Animal Farm which is also by George Orwell. It has to do with animals rebelling against the farmers. The topic of futuristic rebellion is definitely used in lots of ways.