Essay On Anthem And Totalitarianism

Words: 952
Pages: 4

Totalitarian governments in modern history are known for their absolute state power and lack of freedoms among their populace. Their control over public information and public affairs are well-known and condemned by most of the world. The authors of 1984 and Anthem both demonstrate their disgust with totalitarianism and collectivism through similar methods in their books. Through the experiences of their protagonists and the environment around them, 1984 and Anthem are both able to portray the evils of collectivist thought; despite the differences between the books.
The setting of the two books depicts a bleak picture of censorship, propaganda, and total restriction of freedom. For example, in Anthem, the students are forced to repeat a slogan to reinforce in their minds that “all men must be alike” (19). They are also taught false information that misleads them into believing that the State is best, such as that “the Council of Scholars knows all things” (23). This overt control of information is also seen in 1984 with the Ministry of Truth and their creation of fictional battles and editing of history in favor of the State. For example, the other nations of Eurasia and Eastasia are shown to be either friends or foe depending on the situation. The entire history of the nation is erased for a new one that
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The events that the protagonists have to withstand show why collectivism inevitably oppresses the people that they are meant to protect. With the removal of all forms of opposition information, the books also show how such a society prevents individuals from freely thinking and forces them to live in constant fear. The several images of suffering under the rule of collectivism show that the book advocate under the real tyranny of such a