Honors English 2
Compare and Contrast Essay
14 October 2014
Government or Prison?
Communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. While 1984, by George Orwell depicts a totalitarian society with secret surveillance and complete population control, and Brave New World, by Aldus Huxley anticipates government control through psychological manipulation, both novels have a society in which individual personality and thought are strictly prohibited. The themes of communism and control in both novels can relate to the time in which we live now.
1984 portrays a society where the government, also known as the party, is in charge of every aspect of the citizens of Oceania’s lives and what happens around them. The Party uses electronic devices to keep track of everyone. Telescreens were placed in people’s houses, around every corner they turned, and pretty much anywhere they went, the Party was keeping tabs on them. Not only did they have telescreens monitoring them, they had posters reminding them that Big Brother is watching them and had the Thought Police observing their thoughts. “There seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere” (Orwell 6). Citizens of Oceania are constantly reminded that they are being watched at all times on what they do and think, which gives them no freedom at all when it comes to their individual personality and thought. Freedom of expression, thought, and individuality were restricted. Limits were placed on what each person was allowed to read. The government intercepted any thought or action, and tortured those that stepped of their boundaries.
In order for the government in Brave New World to manipulate people, they persuaded people to use a drug called soma. According to Huxley, Soma was used as means of restriction and imprisonment and created a separation between their minds and the world around them. Huxley went on to add that soma was an inexpensive drug that was used to induce an escape from reality. It was a drug that brought ease and comfort to the subjects at very little cost, and was considered to be a source of instant gratification. The use of this drug soma allowed for the government to gain control over society. Brave New World’s government is using drugs to blind them from reality. They have created a false sense of what is real and