Nineteen Eighty-four and Harrison Bergeron Essay

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Cristhian Nino
Professor Voth
English 101
02 February 2015
Modern Totalitarianism.
In the 1940s through the 1960s, the world lived in a time of war. In September 1939
World War II broke out , and was followed by the Cold War of 1947 that lasted up until 1991.
The historic wars of these times influenced literature and the writers of the time, as they shaped their novels and books around these events. Writers such as George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut created novels of dystopian societies to alert nations that communism was not as great as it sounded. British writer George Orwell wrote the novel 1984 published by Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, Inc. in 1949. 1984 is a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government. In 1949, the Cold War had not yet escalated, and many Americans supported communism as possible political systems for the west. Therefore,
Orwell wrote his novel in order to expose the cruelty and oppression of communist countries. In his dystopian nation, Orwell gave a sneak peak of what a country could become if the people gave all the power to the government.
In 1984, Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian society in which the government monitors and controls every aspect of human life to the extent that having a disloyal thought is

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against the law. They do so with the use of technology such as tele screens and microphones across the city which allowed the government to monitor all the citizens almost all of the times.
In order to keep the citizens of London loyal and obedient to the government, they use psychological manipulation designed to overwhelm the minds capacity for independent thought.
Every citizen has a giant tele screen which not only monitors their behavior, but also feed citizens with positive propaganda of the government which makes them believe their government is successful in every way. "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS
STREGHT"(Orwell 398). These words were the official slogan of the government, and are inscribed in massive letters on the white pyramid of the ministry of truth. This was the believe for what the citizens lived for. By weakening the independence and strength of individuals minds and forcing them to live in a constant state of propaganda induced fear, the government is able to force citizens to accept anything that they are told, even if it is completely illogical. In addition, all throughout the city there are posters with the face of a man about forty five years old, with a heavy black mustache, and a caption which states "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING
YOU,"(Orwell 396) which reminded citizens that every move they made was monitored by the government. At last, citizens were forced to participate in the "two minutes of hate". According to Winston Smith the main character of Orwell's novel, he states, "The program of the two minutes hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principle figure. He was the primal traitor , the earliest defiler of the party's purity. All subsequent crimes against the party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage. heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching" (Orwell 404). All of the psychological stimuli brainwashed the citizens into making them believe that "Big Brother" was their God and savior, and that subjects such as Goldstein

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were threats to the nation. Which allowed the government to manipulate their citizens in any way they wanted to.
In the short story written by Kurt Vonnegut titled Harrison Bergeron published in 1961.
Vonnegut suggests that total quality is not worth striving for as many people believe, but a mistaken goal that is dangerous in both executions and outcome. To achieve physical and mental equality among all Americans , the government in Vonnegut story tortures its citizens. The beautiful must wear hideous masks, the intelligent must listen to earsplitting noises that impedes