Similarities Between Fahrenheit 451 And 1984

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The maxim “ignorance is bliss” is explored by both George Orwell and Ray Bradbury in their counter-cultural literary texts, warning of the possible dangers in future western society. Orwell and Bradbury use an array of sometimes differing techniques to illustrate their protagonists’ struggle against an oppressive government and dystopian society. The narrator’s point of view is used to describe both worlds in which the oppression of each society is prevalent and directly related to the struggle of their protagonist characters. Both authors signify their own struggle in society by using characterisation and imagery to directly create the conflict and contrast between their protagonists’ perspective and that of their written cultures. The differing …show more content…
Orwell particularly stresses paradoxical phrases through the use of “doublethink”, although Bradbury does not have such a concept, the narration from Guy’s perspective and characterisation of Beatty presents many paradoxes. Possibly the most paradoxical phrase in either text is from 1984 when Winston sullenly explains the party philosophy; “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” (Orwell, pg. 6). This absolutely sums up the power and oppression from the party in 1984. Similarly, in Fahrenheit 451 war is used to unite the people of the society against a common enemy. This paradox directs the hate to external influences rather than allowing the government of either society to be scrutinised. Although not defined in the same way in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury instead uses paradoxes to explain the insubstantiality of life in his created society, in which people and things are physically there, but on no other plane do they exist. This paradox is clear when Guy believes that although his wife is in the room “The room was not empty… The room was indeed empty.” (Bradbury pg. 19-20). This suggests Mildred’s half-life existence and shows how the burning of books, and therefore substantiality, oppresses people by removing meaning from life. This paradox of existing, but not truly living, is what attracts Guy to rebel, just as Winston refuses to accept that “2+2=5” is true. Irony works in much the same way for both novels, where the “Ministry of Truth” has an ironic name, so too does Captain Beatty have ironic traits. The simple fact that the Ministry of Truth, Love and Peace are named the way they are is ironic because quite simply the Ministry of Love tortures, the Ministry of Truth lies and the Ministry of Peace creates war. This exaggerates how oppression works in Oceania, and much the same can be said for Captain