Dystopian In Fahrenheit 451 And 1984

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Dystopian fiction, a genre which has recently become popular among young adults with titles such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, has its roots in classic works such as Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984. Although dystopian fiction is comprised of a diverse range of writing, all share a distinct form, which is the subject of a formalist critique. The formalist critical perspective concerns itself with the form of the piece, the structural components and literary elements which shape the effect of the work (Rawson 2). 1984, by George Orwell, is set in post-nuclear war Britain, where society has come under the control of a totalitarian government characterized by manipulation and surveillance. 1984 is a classic example of the dystopian…show more content…
The eventual triumph of the establishment and the three-part “exposition, climax, dénouement” structure seen in the novel are traits of dystopian form works. Orwell splits the novel into three books, where Book One is mainly description of Oceanian society and governmental structure, “this was London, chief city of Airstrip One,” (Orwell 3). Book Two contains the rising action, wherein the main character, Winston, begins to actively question and subvert the government, “of all the crimes that a Party member could commit, this one was the least possible to conceal,” (137), and the climax, where he is captured by the Thought Police. In Book Three, the action is resolved, where Winston is brainwashed by the Ministry of Love to subscribe to Party rhetoric. “[Winston] loved Big Brother,” (298), the last line of Book Three, demonstrates how the Party triumphs over Winston and the…show more content…
The themes of the role of the individual, historical revisionism, pop culture, and scapegoats are all present in 1984, and are commonly addressed in dystopian novels. In Orwell’s novel, the value of the individual in society is only so much as they contribute to the Party, and, as O’Brien says, “Humanity is the Party” (296). The theme of historical revisionism is also spoken of extensively, and Winston’s work in the Ministry of Truth involves changing newspaper articles to ensure that the Party is always correct, even stretching so far as to create fictional persons, including Comrade Ogilvy (46). Pop culture in 1984 is used to subjugate the working class “proles” through the promotion of promiscuity, instant gratification, and commercialism, “Pornosec” specifically creating pornography for proletariat consumption, and the “Music Department” to create mindless earworms. The Party also uses faceless, shifting enemies such as Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood or Eurasia and Eastasia to inspire anger and hatred and to shift blame, where Oceanian citizens are so conditioned that “the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically” (13). Each of the themes addressed in the examples are all common philosophical traits of dystopian

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