Impact Of Totalitarianism On George Orwell's 1984

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After the Second World War, the world knew a period of trauma. All Europe was suffering an economic crisis and tensions between the West and the East began to appear. The capitalist and the communist world wanted to show each other that their political system was the best but the West condemned the dictatorship led in USSR. The Cold War had begun. In this context of great fear and after his participation in the Spanish civil war, Orwell decided to write 1984 to fight against totalitarianism this time not with guns but with writing. The author criticized the world he has lived in by the use of science fiction but the lack of knowledge with reference to the USSR and his political opinions have had a great impact on his work. Moreover, the common…show more content…
In the late 40’s and 50’s, but also with the rise of totalitarianism in the early 30’s, many authors focused their work on this subject but they didn’t want to write a simple story happening in Germany or in the East world at the time, but were willing to create another universe, where the story takes place in the West world or in a really distant future. We could quote 1984 of course but also A Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 or Metropolis. This last one is really interesting to study as Fritz Lang (the director), aware of the situation in Germany, wrote the script of his movie based on the anger of the German people and the rise of Nazism. “The film’s social preoccupations have been described as a commentary on the political situation that existed in Germany at the time, but also served as a warning of where Germany was heading in the future” (“Metropolis: themes and context” 1). Fritz Lang was the precursor of a massive movement in the artistic community warning the society about the fragility of democracy. Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury have quite simply followed the movement started with Metropolis and even now, writers and movie directors still express their opinion about the contemporary political systems using science fiction. However, there is a big difference between Fritz Lang’s work and…show more content…
This last one is interesting to study as it fits perfectly to the mood of the late 40’s. Indeed at the time, the West world was aware of the Nazi’s, the communist but also the British propaganda. Both sides used the medias to keep the people under their control by faking the news. As Mark’s Post explained it, “A country’s enthusiasm for war can be quickly dampened by depressing photos of their dead soldiers, and articles detailing failed missions” (“Censorship during World War 2”). This observation makes us understand why Orwell gave importance to Winston’s job: as a rewriter of old newspapers, his work allows the government to control reality and give the population the feeling that they are winning the war even if they can’t actually know who their enemies are. Orwell wanted his main character to have this job so that he might be the direct witness of the propaganda organized by the head of the state. This writing choice is a critic of the policy led by the Allies and the Axis during the Second World War: both were lying to the population telling that they were winning even if they just lost major battles. That is why, in the book, when Oceania suffered bombings from Eurasia the party ordered that the news rewriters change every article in which it said that Eurasia was an ally

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