Comparison Essay on 1984 and District 9
The pages of human history are daubed in bloodshed and tears of the suffering people of various nationalities and ethnic groups. Aggrandizement for wealth and plans for territorial expansion, have led to untold human miseries and casualties. Wars resulted in unprecedented levels of violence and even after the conclusion of wars religious and cultural persecution and systems for ideological brainwashing on the conquered people continued, and the people in the territory captured by the enemy lived in constant psychological fear. The government wedded to a particular ideology uses the state machinery to propagate that ideology to remain in power. The totalitarian regimes would never like to vacate their seats of power to their political opponents and will use all sorts of machinations and work with a secret agenda to subdue the freedom of the people. Their propagated motivations for the sake of public consumption and their true motivations are poles apart. With their working styles and procedures they remain busy outwitting the gullible public through propaganda and if necessary by force and by applying procedures of torture. George Orwell’s 1984 and the story of the movie District 9 highlight the plight of the human beings who undergo the tragic suffering of the enforced attempts of ideological transformation.
An Analysis of George Orwell’s Novel 1984
1984 by George Orwell is about the process as to how the State apparatus can subjugate the individuality of a human being and take control of his/her psyche. In this story the government takes dual control of the body and mind of its citizens. Winston Smith, the protagonist of the novel falls in love with Julia and his has the conviction that the party would never interfere in their love and they hate the all-controlling party from the bottom of their hearts. But the government machinery proves smarter. In the end, they are proven wrong, and are captured, taken to the Ministry of Love, physically and emotionally tortured and their hopes are shattered. Their normal mindset is undone, they are brainwashed, and they now toe the party line as for concept of love. From the Ministry of Love Winston returns back to live an insipid life and his loyalty and love is for the ideals of Big Brother and he turns disloyal to Julia. The novel warns about the capacity of the government to manipulate even the most sacred emotion in the life of human beings-love- and George Orwell cautions the right thinking people about the dangers of totalitarianism with the message to remain ever vigilant to protect one’s rights and essential dignity. This quote is meaningful and is the pointer to the awesome power of the propaganda machinery of the State that is out to destroy individual freedom. “Everything was all right, and the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (Orwell, 245). The Party professes the good of the people, but in reality, it is using the people for its nefarious political ends.
An Analysis of District 9
District 9, the story of the genre of scientific fiction, deals with the negative traits of seclusion, acceptance and equality that engulf the future of humankind. The issues dealt with in the movie, written by Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter Jackson should not be taken for their surface value and on closer scrutiny one can visualize profound meaning as for the issues tackled by the literary genius. An alien race insultingly branded as “prawns,” is interned in exile in a camp on Planet Earth. This relocation hints at refugee camps that are set up in the post-war scenario to ‘take care’ of the captured enemy soldiers and other interned people and the movie highlights how the dehumanizing process goes on in the grim living conditions. The plight of the people under not-so-friendly military control and the psychological condition of the people living in separation from their family members is meaningfully handled by the author and the director of the movie. A graphic picture is provided about the racial and social conflicts of the groups of people diametrically opposed to world views. When an individual has to make compromise in every aspect of his identity, he has to make adjustment in the new environment amidst embittered conflicts. The threat to one’s identity and torture to the psyche are the greatest and the most unwelcome challenges one can undergo in life and this is the cryptic message of the movie.
Comparison of issues in 1984 and District 9
The novel and the movie inform as to what happens to the inner world of an individual when his individuality and essential dignity is attacked and one becomes the victim of the dehumanizing procedure by the state apparatus. Ideological maneuvering is carried out as per the political plan by the State, and the oppressed society lives in great psychological fear. The propaganda machinery of the State remains active and alert and no opposition is tolerated by it. In 1984 the issues are dealt with from the political angle, and in District 9, the post-war scenarios in a refugee camp are highlighted and how an individual is made to change by force and compelled to adopt the values of another nation. Broadly speaking, both deal with the consequences of threat to individual freedom and values.
True motivation of those in power is to stick to the chair of power at all times and at all costs. This is also the case with the governments that practice totalitarian philosophy. Generally, such forces come to power through propaganda, unprecedented violence, bloodshed and persecution and genocide of the political opponents. They reveal to the people what is convenient from their point of view and not the truth. In such countries the print and electronic media is totally controlled by the governments.
Orwell, George. 1984. Signet Classic; 1950; Print
Blomkamp, Neill (Director) (2009).District 9; Johannesburg