Juan Ignacio Pazmiño
“We can't be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can't be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” (Roth, 2012) Victoria Roth describes the way people act in a society, individuals are different from one another, and therefore have different beliefs, ideas, and thoughts. When a ruler comes into power, he wants to make the whole community think as he does, but the real problem comes when he abuses of his power to take control. In this way totalitarian governments and rulers have arose, and have intended to influence in the society to achieve their goals. A totalitarian leader controls the behavior and actions of its people in order to become powerful. In the novels, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell, two futuristic dystopias are depicted. Both of them show totalitarian rule, where liberty has been deprived by different means of control. In Brave New World, the control of society is maintained through a peaceful way that consists in convincing people of loving their lack freedom. On the other side, in 1984, control is upheld by surveillance, the restriction of information, and torture. The absolute power of a totalitarian state leads to a total control of the society, causing it to be vapid, ignorant and oppressed.
In Brave New World, control of the society is achieved by making its citizens happy and stable so they don’t worry about their freedom, and they maintain their power by the use of technological inventions. Hypnopaedia is one way in which the state manipulated the society. It is a teaching method in which individuals are induced with several ways of thinking in their sleep. It doesn’t work in teaching intellectual work, however, it can be used in moral training. In the World State, hypnopaedia is used to induce certain social and moral rules people have to follow; this causes the people to unconsciously do what the state demands, loosing their freedom. For example, at the beginning of the book the Director is explaining Hypnopaedia, and he shows a demonstration of Elementary Class Consciousness, which trains each member of the different castes how he is positioned in the society. This helps the state to maintain their power since they are from the upper class: “ “ . . . all wear green,” said a soft but very distinctive voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, “and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta Children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they were black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”” (Huxley, 1946, p.27) Soma is another psychological technology implemented. It is the drug created with advancements in medicine and biology, in order to suppress people’s feelings and make them happy. This harmless drug makes citizens ignorant, and powerless. When taking Soma people think they are happy and ignore any kind of “inappropriate” feeling for the World State. Since people feel joyful and are superficially satisfied, they don’t feel the need of personal freedom. Soma is a tool to control people and as Mustapha Mond describes, “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects”(Huxley, 1946, p. 54), he is comparing it to a Christianity or alcohol in a society, which are the ways in which society is controlled. In the same way as in 1984, one way of control is by controlling and restricting information, propagating ignorance in the community. Living in ignorance makes people not to know the truth, and therefore live happily with what they have. Mustapha Mond argues that a society benefits from ignorance; he makes an allegory where he explains that those who are ignorant live happier, since they don’t worry with the intelligence that might question a system. He explains that a stable community will live in...