Power and Authority

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HOW HAVE YOUR TEXTS EXPLORED POWER AND AUTHORITY

The abuse of power and authority leads to corruption. George Orwell’s satire Nineteen Eighty-four and Frank Darabont’s hellish version of prison life The Shawshank Redemption show the effects of the exercise of absolute power. These texts show that if there are no restrictions when it comes to authority it can lead to corruption.

Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four demonstrates powerful warnings against the dangers of a totalitarian society. A theme used in Orwell’s novel is the party of Big Brother and its absolute power “we shall be utterly without power of any kind” this conveys a very controlling message towards all party members as they are totally evicted from freedom. Orwell uses three phases throughout the novel to give an impression of the sheer power and authority of Big brother “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SALVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” this is an irony used to show power towards the party.

One of the motifs of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the control of an individual’s thoughts and the governments’ surveillance of every party member. Telescreens are most prominently featured in the novel; they are devices that keep any one of its subjects under constant surveillance therefore eliminating any chance of secret conspiracies against Oceania. “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander…within range of a telescreen…the slightest thing could give you away”. The Party’s surveillance tactics and technology are so advanced that even the smallest expression could give you away. “thought crime does not entail death, thoughtcrime is death”. Orwell has written about thoughtcrime throughout the novel. It was illegal to hold any negative thought against the party at any time. This gives the reader a picture of how controlled an individual’s thoughts were and the surveillance of each and every thought.

The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont provides a desolate view of a prison where the abuse...
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