1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Dystopia, Fahrenheit 451 Pages: 6 (2544 words) Published: March 23, 2011
1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451
“Do you begin to see, then what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias…” (Orwell 267). 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are both dystopias, although in each society, the government tells the citizens that it is a utopia. A dystopia is, “An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression or terror” (“dystopia”). On the other hand, a utopia is described as, “An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects” (“utopia”). There are many similarities between the society in 1984 and the society in Fahrenheit 451, as well as many differences. The most obvious characteristics of a dystopian society are the restriction of information and history, independent thought, and freedom (Wright). In 1984, information is restricted because whenever something doesn’t go the Party’s way, they just change the facts. Winston’s job is to edit people and events from history. He explains to Julia how frustrated he is: Already we know all most literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered…After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind. (Orwell 155) The society of 1984 could never be very successful because history is a key factor in running a country. When one studies history, they learn not do make the same mistakes as others have made. If one does not know the mistakes previously made, then they will continue to make the same mistakes and make no progress. An example of how the Party changes facts is when Winston is given the assignment to replace a man named Withers from all documents. Withers had some how disgraced the Party and the Party didn’t want people to think that such a disgraceful man could have been a member of the party. Winston replaced Withers and his name with an imaginary character named Comrade Ogilvy. From that point on, Withers never existed. 1984 is based on a totalitarian government which means the Party has say over everything. After Winston is caught being disloyal to the Party, he is taken to the Ministry of Love. There he is tortured by O’Brian who is trying to get Winston to become sane again. O’Brian tells Winston, “Reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind…only in the mind of the Party which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth” (Orwell 249). One is not allowed to think for themselves, they must believe what the party says or else they will be tortured. Freedom is completely restricted in 1984’s society. If one does not believe what the Party says, then they are considered insane and taken to the Ministry of Love. The Party takes advantage of everyone. O’Brian says, “The Party imposed itself most on people incapable of understanding it...they simply swallowed everything” (Orwell 156). The Party doesn’t give the citizens any options. Winston wrote in his diary that being free is being able to say that two plus two makes four. When he arrives at the Ministry of Love, he must say that two plus two equals five and believe it because the Party says that two plus two equals five. If Winston fails to believe that two plus two is equal to five then he is tortured. Independent thought and freedom are restricted in Fahrenheit 451 as well as in 1984. The people that live in Montag’s society are consumed by the television. They think that the television is superior to everything else. Whatever it says they do. As Montag is trying to escape, the television says, “Everyone in every house in every street open a front or rear door or look from the windows. The fugitive cannot escape if...
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