Gattaca

Topics: DNA, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Genetics Pages: 6 (2330 words) Published: November 23, 2008
English Essay - 1984, Eve to her Daughters, Gattaca

1984 by George Orwell, Eve to her Daughters by Judith Wright and “Gattaca” directed by Andrew Niccol are three examples of Utopian literature and explores issues and ideas of their respective context and the time they were written in. All three texts explore key ideas that are indispensable in the construction of a dystopian text. These issues include the devastating and oppressive power of technology and the human spirit. The composers employ a wide range of literary and cinematic techniques to shape meaning in each text, such as lighting, metaphors and structure.

1984 is a novel, written in 1949 by George Orwell which depicts a dark vision of the future where society has been corrupted by the devastating effects of totalitarianism. The repressive nature of technology is a chronic issue explored within most dystopic texts. The citizens of Oceania are interminably bombarded with propaganda which is distributed from the telescreens that are in their rooms. They also serve to monitor the citizens for any signs of thought crime. The propaganda is employed by the Party to hide the shortcomings and failures of the Party by transforming them into military successes. “Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with.” Orwell’s time with the BBC can be seen as a major influence on his opinions on propaganda. During this time, the BBC spread false hate propaganda and relentlessly censored the news of the despicable polices that the Allied forces employed in German cities, of which including bombings and genocide. This censorship could be a major influence in Orwell’s 1984 as correlations can be drawn between the two events. Also, individual and intellectual thought is crushed by technology such as the telescreens due to the fact that any discordance will be captured by the telescreens and ultimately be crushed by the Thought Police. The individuals in the society are also physically oppressed by the Party. “A person’s own nervous system is his own worst enemy.” This suggests that the Thought Police continually watches for any physical signs of disloyalty and are able to arrest anyone due to the slightest twitch of the face. The oppressive force of technology manifests itself in various characters throughout the text. Individuals like Parson are described as a “beetle-like man with a flat face and tiny, suspicious eyes” comparing him with the automatic and selfless nature of insects. In this way, it is clear to see that the individuality of the citizens have been completely suppressed by technology.

Eve to her Daughters is a 1966 poem by Judith Wright which illustrates a utopia as expressed in a male-driven society. It depicts the fall of men, and Adam’s attempts to create a new Utopia on Earth. The poem parodies the arrogant and pretentious world generated by technology, pioneered by a power-hungry, patriarchal society through satire. The second stanza highlights the flawed intrinsic nature of men “He had discovered a flaw in himself and he had to make up for it”, displaying the male ego of Adam. He attempts to create an Earth that would match the Garden of Eden by embracing the effect of technology, “The Earth must be made a new Eden with central heating...mechanical harvesters...combustion engines.” However the natural beauty of the Garden of Eden, which was considered the religious Utopia by people belonging to the Christian faith, was replaced by a far from perfect place, a superficial, male-driven society created through the plight of Adam. The values and ideas expressed in the poem are predominantly influenced by the political context of the poem. The Cold War was a period of tension, conflict and competition between the USA and the USSR and their allies from the mid 1940’s to the 1990s directly after the Second World War. The poem was written in 1966, at a time when the Cold War was reaching...
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