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Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again" (Orwell, 1949, p.168).
Principles of mass production are very clear in the novels. Huxley for instance, applied the idea of mass production in human reproduction, since the people has abandoned the natural method of reproduction. Mass production as the conventional feature of capitalism and Huxley's novel reinforces such. He talked about the requirement of the World State about constant consumption, which is considered as foundation of its stability. Huxley apparently criticizes the commercial dependence of the world towards goods. Conditioning centers teaches people to consume. Orwell similarly provides criticism to capitalism as well: "The centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of any value." The Proles are the symbols of the capitalist system as they constitute the working class who work in assembly lines.
Destruction of the concept of family
Both novels dispose the concept of family. Huxley totally wiped out the idea of family as the rule in the World State states "everyone belongs to everyone else." Marriage is considered as an antisocial and dirty joke so intimate relationships do not exist. Like the love story of Bernard and Lenina, their budding relationship did not prosper because of the influence of the societal norm on non-existence of permanent relationships. Bernard was carried away by the said system and had sexual intercourse with the woman he likes. The concept of family is also defective even in Malpais, the other world described in Huxley's novel that is inhabited by natives and Linda and John the Savage. Linda's family is an example of a typical broken family of today's.
According to Tufts (2006), Huxley's travel to India has influenced his "depiction of the savage reservation and its oppressive incivility" (p.3).
Meanwhile, there is also a notion in Nineteen Eighty-Four to abolish family. O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party, spells it out in the book the Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism in order to remove destructions from their loyalty to the Party. In addition, family destruction comes when the children are used of the government to spy on their parents. Orwell narrates, "The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately." Clearly, children are thought how to betray their love ones and become devoted only to the Party.
Huxley and Orwell differ in their thought as far as sex is concerned. In the World State, sex is encouraged while the Inner Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four discourages it in the same reason that it will disrupt the devotion of the members to the Party. The theory is illustrated in this Orwell's wordings, "The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."
Huxley provided an extreme distortion of morality by its portrayal of sex merely as an integral part of socialization and not for procreation. The idea is a parody of the youth's sexual adventurism that their disregard of moral values.
Orwell and Huxley obviously delved into the extremes. Their novels provided pictures of a dreadful future, of negative utopia. Are sex is indeed a social activity today and totalitarianism present in some countries? It could be a yes or a no depending on which culture you are coming from. In fact Stein (2006) suggests that,
Active psychological warfare and mental torture are now accepted concepts in totalitarian countries. A prime result of the political pressure, both overt and unobtrusive, has been cynical re-evaluation of human values. A new progression of specialists has emerged whose task it is not to cure, but to aggravate and manipulate the weaknesses of selected victims so that they might become more easily amendable to influence, and to prescribed political ideologies. We may define such planned enforcement of ideas a mental coercion applied as a political tool as "thought control." It is interesting to know, however, why people reacted so hysterically and dramatically to the first detailed news on brainwashing. Terrible fears were aroused in them: especially the fear of conformity and the fear of the evil eye that can see through the person and magically dig the truth out of him" (Stein, 506).
But the challenge is really on finding ways to negate the predisposition of these novels. The idea of a repressive state or chaotic culture is not intended to terrify people but to inject an idea to fight for these anxieties when the time requires. Moyan agrees that:
It is truism that one of the most revealing indexes to the anxieties of our age is the great flood of works like Huxley's Brave New World, and Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four. Appalling in their similarity, they describe nightmare states where men are conditioned to obedience, freedom is eliminated, and individuality crushed; where the past is systematically destroyed and men are isolated from nature; where science and technology are employed, not to enrich human life, but to maintain the states surveillance and control of its slave citizens" (Moyan, p111).
With regard to technological innovations that concerns of losing intimate relationships and individual identities, the outcome really depends on how we manage and balance the influence of technology and life. Indeed, there will be uncertainty on whether technological innovations will increase or decrease social welfare (Posner, p.6).
Meanwhile, "The concept of social control brings us to the focus of sociology and its perpetual problem -- the relation of the social order and the individual being, the relation of the unit and the whole. Control is simply coterminous with society, and in examining the former we simply describe the latter" (Beniger, p.61)
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____. Brave New World Revisited. Christopher Hitchens. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2004. 258-259.
Moyan, Tom (2000). Scraps of the Untainted Sky. Paul Smith. Colorado: Westview Press, 75-163
Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Thomas Pynchon and Erick Fromm. Florida: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1-339
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Tufts, Carey (2006). Siddharta Savage: The Importance of Buddhism in Huxley's Brave New World. Graduate Thesis. University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon.
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White, Richard. "George Orwell: Socialism and Utopia. (Critical Essay). Utopia Studies 19.1 (Winter 2008): 73(23). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale Bakerfield College.…[continue]
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