Essay Example on Comparing Brave New World and 1984

Published: 2021-08-11
2082 words
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Boston College
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Over the years, many people including philosophers have tried to attach meaning to life. There have been different views on the meaning of life by different people and at various times of their lives. Various societies have as well risen and fallen in search of a perfect community. However, due to changing cultures and times, the pursuit of a precise definition of life and society has been varying. To attach meaning to life, one has to assess several things that include; Why am I am existing? What exactly is it that I am doing? However, the real meaning of life is what we decide on. Many literary works have been written to describe the perfect society and life and what is needed for people to get there. Some of the literature include the 1984 and Brand New World books. Written around the twentieth century by men who had an experience of war are two books which are; the Brave New World and 1984 which through their respective authors Orwell and Huxley try to bring out the meaning of life by the visions they saw that pertain the future. The two authors after getting alarmed and disillusioned by what they saw happen in the society especially during the war decided to come up with a satirical and alarming vision of what to expect in the future. The two books are very different, but they address more of the same issues however in a way that is contrasting. Through the two protagonists, the meaning of life has been attached in some points that we shall focus on this paper. They include; we are different, erasure of the past, happiness, contentment, no time to love, and language. It is essential for any individual to get a grasp of what life is and what is the purpose of attaching meaning to life.

In both Brave New World and 1984, the protagonists who are Huxley and Orwell respectively attach meaning to life in standing out. In life, everyone is different. No single time in life that one individual is going to be the same as another. We do possess differences, and that is what makes life more meaningful. Imagine a situation where we all the same. What a dull society would it be? In 1984 the police hunted down individuals who violate the set rules (Orwell, 29). Winston fears that his unusual behavior has been noted, but as for "Savage," there is no need for fear since he has control and self-discipline contrary to the world surrounding him. The language was important to the human thought. In the Brave New World, the language used had been altered in many ways. "Mother" for instance was viewed as an obscene term. The behavior of an individual is reinforced.

Solitude allows individuals to have a chance to reflect alone. This has been frowned from individuals by both Brave New World and 1984. Individualism in Brave New World is abolished and owns life is unheard of. The activities done are all group activities. The only events that exist as solitary are drinking and sleeping or taking soma (Huxley, 31). The only time an individual had his or her time alone is when thinking. The authors are trying to drive home a point that people are different in various ways including our behaviors majorly. Some people want to be monitored to do the right thing, there are those that chose to do the right even when they not are being watched, and some people would wish to have their time alone. Understanding all these differences in individuals makes life easy for every individual in the society.

For both authors, abolishing the past or erasure of the past was necessary for the future of the society where people lived. In 1984, the Oceania's war history with the Eurasia, for example, is smeared in the people's minds, it has been there always. Winston knows better of the war and is made aware of the concrete and unchanging past. The government tries to change the past's knowledge. The attempts to do so always fail because everything is still fresh in mind. "We have cut links between child and parent, man and man and between man and woman" (Orwell, 19). In 1984, children were taught to police and suspect the parents. At the same time, married people were emotionally divorced from one another. All the loyalty was to the party and Big Brother. Interpersonal relationships in the Brave New World were just a formality. In the real sense, true love for each other wasn't there. There was no deep or a committed relationship. Having no war didn't mean that love existed.

The knowledge concerning the past in the Brave New World is so hard to come about. It is very few individuals who are aware of how the world was. Most of the people in the Brave New World don't care about the past. The knowledge pertaining the past according to Huxley is buried, and many people don't care about it. All they care about is the next feelies, next round of electric bumble-puppy, and the next hit of Soma. For the Brave New World, there is no past, and many people think it doesn't matter (Huxley, 40). The attitude we should attach to life according to the two views is to let the past remain in the past and soldier on to the future. The protagonists assign meaning to life when an individual erases the past that can hold him or her down and is ready not to be bothered by it. This is an important lesson to carry on to the lives we are living in. The things of the past are gone, the new is yet to come, and they are the ones we look forward to. Equally, it is worth noting that, for one to ensure a meaningful life love is necessary. According to Huxley and Orwell, it is essential to have good relationships with the people around us and be able to trust them for there to be a peaceful life. The purpose of the protagonists attaching meaning of life to love is to give people a warning of what to expect about the future on how love will fade and relationships will be poor.

Huxley and Orwell try to search and bring to light the meaning of life as associated with happiness. Winston came home at the end of the long day exhausted in 1984. He would want to drown his sorrows and weariness in the acrid Victory Gin thus deadening his senses; he was never alone in with his thoughts. If he were not working or drinking, he would spend time exercising and engage in other activities that would leave him so weary. According to Huxley, "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly spectacular as instability. And being contented has nothing of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation; or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."

On the other hand, in the Brave New World, the shiny distractions kept the people entertained and had fun, but that did not mean they were happy. The people are taught to have a belief that the next feelie, next distraction or any next thing that is fun is everything to live. Anything more than that is unnecessary. In the Brave New World, people didn't know happiness since they never knew how to seek it and consequently, they didn't care, their joy was found in a drug known as soma. Soma was a kind of anti-depressant and once taken an individual could have an illusion of happiness which was short-lived. Therefore according to the protagonists in search for the meaning of life, happiness was crucial. Happiness is not found in what we do that excites us nor in other people. Happiness comes from within an individual. To have a more fulfilling life, it is important to find happiness. If an individual is happy from within, it is easy to be content. On a different note, 1984 by Orwell doesn't emphasize on technological advancements. Within the society of Oceania, technology was not highly regarded. Orwell, however, speculates a particular level of progress in technology. He posits a two -way television screen, some surveillance equipment, and machines that write the novels (Orwell, 100). Huxley, on the other hand, goes a step ahead in foreseeing scientific advancement. In Huxley's world state, the human being is grown and produced in the artificial wombs. The idea of automation as well passed by Huxley such that people are developed with a purpose of operating elevators or toiling in factories. Both authors are trying to picture from afar how the future of human life will be like and what effects such technological advancements are likely to bring on the human nature. Regardless of the technical progress and capabilities that came with the use of the new science, the real issue the wrong use of technology without care of human life. Some people will use technology for evil pursuit and personal gain, for instance, an attempt to maintain and retain power and honestly this is against the human nature and life. Advancement in technology is supposed to be watched keenly to preserve the meaning of life according to the protagonists.

In the search for the meaning of life, both Huxley and Orwell seem to make another point about easy contentment with regards to life. In 1984, the "proles" are likened with the lower castes. This is due to lack of great aspirations and the fact that they are contented with the little they have and can get (Orwell, 89). They always seem not important in the sight of the controlling Party but are always surveilled, and anyone who seems to be demonstrating the ability to think big for his or herself is "eliminated." The ordinary people always have to conform to low expectations. Winston observes that these ordinary people, however, haven't lost the humanity in them. He then recognizes contrast about the ordinary people with his cruelty and their ability to care even if it makes no difference. Mere feelings hold no account. He equally dreams about the proles having their freedom and overthrowing the party. The proles are likened to the Deltas, Epsilons, and the Gammas. They are ever content with the most accessible life comforts. They see no point of straining or striving for a more prominent life.

In the Brave new world, the lower castes, the Deltas, Gammas, and the Epsilons find themselves easily content with the kind of life they have. They engage in non-challenging nature of work. After the work, what follows is sufficient relaxation, sex, and drugs and that all they would want. In Huxley's book, the lower castes have no influence. They are trivial, and they are taken with no importance. Their feelings are equally not important. Due to the reduction of human consciousness from the upper caste individuals, the people of lower caste are treated as objects (Huxley, 54). No emotion of pity or remorse is attached to the top caste people. Winston himself depicts some insensitivity as he narrates about the war film he ever watched and how the lifeboat was bombed with the refugees in it. The lower caste individuals are there and are in the background of what the upper castes individual do. In the two views about the meaning of life as brought up by the two protagonists, it is clear that in life one doesn't have to settle for less. It is also clear that most of the high social class people in the society more often than not seem to have lost their humanity. In strive, for a better and meaningful life, an individual should never forget the human nature. Equally, it is worth noting that the two protagonists have shed light that a meaningful life doesn't have to be an ordinary life. We should always strive to get the very best in life. Settling for ordinary life things should not be the true meaning of life. It is essential to be content yes but not to be content with the ordinary stuff of life. Life is more meaningful if we could get out of the comfort zone and strive to have greater and above ordinary life.

Indeed, 1984 and the Brave New World are books which are worth the read. They are not written as sort of prophecies but are there as warnings. Both of them con...

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