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Sample essay topic, essay writing: British Lit Term Paper - 1787 words
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The definition of the word 'Utopia' is defined as aplace or state of ideal perfection (A Dictionary ofthe English Language 1575). How can a societyreach a point of Utopia? Although many countrieshave tried to achieve such a goal, they have beenunable to attain a state of perfection. In 1984,written by George Orwell, government takes controlof every aspect of person's life in an attempt toachieve 'perfection'. In Childhood's End, written byArthur C. Clarke, the human race is assimilated intoa Supreme Being allowing humanity to enter intostate of Utopia. Did Orwell and Clarke reallycharacterize utopian societies? Although on thesurface the two books seem to portraycharacteristics of Utopian societies, in reality bothsocieties leave people without free will andindividuality leading to an anti-utopian society.George Orwell creates a society, Oceania, whichrevolves around 'Big Brother,' the name of thegovernment in power.
Big Brother controls everyaspect of society including political, social, andeconomic activities as well as every aspect of theindividual including both physical and mentalbehavior. Big Brother is able to manipulate itscitizens to suite its own needs. Using science andtechnology as well as fear and intimidation, BigBrother eliminates all forms of individualism,independent thinking, and free choice. This leavesthe government with the freedom to continuouslyshape and reshape all thoughts and activities of itscitizens. In effect, Big Brother creates a utopiansociety by constantly monitoring, brainwashing, andif necessary destroying its citizens. This perfectsociety is achieved through the principles andpractices of totalitarianism.The goal of creating a utopian society is attained byeliminating unhappiness
Big Brother uses anumber of different techniques to acquire thesupport of his citizens and to control their behaviorand actions. By using various psychologicaltechniques such as fear, intimidation, andbrainwashing, the government is able to rid societyof problems. The Thought Police, a division of the Ministry ofLove, are the enforcers of society and strike fearinto the minds of all the citizens of Oceania. Theyare the eyes and ears of Big Brother and are incontrol of monitoring every single person inOceania. Because of the number of people withinOceania, telescreens, televisions that whiledisplaying images also serve as surveillancecameras, serve as a way for the Thought Police towatch every movement and listen to every sound inOceania at anytime.
It was terribly dangerous tolet your thoughts wanderwhen you were in any publicplace or within range of atelescreen. The smallestthing could give you away. Anervous tic, an unconsciouslook of anxiety, a habit ofmuttering to yourself-..towear an improperexpression on yourface..was itself apunishable offense (Orwell54). These telescreens are located in every room, street,or alleyway and are practically impossible to avoid.The Ministry of love also uses undercover agents inorder to watch people on a person to person basis.These undercover agents, in conjunction with theThought Police, serve to regulate people's thoughts.Their job is to find persons who have even theslightest feelings of resentment toward Big Brotherand whisk he or she away in the middle of the nightnever to be seen again. A common elementaryprecaution in Oceania is to never face or be near atelescreen.
If unavoidable, it is rudimentary to weara fake face regardless of one's current thoughtsbecause one may never know who is watching(Orwell 54). In addition to avoiding telescreens, it isunwise to trust any fellow coworker, friend or even afamily member. It is impossible to know who is aspy and who is not because undercover agentspretend to be sympathize with people unhappy withBig Brother and later report them to the government.In addition to being used as surveillance cameras,telescreens are also used to convey endlessnewscasts praising Big Brother. They displaystatistics after statistics of how the quality of life hasincreased since Big Brother took control of thegovernment. 'Comrades!' cried an eageryouthful voice.
'Attention,comrades! We haveglorious news for you. Wehave won the battle forproduction! Returns nowcompleted of the output of allclasses of consumptiongoods show that thestandard of living has risenby no less than twenty percent over the pastyear..Here are some of thecompleted figures.Foodstuffs- (Orwell 51)' Posters are located on every wall of every buildingdepicting the face of Big Brother. Public gatherings,created in order to honor Big Brother, are heldevery day. By ingraining these ideas into a person'smind, he or she has no choice but to follow alongand conform to society. 'Of coarse he chanted withthe rest: it was impossible to do otherwise.
Todissemble your feelings, to control your face, to dowhat everyone else was doing, was an instinctivereaction (Orwell 18).' From the time of birth to the time of death,telescreens, along with posters, public events, etc.,are many of the ways Big Brother convinces itsunsuspecting citizens into admiring and obeying thegovernment. The fear of being detected by theThought Police and the constant images of BigBrother force the people of Oceania to conform tothe ways of the government. 'Family Love, humanLove, is impossible in the 1984 world (Sperber222).' These psychological techniques rid societyof problems thus creating a world without dissent, autopia.In Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, the existenceof mankind is in danger due to the possibility of afull-scale nuclear war. Tensions between countriesare increasing and society is about to break down.Aliens (known as the Overlords), who are involved ina plan to assimilate humanity into a supreme beingknown as the Overmind, come to the rescue ofhumanity and create peace between humans. TheOverlords work for the Overminds as anintermediary; walking numerous civilizations throughthe different phases of the overall plan.
With thearrival of the Overlords, all signs of war immediatelydisappear and worldwide peace sets in.Remarkably, the Overlords do no more than presentthemselves to humans; they do not intervene in anyway with life on earth. 'In the first year of theircoming, the advent of the Overlords had made lessdifference to the pattern of human life than mighthave been excepted. Their shadow waseverywhere, but it was an unobtrusive shadow(Clarke 26).' They act as if they are guardian angelslooking over and caring for humanity (Hollow 75).Once phase one of the project is completed, theOverlords begin phase two. They interfere with thedevelopment of all children under the age of ten byaltering their human characteristics. As time moveson, these children slowly move away from humanityand become a different species that mankind hasnever seen before.
When phase two is completedand the children have reached a maturation state inwhich they are completely independent ofeverything, phase three, the concluding phase,takes effect and the 'children' are assimilated intothe Overmind losing their humanistic traits (Slusser).In a few years, it will be allover, and the human racewill have divided twain.There is no way back, nofuture for the world youknow. All the hopes anddreams of your race areended now. You have givenbirth to your successors, andits your tragedy that you willnever understand them-will never even be able tocommunicate with theirminds..You will not thinkthem human, and you will beright (Clarke 184). Humanity no longer can exist because any childrenborn into the world never grow up to become adults;they are incorporated into the Overmind. Without intervention, how do the Overlords prevent anuclear war from starting? In the minds of thepeople, the Overlords are viewed as Gods.Humanity feels a sense a comfort with the arrival ofthe Overlords.
By presenting themselves to humanbeings, the people on Earth realize that otheradvanced civilizations do exist and that their trivialquarrels are foolish and wasteful. A transformationoccurs and society enters into a golden age.Common problems in society such as famine,poverty, and corruption vanish and peace isachieved between fellow humans. The Overlordsgive a sense of hope to the inhabitants of Earth thatlife is worth living in its fullest. The utopia currentlypresent on Earth is hardly the utopia the Overlordshave in store for humanity. The object of their visit toEarth is to combine man's intelligence with that ofthe Overmind. The Overmind is a Supreme Beingcomprised of a countless number of species,together forming a utopia in which there is a state ofperfection. The Overlords do humanity a favor byincluding them into the utopian Overmind, makingthem one with all the others.
The price paid forutopia is the extinction of man as we know him.Big Brother in 1984 and the Overmind inChildhood's End attempt to create a utopia whereperfection is present. But in the process theydestroy a part of man that is a necessary part of life,individualism and free will. Although achieved in adifferent manner, free will is taken away from thepeople on Earth in Childhood's End just as it istaken away in 1984. The people are left with nochoice but to conform to the ways of their superiors. In 1984, a utopian society is never reallyestablished. Although it may seem as though BigBrother achieves a state of perfection, the lack ofindividualism characterizes Oceania as ananti-utopian society.
Their feelings of free will aresuppressed under their feelings of fear. 'Your worstenemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system.At any moment the tension inside of you was liableto translate itself into some visible symptom [ofdisloyalty] (Orwell 56).' From the day of birth,people must conform to the ways of the governmentin order to survive. Inhabitants are forced to wearidentical outfits, eat the same food, drink the sameliquor, and smoke the same cigarettes. There is nochoice available to the citizens of Oceania whetherit involves one's job or one's living quarters. Anysign of individualism is considered to be a'thoughtcrime' and can be punishable by death.People are required to attend the daily activities atthe community center, which involves large groupsof people praising Big Brother and Oceania.Telescreens prevent people from behaving in a wayother than society accepts. With these strictprinciples bestowed upon society, there is no roomfor any form of free will or individualism.
Childhood's End uses far different techniques thandoes 1984, but is left with similar results at the end,a loss of free will and individualism. Despite the factthat the Overlords save humanity from totaldestruction, it is not fair to assimilate them into theOvermind without their consent. George EdgarSlusser's view point that 'the spirit of individualhumanity is extended beyond its tomb (Slusser 52)'is inaccurate. Although the Overlords approach thetask at hand in a more diplomatic fashion than does1984 making the Overlords look friendly, what isunnoticeable until the end of the book is their overallgoal to assimilate humanity. By incorporating thehuman beings into the Overmind, not only does itput an end to the human race, but it also eliminatesall the characteristics that made humanity specialand unique from other forms of life in the universe. On the surface, 1984 and Childhood's End seem like two totallydifferent books due to the different approaches conveyed by eachauthor. But in reality, both books attempt to create a utopiansociety in which perfection is achieved.
Although 1984 may seemlike a dark and scary nightmare and Childhood's End may seem likea beautiful dream, their common goal is the same (Meyers 192). Canman retain his individuality and free will and at the same timeachieve a perfect society? Only the future holds the answer.
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works British Lit Term Paper
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