This paper will discuss the evolution of scientific literature as read in books and seen in movies.
We will compare George Orwell’s novel “1984” and the comic book “V for Vendetta” written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd.Orwell wrote “1984” in 1948. It was published in 1949. It is about Winston Smith and his job in the Ministry of Truth. Because of his participation in the totalitarian government of Oceania (the fictional country where he lives), his morals are degraded. It is set in 1984, therefore, it is a futuristic work. 1This book placed Orwell alongside the best novelists of all time. In 2005, TIME Magazine selected “1948” as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to that year.
The term “Orwellian” was also coined to describe the actions of Oceania. In fact, the phrase “Big Brother is watching you” (which is popular worldwide because of the show “Big Brother” is rooted from the surveillance that is invasive, as rooted from the book. 2The lead character in the story is the Ministry of Truth bureaucrat Winston Smith. It is divided into three parts. The first being the life in Oceania, the second is his intellectual rebellion against the party and the third is his capture, interrogation, torture and imprisonment in the Ministry of Love.The country of Oceania symbolizes Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany after the Second World War. In the story, Oceania has a two-way television which serves as the surveillance by The Party.
There are informants. Those who are incarcerated are tortured, brainwashed and re-educated in Room 201. They are brainwashed to love Big Brother and The Party.The Ministry of Truth has total control of all the mass communications media in Oceania.
Winston’s job is to re-write the official records and re-touch the official photographs, removing the rendered individuals. The accurate documents are dropped into a “memory hole.” Winston likes his work but this makes him more fascinated and curious in learning the ‘real’ past.He meets Julia and they fell in love. Unbeknownst to them, they were already being observed by the Thought Police. They were then captured and interrogated separately in the Ministry of Love. This was because both were already disbelieving the ideologies they were taught to believe in Oceania.After they were both released, a chance meeting in a park ensued.
They remember the torture and interrogation they went through, just to be re-programmed. The book ended by informing the readers that Winston completely accepted love towards Big Brother. Therefore, the degradation and re-programming of how Winston thinks actually worked.”V for Vendetta” is a ten-issue comic book that is also set in a dystopian future. The location is United Kingdom. It was written in the 1980s about the 1990s.V, a mysterious anarchist, plans to destroy the totalitarian government. His plans affect the individuals he encounters.
The near-future Britain is almost destroyed because of the nuclear war. The extreme fascist party known as the Norsefire is in power. V, a revolutionary anarchist who wears a Guy Fawkes mask starts a violent and elaborate campaign in order to bring down their rule. 3V rescues Evey Hammond, a young woman, who was about to be raped by a the Fingermen. They are police agents who arrested her for prostitution. V takes her to The Shadow Gallery which is his secret lair. Evey tells V her story – from the nuclear was in the late 1980s to the coup d’etat. She also mentions that her father was a political prisoner.
Then V started creating chaos by bombing establishments and killing individuals who are involved in the government. The Norsefire wants V captured but they have no idea where he is hiding. At this time, Evey has already developed a strong friendship with V but V wants to challenge her morality.
After an argument in the V’s lair, Evey was abandoned on a street. She could no longer find V. She was taken in by Gordon Dietrich, a criminal whom she fell in love with.Gordon was murdered by Alistair Harper. Evey tries to kill Harper in order to avenge Gordon’s death but she was seized, arrested and detained. She was also accused of attempting to murder Peter Creedy, the head of the nose. She was asked to give the whereabouts of V.
She withholds the information and was tortured.She stands her ground and was set free. She later on discovers that the abduction, interrogation and torture was all a hoax staged by V, in order for the latter to test her morality.V destroys the surveillance centers ant the Party’s communication. This shuts down The Eye as well as the Ear. V eventually pulls off the 5th of November plan. This caused the death of Etheridge.
To avenge Etheridge, Finch set out to shoot V and he succeeds. Evey had the chance to unmask her mentor and find out the man behind the Guy Fawkes mask but she didn’t. To complete V’s subversion, she performs the destruction of 10 Downing Street. She also gives her mentor the Viking funeral which causes hid body to detonate at the targeted location.Because of the chaos ensued on the 5th of November, all kinds of authority in Britain disappeared. The future of the country is unclear. V managed to create chaos that allowed the voluntary order to take place.
Readers then assumed that Evey will prevent any form of imperialistic government to rise.At first glance, the main common theme between “1984” and “V for Vendetta” is the setting which is dystopia. This is a fictional society that is the exact opposite of utopia. It has negative traits utilized by the author in order to prove his point. Most dystopian literature focus on poverty, violence, dictatorship and in the case of these two works, anarchy.
4A fictional universe in constructed, therefore there must be a back story. In “1984”, Orwell used the Second World War. In “V for Vendetta”, the creators used the nuclear war. This is why there is a shift in the control of the government. Most of the time dystopian literature is futuristic because the time is years before the actual time it is written.The lead characters in dystopian literature are those who are considered to be outsiders in the society.
Winston Smith and V are the protagonists who are not happy with their society and who question the actions taken by the individuals in the government. They escape and overturn the social order as much as they can. They are willing to risk their lives just as long as they achieve utopia.The conflict in both “1984” and “V” is similar. This is the conflict of the dystopian society with the government. Notice that both The Ministry of Truth and The Norsefire are totalitarians.
They are also invasive. They also torture people. Winston, Julia and Evey were all captured and tortured.Most of the time, the goal of the hero is to escape or destroy the social order. Winston accepted his re-education whereas V did the exact opposite. He retaliated and bombed the establishments.
Winston is an example of a rebel who wanted to change the government but failed. V succeeded but died.Authors of dystopian literature resonate from the familiarity of their readers. By creating a society that can be applied to the experience of any reader, the author succeeds. Once the reader identifies with the patterns he reads in the sci-fi literature, no matter when exactly and where it is set, it will be an enjoyable read. 5