|Texts||Unifying Idea||Nineteen Eighty-Four||Minority Report||Clockwork Orange|
|Corruption of power||Power Corrupts. When humans acquire power over one another, there is an inevitable about what happens next. The powerful use this to their own advantage. Any morals they may have held are abandoned in their corrupt pursuit of control.|
|Invasion of privacy||A common element in many dystopias is the invasion of privacy. The state over-steps the boundary and invades peoples private lives to the extent that in many cases the very thoughts of an individual fall under state control.|
|manipulation of language|
- Establishes the over-arching idea/aspect
- Identify the texts you will refer to
- Expand on what conclusions this has lead you to
Literature is essential to human society for many reasons; chiefly due to its function as a means of helping us to think about ourselves, our lives and each other within our societal and political structures, it makes us more aware of the world we live in. Literature hands us the tools to decipher our world and consider alternative perspectives and ideas to those we currently hold. This idea is key within dystopian novels, in which an idea common among all dystopias is the corruption of power and the totalitarianism this generates. Through the following texts, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell, “Minority Report” by Stevan Spielberg, “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess and finally the lyrics of “2+2=5” by Radiohead i will identify the connections they hold with one another, and the true calamity that the corruption of power has on society and how these dystopias all ultimately achieve the same goal; to warn our modern society about the nature of power.
1 section on each text
- Introduce text ( DO NOT summarise the plot ) Name, author, connecting feature
- Expand on how your ideas about the connecting feature were developed by the text
- Give quoted examples
- Make a link to next section
George Orwell’s “1984” is a dystopian novel that serves as a warning to readers of the impending future. Through physical and phycological manipulation “Big Brother” achieves this within Airstrip One exerting unrelenting power and control over the state and ultimately our protagonist, Winston. “Big Brother” is everywhere. On posters and walls, surrounding every aspect of daily life. The idea that every move made, and word spoken is scrutinised by some higher authority, plagues Winston within the text. Orwell achieves this physical oppression within this text when he explains how… “any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it…” showing us how little voice Winston is given to express what he truly believes in. Anything loud and worthwhile must be acceptable by the status quo or risk being scrutinised by the acting government, plucked apart to decipher even the slightest attempt at mutiny. As the novel progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that Orwell is trying to tell us that to live in such fear that someone may know what you are truly feeling is to be controlled and oppressed, thus destroying our individualism by creating a “uniform” of acceptable actions to perform day to day. Expressed when Orwell metaphorically refers to the population as a..”million people all with the same face.” Orwell refers back to this idea that the masses must all behave in accordance with the parties motives. No one is prohibited to act out of self interest through fear of what might become of them. Serving as a warning, Orwell uses another metaphor when showing the reader that whilst Winston… “remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.” he is trying to tell us that as long as we allow the scrutiny of the “higher power” to wash over us, we will always remain oppressed. It is not until we find our own corner of the room in which there is no “metal plaque” commanding our actions to be acceptable that we are free of “Big Brother”; a sole figure used to effectively deliver a focus for all party propaganda to resonate around. To understand how easily this simple invasion of privacy that develops into a mainstay theme within this dystopian novel, is to understand to what degree of power the party has over its inhabitants and how this invasion of privacy is an entirely necessary component to remain in control. The party’s purpose itself being to remain in power after all. This is where the physical oppression begins to embody the mind and is not unlike other texts that reside within the dystopian genre. “Minority Report” by Stevan Spielberg…
I think you’re going to be away next week:
The following two links are to the structure we’ll be following for the Film Study while you’re away and to the practise paper (and exemplar) that you can use as a preparation exercise.
As i look around the room, i see a syndicate, built from scholars and athletes. People who give up there time in the pursuit of personal excellence. From a sporting background myself. I know how this feels. Through the years I’ve journeyed into unfamiliar territory, part-taking in sports such as ice hockey, rugby, snowboarding, football and hockey to name a few, where the aim is simply, to be better today than i was yesterday. All in the hope that upon the final trial, my personal best, at that point in time, will be enough to claim top spot among others in my categories and fields. This day-to-day struggle that we all fight in our own respect, for me, encapsulates the Olympic Games and why it epitomises human transcendence. The Olympic Games inspires the worlds population to be the best versions of ourselves, to be “faster, higher and stronger” in every aspect of our day to day lives. However this spectacle, this event, that touches so many of our lives, is being ruined by the people that build, the people who pay and the people that bid for its existence in their country. The notion that the olympics is not held in a singular destination, instead travelling the globe wrecking havoc on the equity and efficiency within a countries society is absolutely absurd.
The IOC, international olympic committee have clear goals and values in place, to represent the organisation that provides some of the largest multi national events in the entire world. One of these is their commitment to “social development through sport”. The aim is simply to address social inequalities and poverty by providing “concrete” answers through sport. Equity within society is defined as the”quality of being fair and impartial”. To me, fair and impartial represents a level playing field for society, whereby regardless of the background and history you may have, everyone is given a equal chance at his and/or her ambitions. However the olympic games, as it currently stands simply does not achieve this. Rio is a great example. unemployment has literally doubled in the months since the games while the country’s GDP has fallen by 8.4%. Public sector employees have had wages and pensions cut by 30%. 12 billion dollars later and Rio as well as the rest of Brazil are now facing one of the worst economic recessions of recent times. This is no one off, no anomaly. In history we have seen this time and time again, with Athens being the most notable in the last 20 years. In 2004 Greece forked out 9 billion dollars to host the games. Being a small country, at the time this brought the total cost to 5% of the entire countries GDP spent on venues and infrastructure alone, taking Athens and Greece along with it into economic disaster that to this day, they have been unable to rectify. This inefficiency within countries as a direct result of olympic hosting is simply ludicrous and needs to come to a stop. Countries like Brazil and Greece are forced to play there hand by dodgy lobbyists within the olympic voting committees, covering unforeseen costs and downplaying estimates for countries looking to host. Every year since 1960, the olympics have over run budget forecasts with the average being 156%. Often countries don’t wont even know that the overrun has occurred until months later when final figures and stats have been confirmed.
I’m not sure about you, but I am sick of the build ups to olympics revolving more around whether or not the country can cope with economic costs to hosting an olympics rather than the hype of the athletes and the performance themselves. i am tired that once every four years these athletes who train day in day out come together from all corners of the globe to complete in for most disciplines in the biggest event of all and yet the stories media and press releases are more concerned with are economical and socio-cultural factors that have been present in a country for decades but may be supplemented by recent olympic activities? If we continue to allow the olympics to shift nations and cities, wrecking havoc on our economies, before long countries that used to be economic power houses will find themselves in debt larger than they can pay and then maybe no country at all will be left to afford the olympics and it will simply cease to exist. The entire purpose of is to compete and celebrate global sporting achievements for the ultimate title, however this is likely about to be compromised entirely for reasons completely unrelating to the sport itself unless we decide to make a change.
Social support only encourages dependancy and laziness.
A study conducted by The House Budget Committee in 2014 would suggest my suspicions are true. Social support for families who reside in poverty only encourages dependancy and laziness. It is easy to identify the correlation, why would you work after all? a person who can get $500 a month for free is going to be a lot less desperate for work than someone who doesn’t get $500 a month for free. Both people may still be quite desperate, after all $500 a month isn’t exactly ticket to luxury street but it should be clear who is more desperate. In this study, the correlation between laziness and unemployment is explored with conclusion, the idea of paying people to do nothing is absurd.
The idea: A state whereby capitalism has become so extreme, the worlds population that can afford “nice” things lives in one huge skyscraper in a place called Brand New York. The opening chapter describes the main protagonist consulting with his “collector”; a person who’s entire being is to track down and collect new releases of everything from branded clothing and shoes to entire properties that come to market. Aim is to capture the population today that owns half of the worlds wealth and how they control the rest of society.
The suns rays only just begun to break through the tall pines in the distance, filling the windswept park with first light, chasing shadows across the dirt and grass until they found sanctuary, cowering behind objects standing alone in the poorly kept grass. From here you could see everything. The man at the window often felt he spent so much time at this exact spot, that should anything be moved, or even slightly misplaced he would notice. A full 180 degree viewpoint in which everything not under protection from the army of trees fell under his scrutiny. His gaze spread across the barren horizon with intent. Looking for something that perhaps, wasn’t there. The small man that arrived moments before, stood in silence, awkwardly within the doorway. It was impossible to know whether the man had noticed him but he knew better than to interrupt during this process of thought. With knowledge there could be as much as 20 minutes between words spoken, he stood, patiently, fingers clasping buttons that lined his one good shirt. The room was large, with huge floor to ceiling panelled windows across the back end of the rectangular space. The section of floor space that ran the length of the panoramic window was raised by a few feet, with a waterfall staircase leading up to the raised viewing platform directly in the middle flowing down and outwards. The lower floor was half filled with luxurious tan leather couches spread in a half circle surrounding a commanding TV set complete with surround sound speakers of black and gold. In comparison only one seat lay upon the upper section. Found in the corner, angled towards both the window and the door in which the man now stood, the seat was black and dictatorial as if it in itself could bark commands.
The man at the window broke the silence.
“Speak to me”
In a cautious tone, the man in the doorway drew a breath..
“I have fresh 12 hourly reports sir, nearly 3,000 new releases in counting sir. Your portfolio wont be complete without them, so with your permission….”
The man at the window swung his body around viscously, malice in his eyes, he interrupted the collectors speech sharply…
“WHY, have i received word that our good friends across the hall have been advised of 4,000 releases this half day whilst we have only 3,000.”
Visibly nervous, the man in the doorway took a deep, husky breath to gather his thoughts. He was no older than 30 but had grey hairs creeping into his unkept beard. He stood slightly hunched, confidence draining out of his figure with every minute that passed. Sweat begun to break upon his pale face, forming beads that sloped his brow, he continued…
“Sir, I’m terribly sorry. Last night was my eldest son’s birthday and i haven’t seen him in nearly three…”
He turned back to those immense panels of translucent glass. By now the sun had risen enough for light to refract through them, causing shapes and reflections to waltz around the room, shining with gold lustre as they went around their morning dance. Brand New York was one of kind they said. Skyscrapers rose like pillars of matte metal darkness against the deep blue backdrop. It was a glorious day in the worlds capital, with a bright sun the only object lurking in the blue abyss.
Only one man could be seen wandering the street below. His steps were quick but cautious as if he expected to stop at any given second. His head worked like a swivel, nervously taking in his surroundings, taking in every detail so that nothing may surprise him. The collector was not an old man, but you wouldn’t, couldn’t tell. Years of stress and anxiety, late nights and early mornings had left the man tired and weary looking. He had just come from Heaven, at least thats what they called it. Where the collector was from it was inversely known as hell. The birthplace of demons. It was not hard to see why. An entire column, no less than 100 stories tall, built for the sole purpose to house the rich and famous, those that could afford to live whilst others worked for them. 90% of the worlds wealth and subsequent power along with it, figuratively living and breathing between four, impregnable walls stretching as high as the eye could see. His master lived on floor 43. This meant he was powerful, but not a god amongst men just yet. His family all lived within the building, his father residing on the 24th floor and his grandfather on the 3rd. He was born into the building and would likely remain for the rest of his life, taking over more and more wealth as his empire expands. It was inevitable.
The collectors position in all this was merely to serve. His position demanded the growth of assets, and if not, he was sacked, left to find work in one of the thousands of factories across the country. Comparably, working as a collector was a blessing in disguise but today didn’t feel like it at all. The trek from the inner city to the outer suburbs where the collectors lived was long, taking as much as two hours to walk. The path snaked through the deserted skyscrapers that no one could afford to reside within anymore. Rot spewed out from buildings and gutters running parallel to the track like
The street was littered with rubbish which swept about the place.
The street was surrounded by tall buildings that rose through the low cloud.
The man strode with belongings in tail which snagged on cracks littered across the street.
The man wondered through the streets alone which was not entirely correct.
Winston Smith had his chin nuzzled into his breast. In an effort to escape the vile wind, Winston slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansion. He was not quick enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
The aspect that i intend to explore through my study of “1984” and the relevance it has with todays society is the totalitarian government and its control through fear in our modern era.
Key moments for this include:
- Within “1984” Big Brother (the governing body within airstrip one) is everywhere. On posters and walls as well as nearly every aspect of daily life, Big Brother controls what you do, think, eat and even feel. Big Brother controls everything – information, the past, the present and inevitably both physical and psychological needs. He is a friend and the enemy of your enemy. He will protect you and save you as he wishes. Within the book, Totalitarianism is big brother and vice versa. Examples can be seen everywhere throughout the text.
- items including psychological manipulation whereby the party barrages its subjects with psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind’s capacity for independent thought. The giant telescreen in every citizen’s room blasts a constant stream of propaganda designed to make the failures and shortcomings of the Party appear to be triumphant success. The telescreens also monitor behaviors; everywhere they go, citizens are continuously reminded, especially by means of the omnipresent signs reading “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU,” that the authorities are scrutinising them.
- The Party undermines family structure by inducting children into an organisation called the Junior Spies, which brainwashes and encourages them to spy on their parents and report any instance of disloyalty to the Party.
- The Party also forces individuals to suppress their personal desires, treating sex and forms of emotional contact as merely a procreative duty whose end is the creation of new Party members. An example within the text is Julia, Winston’s lover ironically enlisted within the Junior Anti-sex League. The Party then channels people’s pent-up frustration and emotion into intense, ferocious displays of hatred against the Party’s political enemies. Many of these enemies have been invented by the Party exclusively for this purpose.
“Wealthy men can’t live in an island that is encircled by poverty. We all breathe the same air. We must give a chance to everyone, at least a basic chance.” – Ayrton Senna
Poverty. The unspoken, unmentioned war that humanity is in constant embattlement with. For those on the acidic end of the spectrum they don’t truly understand to what degree of wealth some enjoy nor the means to attain such a lifestyle and for those living in basic standards they are oblivious for they have not walked the dirty paths just to receive a bucket of water that may or not kill them anyway. The PH in our world is so varied that half of the world’s wealth is in 1% of the world’s hands and until we can return to a neutral state in which we are all given a level playing field to do what we wish we can never truly understand evolution or a litmus strip for that matter. But of course who actually cares that 1 billion people live on less than 1 american dollar a day. It’s not our fault that these simpletons don’t even care to walk the 10 or so km to school through forests infested with gun wielding gangsta’s protecting the kids from the the government by “educating” them to fight for themselves. Remind you of a particular viral KONY 2012 project?
See the problem is all about common interests, is it our fault that our interests have drifted through the years? It’s not our fault that speeding through stop signs in my 2017 Bugatti Veyron and drinking fine wine through the long afternoons on my 100 foot yacht where the sun is so exceptionally hot that i may even have to go inside the air conditioned cabin whilst my factories in deep india churn out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of product to consumers who can’t actually afford what i sell. After all it’s my interests that have got me here and i’ve worked ever so hard to collect the settlements from my father who passed away leaving me nothing but a business that leaves me in the highest tax bracket possible. All the rest are just into different things.. Like shelter and warmth. Maybe we should just make our own country? Call it NZ 2.0 or NZ +. I mean it’s not that crazy to think about, we all live in gated communities anyway, lock them connecting only to other communities with similar interests. All you need is a green card and a certain income bracket.
Well, here we are. It’s been two years of fighting, over 100,000 people are dead, there are no signs of this war ending, and a week ago I used chemical weapons on my own people. If you don’t do anything about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. If you do something about it, thousands of Syrians are going to die. Morally speaking, you’re on the hook for those deaths no matter how you look at it.
So, it’s your move, America. What’s it going to be?
I’ve looked at your options, and I’m going to be honest here, I feel for you. Not exactly an embarrassment of riches you’ve got to choose from, strategy-wise. I mean, my God, there are just so many variables to consider, so many possible paths to choose, each fraught with incredible peril, and each leading back to the very real, very likely possibility that no matter what you do it’s going to backfire in a big, big way. It’s a good old-fashioned mess, is what this is! And now, you have to make some sort of decision that you can live with.
So, where do I begin? Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but let’s start with the fact that my alliance with Russia and China means that nothing you decide to do will have the official support of the UN Security Council. So, right off the bat, I’ve already eliminated the possibility of a legally sound united coalition like in Libya or the First Gulf War. Boom. Gone. Off the table.
Now, let’s say you’re okay with that, and you decide to go ahead with, oh, I don’t know, a bombing campaign. Now, personally, I can see how that might seem like an attractive option for you. No boots on the ground, it sends a clear message, you could cripple some of my government’s infrastructure, and it’s a quick, clean, easy way to punish me and make you look strong in the face of my unimaginable tyranny. But let’s get real here. Any bombing campaign capable of being truly devastating to my regime would also end up killing a ton of innocent civilians, as such things always do, which I imagine is the kind of outcome you people would feel very guilty about. You know, seeing as you are so up in arms to begin with about innocent Syrians dying. Plus, you’d stoke a lot of anti-American hatred and quite possibly create a whole new generation of Syrian-born jihadists ready to punish the United States for its reckless warmongering and yadda yadda yadda.
Okay, what else? Well, you could play small-ball and hope that limited airstrikes to a few of my key military installations will send me the message to refrain from using chemical weapons again, but, c’mon, check me out: I’m ruthless, I’m desperate, and I’m going to do everything I can to stay in power. I’d use chemical weapons again in a heartbeat. You know that. And I know you know that. Hell, I want to help you guys out here, but you gotta be realistic. Trust me, I am incapable of being taught a lesson at this point. Got it? I am too far gone. Way too far gone.
Oh, and I know some of you think a no-fly zone will do the trick, but we both know you can’t stomach the estimated $1 billion a month that would cost, so wave bye-bye to that one, too.
I suppose you could always, you know, not respond with military force at all. But how can you do that? I pumped sarin gas into the lungs of my own people, for God’s sake! You can’t just let me get away with that, can you? I mean, I guess you easily could, and spare yourself all of this headache, but then you would probably lose any of your remaining moral high ground on the world stage and make everything from the Geneva Conventions to America’s reputation as a beacon for freedom and democracy around the world look like a complete sham.
And, hey, as long as we’re just throwing stuff out there, let’s consider a ground invasion for a moment. Now, even if you could reasonably fund a ground invasion, which I’m pretty sure you can’t, what exactly would such an invasion accomplish in the long term? I suppose it’s possible that you could come in and sweep me out the door and that would be the end of it. It’s possible. You know, like, in the sense that seeing a majestic white Bengal tiger in the wild is possible. Or, more likely, you could find yourself entrenched in a full-blown civil war that drags on for 15 years and sets off further turmoil in the rest of the region, leading to even more dead bodies for your country and mine, and even more virulent hatred of America. In fact, boy, maybe this is the one option that should be totally off the table.
Oh, and speaking of me being toppled from power, let’s say, just for fun, that tomorrow I were to somehow be dethroned. Who’s in charge? Half of these rebel groups refuse to work with one another and it’s getting harder to tell which ones are actually just Islamic extremists looking to fill a potential power vacuum. We’ve got Christians, Sunnis, and Shias all poised to fight one another for control should I fall. You want to be the ones sorting through that mess when you’re trying to build a new government? I didn’t think so.
So, all in all, quite the pickle you’re in, isn’t it? I have to say, I do not envy you here. Really curious to see where you go with this one.
I’ll leave you with this: I am insane. Not insane enough to generate worldwide unanimity that I cannot remain in charge of my own country. That would make this a lot easier. No, unfortunately, I’m just sane and stable enough to remain in power and devise cunning military and political strategies while at the same time adhering to a standard of morality that only the most perverse and sociopathic among us would be capable of adopting. But nevertheless, I am insane, so do with that information what you will.
Long story short, I’m going to keep doing my best to hold on to my country no matter what the cost. If that means bombing entire towns, murdering small children, or shooting at UN weapons inspectors, so be it. I’m in this for the long haul. And you will do…whatever it is you’re going to do, which is totally up to you. Your call.
Anyway, let me know what you decide. I’ll be waiting.