British Lit Term Paper

The definition of the word "Utopia" is defined as a
place or state of ideal perfection (A Dictionary of
the English Language 1575). How can a society
reach a point of Utopia? Although many countries
have tried to achieve such a goal, they have been
unable to attain a state of perfection. In 1984,
written by George Orwell, government takes control
of every aspect of person’s life in an attempt to
achieve "perfection". In Childhood’s End, written by
Arthur C. Clarke, the human race is assimilated into
a Supreme Being allowing humanity to enter into
state of Utopia. Did Orwell and Clarke really
characterize utopian societies? Although on the
surface the two books seem to portray
characteristics of Utopian societies, in reality both
societies leave people without free will and
individuality leading to an anti-utopian society.

George Orwell creates a society, Oceania, which
revolves around "Big Brother," the name of the
government in power. Big Brother controls every
aspect of society including political, social, and
economic activities as well as every aspect of the
individual including both physical and mental
behavior. Big Brother is able to manipulate its
citizens to suite its own needs. Using science and
technology as well as fear and intimidation, Big
Brother eliminates all forms of individualism,
independent thinking, and free choice. This leaves
the government with the freedom to continuously
shape and reshape all thoughts and activities of its
citizens. In effect, Big Brother creates a utopian
society by constantly monitoring, brainwashing, and
if necessary destroying its citizens. This perfect
society is achieved through the principles and
practices of totalitarianism.

The goal of creating a utopian society is attained by
eliminating unhappiness. Big Brother uses a
number of different techniques to acquire the
support of his citizens and to control their behavior
and actions. By using various psychological
techniques such as fear, intimidation, and
brainwashing, the government is able to rid society
of problems.

The Thought Police, a division of the Ministry of
Love, are the enforcers of society and strike fear
into the minds of all the citizens of Oceania. They
are the eyes and ears of Big Brother and are in
control of monitoring every single person in
Oceania. Because of the number of people within
Oceania, telescreens, televisions that while
displaying images also serve as surveillance
cameras, serve as a way for the Thought Police to
watch every movement and listen to every sound in
Oceania at anytime.

It was terribly dangerous to
let your thoughts wander
when you were in any public
place or within range of a
telescreen. The smallest
thing could give you away. A
nervous tic, an unconscious
look of anxiety, a habit of
muttering to yourself—…to
wear an improper
expression on your
face…was itself a
punishable offense (Orwell
54).

These telescreens are located in every room, street,
or alleyway and are practically impossible to avoid.
The Ministry of love also uses undercover agents in
order to watch people on a person to person basis.
These undercover agents, in conjunction with the
Thought Police, serve to regulate people’s thoughts.
Their job is to find persons who have even the
slightest feelings of resentment toward Big Brother
and whisk he or she away in the middle of the night
never to be seen again. A common elementary
precaution in Oceania is to never face or be near a
telescreen. If unavoidable, it is rudimentary to wear
a fake face regardless of one’s current thoughts
because one may never know who is watching
(Orwell 54). In addition to avoiding telescreens, it is
unwise to trust any fellow coworker, friend or even a
family member. It is impossible to know who is a
spy and who is not because undercover agents
pretend to be sympathize with people unhappy with
Big Brother and later report them to the government.

In addition to being used as surveillance cameras,
telescreens are also used to convey endless
newscasts praising Big Brother. They display
statistics after statistics of how the quality of life has
increased since Big Brother took control of the
government.

"Comrades!" cried an eager
youthful voice. "Attention,
comrades! We have
glorious news for you. We
have won the battle for
production! Returns now
completed of the output of all
classes of consumption
goods show that the
standard of living has risen
by no less than twenty per
cent over the past
year…Here are some of the
completed figures.
Foodstuffs— (Orwell 51)"

Posters are located on every wall of every building
depicting the face of Big Brother. Public gatherings,
created in order to honor Big Brother, are held
every day. By ingraining these ideas into a person’s
mind, he or she has no choice but to follow along
and conform to society. "Of coarse he