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Surveillance in Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four


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Lovrinović, Nevena. (2014). Surveillance in Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Polak, Iva].

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The aim of this thesis is to analyse the characteristics of totalitarianism in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. This analysis shows how the surveillance system is constructed in the two works, what the differences are and what the similarities. The paper is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the construction of surveillance in Brave New World. Several control and surveillance methods are recognized and analysed: the standardization of the human product; embryo treatment; postnatal conditioning by hypnopaedia; neo-Pavlovian conditioning; abolition of family, its ties and values as well as emotional connections between people; sexuality control; surveillance by other members of society; obligatory communal activities and control of individual’s free time; soma; stigmatization of history and regulation of scientific activity. The analysis shows that surveillance in Brave New World is a complex system of control comprising many different elements including systematic monitoring: the life of individuals or groups of individuals starts with biological surveillance - they are programmed to behave predictably as machines and later in life, this predictability is supported by strict means of control. The second part of the paper deals with surveillance in Nineteen Eighty-Four which consists of audio-visual supervision and is aided by following supporting means of control: propaganda and manipulation of reality; Thought Police; constant audio-visual supervision; fear and punishment; newspeak; doublethink and the mutability of the past; sexuality control; constant warfare; control of family relationships; gin. However, not all of the population is subjected to all means of surveillance - only the members of the Outer Party are controlled strictly, because they are the ones who are dangerous to the system. The paper argues that the systems of Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four are totalitarian and that their ultimate goal is to preserve themselves. It also shows that they serve a completely different means: the aim of one is absolute wellbeing of the population, and the aim of the other, absolute concentration of power in few individuals.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Surveillance, Control
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Polak, Iva
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2015 11:16
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 11:16

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