Essay on 1984, by George Orwell and Gattaca, by Andrew Niccol

Nineteen Eighty-Four written by George Orwell and Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol are prophetic social commentaries which explore the broad social wrong of a totalitarian government. Both texts depict a futuristic, dystopian society in which individuality is destroyed in favour of faceless conformity. Niccol and Orwell through the experiences of their protagonists reflect the impact isolation from society has on individuals. The authors of both texts also use their protagonists Winston, who cannot understand the rhetoric of the government party and Vincent, who is trapped, unable to achieve his dreams because of his imperfect genome, to demonstrate individual rebellion against society and explore the significant social injustices of a totalitarian state.Destruction of individuality is an idea both authors explore to expose the broad social wrong of an oppressive society. Both Orwell and Niccol use their protagonists to demonstrate how dictatorial governments that destroy any semblance of individuality are inherently wrong. Orwell uses third person narration, which directly follows his protagonist as he fights to maintain his individuality in a society driven to eliminate the capability of “love, or friendship, or joy of living” by making him “hollow”. By employing the use third person narration Orwell portrays to the reader that even an individual with powerful intent to remain different can be broken down and made to believe that “2+2 = 5”. Similarly, Niccol uses extreme close up shots focusing on Vincent’s cleaning process and the motif of constant DNA checks to reinforce how authoritarian societies can demolish all sense of individuality. Vincent, an “in-valid” must take extreme measures to overcome the prejudices of soc…

…es of individuals can be used to explore a broader social wrong, in this case the injustice of a totalitarian government. Both authors use their protagonists to depict how a dictatorial state can destroy all sense of individuality, Orwell by presenting Winston in his fight against “The Party” and Niccol by depicting Vincent in his battle against society. Both authors also use individuals, who must isolate themselves in order to survive to expose how an unjust authoritative government can manufacture isolation. Orwell and Niccol also present conflicting views on the possibility of individual rebellion in an oppressive society, reflected by the success of Vincent and failure of Winston. In their prophetic dystopian texts both George Orwell and Andrew Niccol use the experiences of their protagonists to explore the broad social wrong of a totalitarian government.

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