Indian Contempt for Imperialism

"Bride and Prejudice"

“Bride and Prejudice”

Filled with pride and driven with the false assumptions that the world should be “cleansed,” becoming one unified culture lacking difference and unfamiliarity, imperialists tend to impose their ideas upon others. Often believing their own cultures to be superior, Englishmen have become known for imperialism, and Americans are now infamous for spreading their ways across the globe. With fears of imperialism rising in India, history and media continue to spread messages of concern. From the acts of Gandhi, to the movie, Bride and Prejudice, based off of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, imperialism remains the enemy.

True to their culture, Indians become defensive against imperialism, each in his own individual way. Famous for his nonviolent rebellions and ways of life, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became and Indian leader, defying imposed ideas and spreading his knowledge, wisdom, and peaceful ways. “In the end, you will walk out. Because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians, if those Indians refuse to cooperate,” he remarked. Sharing these ideas, Lalita Bakshi from the film, Bride and Prejudice, rejected Mr. Darcy, the American businessman. Upset with the American businesses encroaching on India and converting the country from its true Indian roots into an American paradise, Lalita shares her opinions with Mr. Darcy and refuses him from sheer prejudice. Both feeling helplessly attacked, Gandhi and Lalita retaliate against their foreign enemies and eventually succeed.

Upset with the careless ignorance of the Englishmen and the Americans, Indians try to cry out. Against imperialism and frustrated with the changes imposed upon them, Indians create groups and rebel, or create movies and share their opinions. By taking a familiar English book and twisting it to show our faults, the message against imperialism was clearly delivered. With a firm belief and true loyalty to their country, Indians support Lalita’s message about standards, “Don’t force them on others.”


Levels of Madness

"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

Like the heart that beats in a human’s body, or the very Earth we walk on, the African wilderness has great layers, depths, and volumes. Clearly demonstrating this in his novel Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses the names of the company’s stations throughout the congo to describe the levels of the wilderness and relate to the development of the story. Outer, Central, and Inner describe the surrounding areas of the heart of darkness, along with the heart itself. As the main character, Marlow, ventures from station to station, the story progresses along with his surroundings.

First arriving in Africa, Marlow arrives at the Outer station, a place on the outskirts of the true African wilderness. Still demonstrating the suffering the Natives have been forced to experience, and still showing the imperialism occurring, the madness that lies within the Inner Station is hinted at. Natives and manufactured goods arrive and depart, and chaos quietly stirs. The station, itself, is not nearly as muddled as further into the jungles, but was not comfortable enough for Marlow to wish to stay long.

Leaving the station with a caravan of 60 men, Marlow was relieved, yet he only found himself entering deeper into the darkness. Coming upon the Central Station, he was met with a run-down building with a neglected gap as a gate. It was obvious that a flabby devil was running the show as the manager, himself, was unable to manage. Living in a clay hut, he was surrounded with ghetto and poverty. In this contradiction, Marlow found himself growing nearer to the heart of Africa, the heart of darkness.

Finally following the river to the Inner Station, Marlow and his crew are met with a Native ambush. People are killed and blood is spewed as chaos and confusion spreads over the steamer. The fight drawing to an end, Marlow realizes where they have arrived, and enters the station. Mystery and confusion shrouds the place and hides its dark secret. Like the inner core of the Earth or the inner workings of a corrupted heart, the station is dark, resting in the heart of darkness. Surrounded by layers of turmoil and improper imperialism, it has become the center of a great evil.

As the novel progresses, Joseph Conrad uses the names of the stations to describe Marlow’s surroundings and journey through the darkness of the congo. As he draws nearer to the heart of darkness and nearer to the Inner Station, Marlow finds himself more and more surrounded by corruption and despair. Slowly progressing from each station to the next, the troubles developing as he continues, the story follows along with him. From the Outer Station to the Central Station to the Inner Station, the heart of darkness is revealed and exposed in stages.

 

 


Pride Goes Before a Fall

"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

Instilled in each person, resides a quality that gives purpose to life and motivation to actions. Pride is the very reason people continue to live their lives each day and attempt to overcome obstacles. Without pride, people are merely hollowed shells with no heart, no mind, and no soul. Without these essentials, mankind loses its passion and vigor in life and becomes empty and useless, falling from the great peak it has risen to. Joseph Conrad, a believer that “pride goes before fall” clearly demonstrates this human weakness through his novel, Heart of Darkness. From first hearing of the inspiring character, Mr. Kurtz, near the beginning of the novel, Conrad’s readers are instantly charmed into discovering more about the powerful man, but as the story continues, Mr. Kurtz becomes tarnished and his pride is stripped from him, leaving him to fall from his pedestal, eventually leading to his death. By witnessing Mr. Kurtz’s failure, the reader witnesses the relationship between pride and success.

Upon arriving in Africa, Marlow, an adventurous seaman searching for mystery, hears of Mr. Kurtz, a powerful man that rakes in more ivory from the wild continent than any other. This man is proclaimed to be the Company’s most valuable employee and Marlow is instantly amazed by his accomplishments. After hearing more of Mr. Kurtz from a variety of people, Marlow begins to envision a strong, assertive man able to control and conquer his surroundings, the people around him, and most importantly, ivory and money. Setting off in a steamer on a wild African river, Marlow and a meager crew begin to search for the African idol.

Days pass and Natives attack leaving the crew wounded. Mr. Kurtz is not found, yet a Russian man who knew the treasured employee appears. Telling Marlow of the mystery man’s past life, Marlow discovers that Mr. Kurtz has been weakening from sickness and is no longer a valuable asset to the Company. Now a useless loose end, the Company wishes to be rid of the man. Marlow joins Mr. Kurtz, turning his back on the Company and becoming just as useless and inconvenient as his idol. Both ruined, Marlow and Mr. Kurtz grow closer from a lack of pride.

Through Mr. Kurtz’s final moments, he struggles with himself and who he has become. Horrified with how his life has turned out, he loses his pride and begins to fall apart internally. Weakness overcomes him and sickness cripples him. Marlow watches as the man he once imagined conquering Africa and controlling its people now lay before him, gasping for help. Once Mr. Kurtz had lost himself, once he had given up his hope and decided to cease his efforts, he had fallen. Sick, weakened, powerless, heartless, and with nothing to be proud of, Mr. Kurtz met the end of his life, the fallen fall.

Pride is an essential necessity that fuels the lives of many, granting them hope, self-esteem, and achievement. Without a purpose in life, one cannot discover his self or find success. While Mr. Kurtz utilized his abilities to overcome his conflicts, he obtained power and used it to conquer Africa, increase the ivory trade, and add to his profits. Once sickness began to take hold of him and he allowed the weakness to overcome him, pride was lost along with everything he had worked for. In Joseph Conrad’s novel, Mr. Kurtz finds himself lost in the heart of darkness with nothing left but failure. Without pride, there is no pedestal for one to stand upon, no ladder to climb, and no success to be found.

Gloom, Brooding Thames

Flowing continuously with Marlow’s life and constantly reminding him of the great river deep in the heart of Africa, the Thames River plays an important role in Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness. Opening the story along its calm tide, it presents Marlow with the perfect situation to begin his reminiscence, and ending the book, it ties the two tales together, exposing the theme and adding literary value.

Throughout his novel, Joseph Conrad continues to use a pair of adjectives that he originally uses to describe the Thames setting before Marlow begins describing his flashbacks. Constantly describing Africa and its riverbanks as “gloom” and “brooding,” Conrad relates the opening setting with the mysterious and unexplored depths of the African jungle, allowing the reader to successfully comprehend one of the many themes of his writing. No matter where Marlow finds himself in life, he will always be a seaman, a man who travels the world and follows the waters. “Nothing is easier for a man who has, as the phrase goes, “followed the sea” with reverence and affection, than to evoke the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames.” (Page 3) Whether he’s venturing through the wild of Africa, or through the fog of England, Marlow finds himself on the tides, and the tides never let him forget who he is and who he once was.

“The sun sank low, and from glowing white changed to a dull red without rays and without heat, as if about to go out suddenly, stricken to death by the touch of that gloom brooding.” (Page 3) Conrad’s novel opens on a pessimistic and somber tone, foreshadowing the unfortunate events to come. The Thames River is described both as an old, profound, and tranquil waterway, and as a motionless and mournful setting, creating a sort of paradox that prepares the reader for the rest of Conrad’s book. This opening setting not only paves a smooth introduction into Marlow’s story of the past, but also brings the stories together, ending the tale, and completing the novel.

Almost the entire setting of Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness, takes place on the tides. Relating the wild, primitive actions of Africa’s Natives with the isolation and greed of European civilization encroaching upon their lands, taking their ivory, Conrad uses the Thames River to aware the reader of the connection. While man desperately tries to overcome his weaknesses and escape from the madness of the world, he always falls back into places. The river only leads in one direction, and man will always reach the end one way or another. Although Marlow was able to escape the gloom, brooding of the African river, he has found himself traveling the gloom, brooding of the Thames River, forever venturing the tides, forever battling his past, and forever discovering himself.

Dictating Civilization

"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

With each new step, society marches forward, progressing, imposing, and overcoming. Marching through the heart of Africa, European society encroached upon the Natives and changed the continent for marketing and cultural purposes. From the pages of his novel, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad expresses his own personal views on the march of civilization, carefully selecting details and meticulously constructing his diction to clearly illustrate his thoughts.

Repetition, repetition, repetition. A march involves placing one foot after the other in a continuous motion, repeating, and repeating. Conrad clearly demonstrates this action through his sentence structure and word choices. Phrases are repeated and thoughts are restated, reminding the reader of the constant presence and never-ending pressure the Europeans enforced on the Natives of Africa. Over and over they came, enslaved, and stole the people and riches from the land. Africa was changing, “death skulking in the air, in the water, in the bush.”

This change in the unexplored world had become a common event and an ancient story heard time and time again. To capture this, Conrad continues to write his novel in first person, Marlow telling the story as if he was sitting beside the reader, his mind lost in memories. Seaman dialect is thrown in to give character, personality, and charm, and to remind the reader of the reality. “What d’ye call ‘em?” Marlow asked, involving his listeners with his storytelling, keeping the reader interested and aware.

Insuring that the readers understand how the Europeans invaded, and how civilization spread throughout Africa, Conrad installed many similes and metaphors throughout his book. “It is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds,” the way the Europeans came. With this imagery in his head and an understandable comparison to relate to, the reader is well informed and not left confused. Complex ideas are made more simple, and foreign scenes become familiar.

By manipulating his words, his sentence structures, and his meanings, Joseph Conrad was able to convey his own thoughts and views across his pages and into the minds of others. Through his skilled hand, words flowed, creating images of encroaching cultures and opinions on the situation. Through his novel, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad revealed the march of the Europeans and the progression and extinction of civilizations.

Controlled Insanity

"1984" by George Orwell

“1984” by George Orwell

“Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low,” writes George Orwell in his book, 1984. From within the pages of his book, Orwell clearly demonstrates this trend by creating three distinct social classes following the upper, middle, and lower class system, the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the proletarians, respectively. By granting each class different benefits and privileges, Oceania fosters inequality among its citizens to keep the society frozen in a moment in time, a moment they see as beneficial and progressive in their eyes. With the Inner Party cautiously defending its position, the Outer Party will forever work under its control, and the proles will always retreat to the bottom of the social pyramid.

Limited to 6 million members, the Inner Party consists of less than two percent of the population of Oceania. With spacious living quarters, personal servants, pleasant food and drink, and more privacy, the Inner Party members enjoy a better quality of life than that of the Outer Party members or of the proles. While the members of the Inner Party regulate Ingsoc and run the Thought Police, the members of the Outer Party work the jobs assigned to them and live under constant monitoring. This thirteen percent of the population is considered to be the worst off of the three, although it represents the middle class, because of its restriction of personal freedoms and lack of comforts, such as those the Inner Party enjoys. Even though the proles are considered the lower class of Oceania and live in poverty while working physically tough jobs and receiving little to no education, they enjoy greater freedoms than those of Outer Party members. Free to pleasure themselves how they desire, the proles experience the comforts of family life and keep their humanity more than any of the other classes. “Proles are animals and free,” the Party states, while Winston, a rebellious member of the Outer Party declared, “Proles remained human.” 85 percent of the population is considered harmless and incapable of complex thought, regulation, or rebellion, and is therefore left to work and breed in their own ignorance. The proles are not required to show support for the Party, wear uniforms, or speak Newspeak. Generally objects of contempt, they are not bothered and are limitedly monitored to keep them in their place. By encasing the social pyramid in ice, human equality can be forever averted and nothing will change in Oceania.

Orwell explains that all throughout history, the upper class has strived to maintain its position, while the middle class tries to overthrow the upper class, and the lower class struggles to even survive and wishes to abolish all social barriers. Ingsoc, practiced in Oceania, is meant to perpetuate unfreedom and inequality so that history will be frozen and positions will be safeguarded. Social classes have been trapped in an unbreakable cycle over the course of history, and Oceania has put an end to these repetitions so that the High may forever hold its status and rebellions will no longer ruin the fragile structure. Aware of the threat of outbreaks, the Inner Party began monitoring the lower classes and infesting their minds with the allusion that all are treated equally. “The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed,” Orwell explained. Because discontent is not an expressed feeling, political changes do not strike the society. In this frozen state, progression is not made as resources are swallowed by the war, and those proving to be possibly dangerous are vaporized by the Thought Police. Without an opposition, the Inner Party members will forever reign.

By maintaining a functional level of inequality, Oceania fosters a stable balance among its three social classes. “If human equality is to be for ever averted – if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently – then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.” Society will forever run in this manner, and the social classes of George Orwell’s fictional world will continuously live as present, progress halted, inequality fresh, and control, a scar of the Inner Party.

Feminist Reading of “Barbie Doll”

“Barbie Doll,” a poem written by Marge Piercy in 1936, clearly delivers strong feminist views about the pressures and standards women are forced to live with. With a depressing tone, the poem describes a young girl’s life beginning with her birth and ending with her ironic death. The poem progresses and tells how the pressures of being a woman affect the girl’s life and influence her actions.

Opening with the girl’s uneventful and normal birth, the poem begins delivering feminist views. As a young child, the girl was “presented dolls that did pee-pee / and miniature GE stoves and irons / and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy,” culture encroaching on her life and molding her to become a socially well-accepted woman. These toys were meant to prepare her for the expectations she would later meet in life, expectations that a woman should raise children, take care of babies, feed her family, do the laundry, complete household chores, and look beautiful at the same time. This first stanza ends with the girl’s puberty years and the realization of her society’s standards of beauty as she is told of the presence of her “great big nose and fat legs.”

Growing up with tools to help prepare her for what’s to come, the girl is overcome with this new standard. Although she was healthy, intelligent, and even strong, “she went to and fro apologizing” for everyone else looked past her true talents and could only see “a fat nose on thick legs.” Her beauty and appearance became the main focus, masking her inner personality and confusing her motives and actions.
As her society presses on her, the girl is given confusing instructions. “She was advised to play coy, / exhorted to come hearty, / exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.” Advised to watch what she eats and to exercise to reduce her size and sculpt her body to become more visually appealing, “her good nature wore out” as her focus was diverted. The child began to learn that her culture was more occupied with her appearance than what she accomplished or how she acted and that to become accepted she must conform to people’s expectations.

The author begins to end the poem with an extreme solution to the girl’s predicament and describes her suicide with euphemism. Fed up with her inability to please others because of her unattractive qualities, “she cut off her nose and her legs / and offered them up.” Overwhelmed with goals, advice, and tasks to better herself for her society, the girl became obsessed with her appearance and no longer took time to truly better her actions, her nature, and herself. Even in death she cannot please until she is changed. Before being displayed in her casket, the mortician paints her face, changes her nose, and dresses her in a nightie, fit to please the public. It is only after these changes that people ask, “Doesn’t she look pretty?” taking in the standards that she has finally met, standards that they constantly pressed her with, standards that she could not meet in life. Finally, the girl is accepted, although it is not quite a happy ending. If not for the common pressure on females to present themselves to the public with attractive features, the girl may have remained herself, healthy and intelligent, and had not let the search for acceptance drive her to her unfortunate end.

Scouring the entire poem, the reader will not find a name for the girl. This motion suggests that the author feels this is a common situation that constantly presses on females, especially young girls. Social standards and expectations mold women to become Barbie dolls, fake perfection. They are raised, taught, and advised to submit to superficial values and become what others would like to see of them. Piercy shows through her poem “Barbie Doll” the destruction of women through the application of false standards and creates the ironic and dismal story of this girl to portray her feminist views.


There Will Be Holy, Ironic Blood

There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

From the pages of a book to the scenes of a film, stories can present deep, complicated situations and ideas to their audiences. Allusions are made, irony is created, and themes are introduced. While watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film, There Will Be Blood, one must come prepared with a knowledge of the Holy Bible and keep an open mind to pick up on everything the film offers and understand the unexpected irony. This film challenges its viewers to comprehend the thick plots and ideas that originated from Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil! Thrusting biblical allusions and literary irony upon them.

Names and titles can be important clues and allusions in any story just as they are in There Will Be Blood. While each major character’s name can be found in the Holy Bible, from Able, Mary, and Eli, to Daniel, some grant a deeper meaning to a character with hidden meaning in the name’s literal definition. Most can instantly relate Mary to the mother of Jesus Christ, the innocent virgin that delivered God’s son to the Earth, but others will not understand “Daniel’s” direct translation to “judgement by God” or “God is my judge.” Mary is automatically recognized as an innocent protagonist because of her name, but Daniel’s traits are more hidden. His name suggests that he is constantly being judged by God with each act the he commits. From this judgement, he is faced with hardships and punishments. Daniel is not only judged, himself, but also feels he has the power to evaluate others just as God would. “I am the Church of the Third Revolution!” he exclaims, sharing his views of his power and righteousness.

Characters aren’t the only ones to receive names from the Bible, however. The film’s changed name, There Will Be Blood, originates from quotes in the holy volume. From Exodus 7:19, God explains to Moses “that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt,” as he foreshadows the striking down of the country to bring the Pharaoh down from his pedestal of power, a privilege he has been misusing and neglecting. God lusts for destruction just as Daniel lusted for money and desired for something that should not be the final goal.

The title, There Will Be Blood, can also call Hebrew 9:22 its birthplace. “Without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins.” The theme is constantly present within the film and gives Daniel a motive to end Henry and Eli’s lives and to end situations through violence. Daniel does not hesitate to use violence to get what he desires and knows that sooner or later, there will be blood.

By achieving what he strives for, Daniel ironically brings about his own demise. Living a life of loneliness, Daniel seeks love and family, wishing to find blood of resemblance. Not trusting and conflicting with those around him, he ends up ruining all the people who could have been family to him. His son is driven away, his half-brother is killed, and his brother-in-law is brought to an end, leaving Daniel with nothing left in his life although he has everything. This unusual situation is symbolically shown in the final scene of the movie when Daniel is found sleeping in his house. Succeeding enough to own his own bowling alley, Daniel is left to sleep “in the gutter” with his alcohol pressed tightly against him. All of his riches and achievements become useless and meaningless.

Of all the people that Daniel announced that he didn’t like, Eli must have been his most loathed enemy. Seeing him for the fake prophet that he was, Daniel could not bear Eli and was annoyed and offended by his presence. Constantly fighting with him, he tried to prove his power over Eli and his greater capabilities. Daniel never pauses from judging those around him and spends a great deal of attention and energy judging Eli. Daniel finds his mistakes and loathes the flaws that Eli possesses, yet Daniel possesses many of the same flaws, himself. Daniel and Eli are very similar, almost the same person, but dislike each other greatly. They are each other’s own images, yet don’t quite realize the odd occurrence.

There Will Be Blood delivers a unique blend of motifs and themes that relies on its biblical allusions and odd irony to completely reach the viewer. Carefully constructed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this film combines holy words with unusual situations and grants a mentally stimulating moment of entertainment that continues to question the viewers event after the final, shocking scene of irony is conveyed. From Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil!, Anderson has created an award-winning theatrical movie that many argue is his best work filled with many intelligent references and interesting dilemmas.


Brave New, Ironic World

"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

While describing a changing world and satirizing human kind in his dystopian novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley uses irony. Creating ironic situations and references, his novel can be viewed as comical because of the funny and odd situations his characters experience. They speak with irony, act with irony, and think with irony.

Helmholtz is an unusual character in Huxley’s novel who is much like Bernard, pertaining to his views on the society of the new world, but has his own trademark personality. An Alpha Plus individual, Helmholtz has been blessed with intelligence and opportunity, but ironically, is unsatisfied with his life and wishes for change. Bernard, Helmholtz’s familiar friend, wished for change because his appearance isolated him from his peers, but “that which had made Helmholtz so uncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability.” Through his character, Huxley shows how happiness cannot be manufactured, created, or programmed into a person, even when that individual seems to have everything he could want. He demonstrates that a perfect world cannot truly be created and that not everyone can be content at once.

Throughout Brave New World, Huxley pokes fun at how desensitized his fictional population has become and how unhuman they appear. He satirizes the fact that with improved science and technology, their humanity has been lost, their individuality destroyed, and everything around them has become manufactured and standardized. The people of his society have become so automated that they are not always referred to as humans. “Infants were unloaded” from their cribs and imperfect people were dismissed as mistakes. Huxley uses this irony to demonstrate the madness involved with the loss of humanity and how inhumane people can become when technology becomes dominant.

Because the society has lost its humanity, morals and values are different from what we are familiar with. In Huxley’s created world, children are expected to participate in erotic play and show no abstinence. Hearing a nurse announce that a “little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play” is ironic to the reader because our society does not hold the same expectations. Huxley uses this shocking and disturbing scene to stir up a sense in the reader’s gut that something about his fictional world is not right and that mankind should resist becoming like this. He relates sex with children, putting two ideas that the reader would generally not associate together, in order to bring up an awareness of the loss of morals, the loss of ethics, and the main theme of the story: the loss of humanity.

While the awareness of global warming, endangered species, and deforestation is constantly crying out to be heard in our world, Huxley’s society is different when concerning nature. In a society in which production and stability are the only world issues, distractions must be limited and work must be increased. With this mindset, the population of the new world felt it was necessary to make changes in the way people thought and felt about the expansion of the natural world around them. “It was decided to abolish the love of nature.” This ironic statement is meant to strike the reader and point out the backwards views of the fictional society. These views are unreasonable, inhumane, and insensitive. From this statement, the reader should realize the loss of human spirit from the overwhelming thoughts of industrialization.

Irony can be found all throughout Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, as he successfully portrays the negative effects of the loss of humanity. Through comical situations, humor shows the reader how unreasonable people can become and by shocking his audience with disturbing thoughts, Huxley can show his worry for the future. Through irony, the themes of the novel are expressed.


John, the Hope Within the Brave New World

"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

To create an interesting novel there must exist a well-thought plot, developed characters, and some form of conflict. This conflict usually includes good versus evil, each side usually represented. Even in dystopian novels that tell of negative utopian worlds, hope is embodied in at least one character struggling against the dominant society and representing the last flicker of humanity as he tries not to be overwhelmed by the darkness. In Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel, Brave New World, a young man named John represents hope. Raised with morals and views that we are familiar with, John struggles to survive in a different society, desperately fighting as he brings his own light to the dim novel.

Throughout Brave New World, Huxley describes a fictional future for our planet in which people are created and manufactured, then told how to live their lives. The ideas of family life, sexual abstinence, marriage, and solitude are abandoned and people are brainwashed with hypnopaedia to believe, think, desire, and decide how the Society wants them to. With morals and ethics that contradict our own, the people of this society seem doomed to live a life with little personal freedoms and glazed eyes. The future looks dim and change seems like an impossibility.

While creating a dystopian novel, Huxley does not devastate the reader with a deprivation of hope. By adding the character of John who was raised outside of the Society with similar morals as the reader would most likely have, hope is restored and “good” is introduced to the story, just as it must be in any novel. As the story progresses, the emphasis focuses more clearly on John and his trouble adjusting to the Society. This theme of isolation, discrimination, and differences is common throughout the entire novel and is portrayed through John’s small gleam of hope. His positive aura keeps the reader interested, the story continuing, and the conflicts brewing. While his view may be considered “correct” to the reader, they are considered immoral to the residents of the new world, causing him to be shunned, disliked, studied, and questioned. As he lives in the Society, John continues to spread his positive views, delivering the motifs of the novel and keeping the hope alive.

Because a novel cannot exist without conflict and problems, characters with different views are placed together, stressful situations are created, and emotions are stirred. To help deliver his message, Huxley creates a positive character named John, following the formula and bringing an opposing force to the dominant society. This individual faces discrimination because of his differences and is left to suffer in solitude. He demonstrates perseverance and determination and continues to fight against the controlling society. With the inclusion of this positive character, Huxley creates a conflict that delivers his themes and demonstrates his messages. John is the guiding light that reveals the darkness of the new world.

 


Defacing Humanity

"1984" by George Orwell

“1984” by George Orwell

A society is easiest to regulate when people are almost programmable, unable to feel or think for themselves and are completely devoted to the state. Stripped of their humanity, the people are putty in the government’s hands and have limited personal freedoms. In George Orwell’s fictional dystopian novel, 1984, Oceania enforces regulations through language, personal relationships, work, and the media that limit the Party members’ freedoms and destroy their human spirits.

People think, speak, and communicate with words, and by controlling the words that they are able to use, Oceania controls and limits its member’s thoughts and conversations. By creating a new language, Newspeak, and enlisting it as the national language, Oceania began requiring its members to write and speak with the improved language. English was then considered Oldspeak, and was declared outdated and flawed. Deleting words and eliminating ideas, Oceania slowly began to compress Party members’ thoughts and control their minds with each new installment of Newspeak. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” declared Syme, an Outer Party member defending Oceania’s purpose for limiting language. The time in which Party members would only be able to think what the Party wants them to think since unwanted ideas cannot exist would begin an era in which Oceania would completely control its members’ minds and their overall humanity.

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Individual Importance

My Saturdays have been occupied with Ready Writing UILs quite often now…I attended another UIL competition, this time at MacArthur High School on January 31, 2009. This was one of the bigger contests with a stricter competition, or so I was told by my teachers and instructors. I believe there were about 56 contestants at this Ready Writing competition, and I placed 6th. I admit this essay is the worst that I have written so far and I am really not pleased with it. I struggled with it more, and just know that it can be improved in so many ways. The topic I chose is listed followed by the essay I wrote.

“It is the art of mankind to polish the world, and everyone who works is scrubbing in some part.”
-Henry David Thoreau, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1906)

As time proceeds and the future becomes the past, the world is constantly changing. Mountains rise from the flat plains they once were. Oceans split apart lands, destroying continents, but creating new ones. Trees loom and fall while flowers blossom and die. The world grows and dies in a constant cycle that continues to repeat itself time and time again. Along with the world, mankind has endured time’s challenges and has changed and grown. Humanity, however, is not trapped within a cycle doomed to repeat itself. With unique individuals each working to improve his own life, culture is created and knowledge is shared to aid the development of mankind and the world. Mankind’s development has become an art, and everyone who works applies his own stroke of color.

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