“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment” -Mahatma Gandhi. In this quote Gandhi is discussing different elements of how power is maintained in a society. The novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley displays a futuristic society controlled through pleasure, while 1984 by George Orwell displays the other side of the spectrum where power is strictly enforced by fear. Brave New World and 1984 are two very influential dystopian novels that have similar ideas and have earned their place as classics in the world of literature. Many people fear the oppressive government of Orwell’s 1984, but we should really be fearing the more disturbing thought of us becoming overstimulated and ignorant like Huxley’s Brave New World.
A contrasting element between the books are how the government enforces control in the society. Brave New World controls everyone through classical conditioning as well as pleasure, whereas 1984 maintains complete control by instilling fear into it’s citizens. In Huxley’s world the government uses things like drugs, music and bombards the citizens with entertainment to keep them occupied. They are kept consistently stimulated because free time might provoke thought. In an important scene of the book, a main character Bernard takes Lenina on a date where he expresses his wants to be an individual and spend alone time to talk rather than take soma and have sex. Bernard says “I’d rather be myself, Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly” (Aldous Huxley 89). He is talking about how...
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...propaganda, strong gestapo-like police forces and communal rallies that all resemble the Third Reich and Hitler’s youth. It is easy to see how all of these events and elements have played such prominent roles in the forming of these two great novels.
Although 1984 and Brave New World are both amazing novels, I prefer Brave New World for its originality and influence in literature. 1984 is full of interesting ideas displayed throughout an amazing story, so I believe it will always have its well deserved place in literature. Brave New World may lack as interesting of a story as 1984, but I think the ideas of Brave New World are more thought provoking and provide a more relevant insight into modern society. I feel we should spend more time preventing ourselves from becoming Huxley’s nightmares instead of fearing the less likely oppressive government Orwell warned us of.
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