Control is a universal notion often used by political leaders for their own benefit by removing natural human instincts from the individuals. This can be witnessed in Fritz Lang’s silent expressionist film ‘Metropolis’, which focuses on the impact of the industrial revolution and its consequences, and George Orwell’s dystopian science speculative fiction novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ (1984), which focuses on the negative impacts of the rise of totalitarian regimes. While Metropolis envisages control for economic benefit, ‘1984’ envisages control for an oligarchic benefit. Ultimately, ‘Metropolis’ and ‘1984’, although they explore similar concerns on the empowerment of the state and disempowerment of the individual in regards to the idea of control, they portray subtly different perspectives on this notion, due to their differing contexts.
Lang’s film ‘Metropolis’ explores the notion of control through the empowerment of the state to obtain economic benefit. This perspective is reflected through the long shot of the city of Metropolis and the cubist imagery of the skyscrapers, contrasted to the dystopic underground city of the workers, which highlights the disparate lifestyle of the elite and the workers, and hence the oppressive system which the workers uphold. In addition, Lang offers his perception of the Machine Age, which was prevalent during the early 20th century, portraying how technology is used to empower the state as it can be used to monitor and control over their citizens. This is evident through the body language gynoid, which helps to serve Frederson to keep the workers of Metropo...
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...trayed through the consciousness of the workers and their ability to rebel against the state, evident through the workers dialogue: “We will not wait any longer!”. Therefore, through Orwell’s portrayal of the disempowerment of the individual in his speculative science fiction novel ‘1984’, explores a changing pessimistic perspective to Lang on the idea of control, due to their differing contexts.
Ultimately, although ‘Metropolis’ and ‘1984’ share similar content on the notion of control, their perspectives on this idea differ subtly. Lang perceives control as a tool for economic benefit, whereas Orwell perceives control as a tool for total power. Nonetheless, through the exploration of the empowerment of the state and disempowerment of the individual in regards to control, depicts how texts from different contexts reflect changing perspectives on this idea.
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