The Government and Total Human Control
In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, in George Orwell’s 1984, and in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World a unifying thread is present—the government must have total control of all aspects of society. It must control thought, it must control media, and it must control one’s usefulness to the totalitarian society.
In Fahrenheit 451, the government assumes total control by banning all books and other reading material. By banning and burning the contraband if necessary, the government can prevent philosophical thought. The government can also guarantee this by getting people to buy giant televisions, the size of walls, which play television sitcoms in which the family can star. Not only do the pointless programs discourage intellectual thought, but they also entertain the family enough so that the family has no reasons to read and/or think deeply about the meaning of the world around them.
In 1984, the government is a bit more lenient as they will let everyone read, but they edit all reading material so that the materials favor the Party. For the party, revising old articles and other media will ensure that no one will revolt since the rewritten material always favors the Party. Even if a proletariat were to revolt, the Party could eliminate his existence from all forms of media. The Party vaporizes people’s existence to a point where most people do not even think about the vaporized person. By always making sure written history is pro-Party, the Party can ensure its totalitarian government.
In A Brave New World, the government not only controls how one thinks, but it also controls one’s physical usefulness to his society. By genetically engineering one’s body, the government can make it infinitely useful to itself. To make that one body feel no pain, to make the soul feel like it belongs to the society, and to make the mind open to any ideas is a vital asset for this government. The people are not always worried about death and can always relax in this utopian society since other people pleasure them, and with a society of happy people, the government never fears a revolt.
By controlling what an individual thinks, does, or feels, the government always prospers.