Metropolis 1984 And 1984 Analysis

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“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.” In accordance with Karl Marx, the notion of the change to a ‘perfect’ communist state was for the working class to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Both the film Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang and the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) written by George Orwell elaborate on this aspect of revolution and the consequences that follow. The texts do this by highlighting the oppression placed upon the proletariat from the totalitarian state, particularly its use of technology to maintain control. This forces the working class to lose the ability to think rationally in the process; which prompts the idea of revolution.…show more content…
In the film Metropolis, this idea is depicted through Joh Fredersen keeping the workers occupied with the city’s machines, as well as later sending the Maria-bot to manipulate the workers into his favour. In the opening scene, a montage of machines is presented, which is then superseded by the changing of shifts; a series of eye-level shots of the workers marching in uniformity in time with the slow tempo of the workers’ leitmotif. Altogether, this is heavily symbolic for the workers turning into machines themselves, which accentuates the extent the upper class has gone to in maintaining oppression. This idea is emphasised later in the film as Freder (the film’s protagonist) ventures down to the Worker’s City and hallucinates that one of the machines is Moloch; an ancient god which is said children were sacrificed to. A long shot of the workers being thrown into the machine is a metaphor for the lives of the workers being devoted to purely slaving over the machines. This reiterates the power the upper class has over the workers, which in turn is what later sparks the revolution among the workers. In addition to the city’s machines, Joh Fredersen attempts to further oppress the workers as he uses the Maria-bot to preach to the workers in the catacombs. A mid-shot of Fredersen embracing the Maria-bot is symbolic for Fredersen’s thirst for more power in Metropolis,…show more content…
In 1984, Winston’s attempt to revolt against the Party is completely thwarted as O’Brien betrays him, resulting in Winston being brainwashed and re-indoctrinated. It was seen in the beginning of the novel that Winston was against Big Brother, but this is then juxtaposed later in “as though for reassurance he looked up at the imperturbable face in the portrait”. This signifies the death of any chance of a revolution, and it is again directly shown through Orwell’s use of a paradox in “he had won the victory over himself”. In Metropolis, the revolution manages to succeed somewhat but however, the workers forget their children amidst the revolution. After Grot (the machines’ supervisor) asks them “Where are your children?” a mid-shot of several distraught workers is presented. This suggests that their rationality has returned as they see how oblivious they became to their error during their quest for power. At the end of the film, Freder joins Grot’s and Joh Fredersen’s hands together in a mid-shot and a title card follows stating “The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart”. This is symbolic for the two classes coming together and reconciling, but it is further suggested that Lang alludes to The Communist Manifesto and attempts to refute it. Here, Lang pushes his anti-communist views and proposes that a complete overthrow

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