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Metropolis, And Fritz Lang's Autocratic Government In 1984 And 1984

Good Essays
The presence of an overwhelming and influential body of government, dictating the individuals of contextual society, may potentially lead to the thoughts and actions that oppose the ruling party. Through the exploration of Fritz Lang’s expressionist film, Metropolis (1927), and George Orwell’s politically satirical novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), the implications of an autocratic government upon the individuals of society are revealed. Lang’s expressionist film delves into the many issues faced by the Weimar Republic of Germany following the “War to end all wars” (Wells, 1914), in which the disparity between the upper and lower classes became distinctively apparent as a result of the ruling party’s capitalistic desires. Conversely, Orwell’s,…show more content…
This itself alludes to America’s extreme response to communism during the Cold War era, under the influence of Senator Joe McCarthy. Similar to the paranoia that characterized the McCarthy era, Orwell’s dystopian society was expected to betray their friends, family and co-workers for the benefit of the state and themselves. This is made explicitly evident during Winston’s visit to the cafe, in which the telescreen sang; “Under the spreading chestnut tree/ I sold you and you sold me…”Foreshadowing Winston’s eventual betrayal of Maria in order to save himself, and his conformity to the party. Furthermore, the notion that “nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres in your skull” becomes ironic as the novel develops in which the criminalisation of unorthodox ideologies leads to the punishment of “thoughtcrime”, and the eventual “vaporisation” of dissidents. This itself alludes to the ‘great purges’ that took place under the terror that characterized Joseph Stalin’s reign. Likewise, the inherent fear of eccentricity amongst the oppressed citizens of “Airstrip one” is highlighted by the nature of “facecrime” in which the presence of an improper expression or any suggestion of abnormality could be punished. Thus, through Orwell 's effective use of allusion and characterisation, contextual audiences are provided with a didactic warning regarding the nature of a totalitarian reign, in which a “hideous ecstasy of fear” influences society’s