Panopticon: The Ideal Social Order "The Panopticon is a marvelous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogenous effects of power." Panopticism is a style of controlling the individual and making him conform to the system. That system could refer to the police or the world as a whole. There is never a definite top position, therefore, everyone feels as if they are being monitored by someone else. It is for this reason that this disciplinary mechanism is so effective.
From the beginning, the government of Anthem perpetuates its ideology to its citizens. Because of this fact, the citizens never learn of what the Council forbids them to know. In essence, these criminals in the Palace of Corrective Detention are never able to conceive the notion or concept of escape. The people in the totalitarian world of Anthem have no ego- they cannot begin to fathom escape, for the true prison they are trapped in is their own mind. The prisoners are a manifestation of the fact that in the collectivist society, one cannot accomplish anything without the permission of another.
Therefore, O’Brien makes it a priority to have complete control, including control of the mind. When O’Brien is explaining his control to Winston he says, “We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories" (Orwell 204). O’Brien also has physical power over Winston. The tortures are indescribable and makes O’Brien feel powerful, which he explains to Winston when he says, “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?... By making him suffer” (Orwell 219).
These rules of the city existed in order to make sure that everyone treated each other equally. They were forced to not have problems with anyone. These rules showed collectivism in a unpleasant way which revealed that there was no individualism. The people of the city in Anthem were stipulated to follow every rule, or else there would be a cruel punishment or they could be executed if it was severe enough. Their whole lives are dictated by the council, who assign a particular house where they are forced to work until they are sent to the home of the useless.
This is the beauty of the panopticon that anyone can glance at the cells from the tower but no prisoners can see the tower. The prisoners may feel like someone is watching, and know the he or she is powerless to escape its watch, but the same time, the guard in the tower may not be looking at the prisoners. Just because the prisoners think that someone is watching them, they will behave properly. The concept of panopticon in the penal system, which showed immediate success in reform and discipline, eventually leads to it being linked to every component of the modern society. Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon and Foucault concept of Panopticism is seen in many places today in our society.
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Power of Manipulation In George Orwell’s novel 1984 the civilians of Oceania live under the manipulative powers of Big Brother that drive the people to extreme obedience. Big Brother is the leader of the party and the authoritative figure who all people obey. As a dystopian society numerous techniques are used to keep the population of Oceania under control. The party enforces many crude laws to keep the population of Oceania from revolting against the government. Above all ways of controlling the people of Oceania, the most effective are the telescreens because they are in the homes of every civilian and everywhere they go, they monitor their every move including their pulse, and they are used for manipulating people through propaganda.
But if anything wrong accidentally occurs, there is a simple solution to the problem, which is soma. The use of soma totally shapes and controls the utopian society described in Huxley's novel Brave New World as well as symbolize Huxley's society as a whole. This pleasure drug is the answer to all of life's little mishaps and also serves as an escape as well as entertainment. The people of this futuristic society use it in every aspect of their lives and depend on it for very many reasons. Although this drug appears to be an escape on the surface, soma is truly a control device used by the government to keep everyone enslaved in set positions.