The Dangers of Totalitarianism

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After World War I, which led to the overthrow of several monarchs and a complete reshaping of Europe, the political landscape of Europe began to change. Totalitarian fascists, such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini, of Germany, The Soviet Union, and Italy, rose to power. These leaders created an atmosphere of fear in their respective countries. The only people who were safe were the ones that did not protest at all and just let the dictators lead. Hitler’s rise to power led to World War II, where including the Holocaust, approximately sixty million people died. Sixty million people died, while millions of others silently watched in fear, and in hopes of surviving the genocide. This forever changed the landscape of Europe. The period after World War II consisted of mass hysteria, partly due to the war-torn continent, and partly due to of the rise of communism. In response to this era marked by extreme war and violence, arts and literature boomed; partly to document the era, and party to serve as a reminder of what happened. The totalitarian government in 1984, by George Orwell, and the fireman in Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, show how people can be controlled by fear instilled by the government, and as a result, how society is negatively impacted, through the complete lack of relationships and personal identity. While the Nazi secret police (The Gestapo) terrorized society, the firemen served as the symbol of fear in Fahrenheit 451. In the book’s society, any form of reading or owning books was strictly outlawed, and in a violent society where death was not feared, was the most heinous crime to commit. Due to the severity of the crime and harsh repercussions, the people very rarely broke the rule of owning bo... ... middle of paper ... ... part of the revolution, Winston lost the battle versus Big Brother, and was ultimately brainwashed into acting and thinking like a loyal Party member. This showed how a totalitarian government can break even the most motivated individual and form them into another one of their puppets. Works Cited Becnet, Kim E. “1984.” Blooms Literature. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1982. Print. Glover, Beard. “Nineteen Eight-Four.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Jan. 2014. Liukkonen, Petri. “Fahrenheit 451.” Blooms Literature. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Luker G. Fahrenheit 451. Masterplots II: Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction Series (1991): 1- 3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. Orwell, George. 1984. New York, NY: Signet Classic, 1977. Print.
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