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The Power Of Power In Terry Gilliam's Film, Brazil

A society run through the means of a dominant government is bound to have rebels. These rebels go to extreme measures in order to prove their self worth and individuality. In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), the Party acts as a supreme power and portrays Winston Smith, the protagonist as a rebel. Terry Gilliam’s film, Brazil (1985), has a government that works behind the scenes, authenticating authority through various propaganda posters and technological techniques, all of which Sam Lowry rebels against. Examples of government rebels in the real world are quite evident; in New Mexico a resistance group arose in attempts to save their village from the hands of the government only to have the leader murdered. “Unsilenced” written…show more content…
In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, Winston writes his deepest thoughts within his diary, although he knows this a thought crime, he continues to write regardless. As Winston opens his diary he states “this was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain to be punished with death,” (Orwell 6). This quote makes it evident that though Winston is well aware of his crime he still chooses to carry on as he believes that rebelling against the Party is a way to weaken the control it has. Similarly, in Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Brazil, the audience sees early on in the film how little respect some employees have for their government. It is shown that when the boss in charge of the Department of Records is not present the employees are seen to be watching old movies and only pretend to work when the boss is physically present (Gilliam). The lack of productivity in the department shows the audacity the citizens have to defy the government but lack the ability to do so; as the minute an authoritative figure is shown they quickly remember what the party in charge is truly capable of. Although, both Winston in Orwell’s dystopia and the employees of the Department of Records in Gilliam’s dystopia wish to degrade the higher power both are deemed as unsuccessful in…show more content…
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, portrays a dystopia in which it is wrong to love; which Winston then uses as his method of rebellion as he creates romantic relations with Julia, a more hidden rebel. The moment after Winston and Julia have been intimate, Winston reveals “Their embraced had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act,” (Orwell 126). Although the act of sex is shown to bring couples closer, Winston reveals this is not the case for him, for him, it is merely an act of upheaval towards the Party. Likewise, Gilliam’s film, Brazil also shows a similar act of love as Sam Lowry has dreams about falling in love with a girl, who we later know as Jill Layton. Near the end of the movie, the audience sees that both Sam and Jill are captured by government officials while lying in bed together, (Gilliam), an act of rebellion similar to that of Winston’s. It becomes apparent that the right to express oneself through acts of love is considered the ultimate act of insurgence within these dystopias. The real world is no exception to this. As Atilano proves in Garcia’s article, he does all that is possible to be able to seem a hero to his family, “I wondered about the process of overcoming fear of death for the common good. ‘When does someone decide that life becomes secondary to a
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