Metropolis and 1984 Essay

Concerns about the impact of the machine are a central idea that connects Metropolis and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Explore the influence of context on the way this idea has been shaped and reshaped in this pair of texts.

The possibilities of machines hindering the lives and interactions of individuals arise through the exploration of the impact, which the rapid innovations of machines create, when used to form oppressive and autocratic environments. Director Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and author George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four accentuate these concepts as a result of being heavily influenced by the upheavals of their time.   Whilst amidst the process of modernism, individualism can experience an extreme limitation by the stifling of free thought, creativity and ultimately, freedom. Contextual concerns as such are conveyed through both texts due to the high impacts of totalitarianism which were present during the era of the publication of Metropolis and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The probability of the machine’s ability to influence and control the population through the use and abuse of technology is explored in both Metropolis and Nineteen Eighty-Four.   Lang being influenced by the prevalence of industrialism in society led him to question the impact of it and present the dystopia it creates in Metropolis, especially as a means for inciting authority and dominance over individuals in order to gain complete control. This perspective is exemplified in the opening scenes of Metropolis through the montage of machines heavily rearing establishing the great use of machines in the city of Metropolis. Additionally, it is reinforced when tension is created through Lang’s use of a suspenseful soundtrack and a long shot of the big altar-like machine to accompany the fast cutback scenes in which a drained worker is determined to not let the machine’s temperature rise. The montage of the gearing machines along with the facial expressions of the determined worker creates an...