Lang and Orwell’s attitudes toward resistance and rebellion are reflective of their composing contexts. Discuss with detailed reference to Metropolis and 1984.
When distribution of power in a society is unregulated, or when one group abuses their power too greatly to the detriment of others, then the oppressed often find a way to rebel or resist.
In Metropolis and Nineteen Eighty-Four we see depictions of dystopian societies that provoke rebellion or resistance, though as each text was produced during or shortly after significantly different periods of conflict and upheaval, we ultimately see two different attitudes presented, with very different expectations for the outcome of such actions.
Lang’s depiction of divided social classes in a film encouraging sympathy for the lower class has parallels with its time, being produced shortly after world war one the imperial German government was replaced by a form of representative democracy ‘The Weimar Republic’. Lang uses expressionistic imagery, and the strong contrast of light and shade characteristic of German Expressionist to distinguish the two classes inhabiting the futuristic city. The workers are depicted in uniform black, trudging in synchronised columns into a dark tunnel to their work with the machines. This opening sequence is juxtaposed with the light shades and open spaces of the upper city, particularly the Eternal Garden, to highlight the resistance required to address inequality. The workers rebellion sequence begins with a high angle shot of ‘Evil Maria’ inciting a proletariat uprising, and is overlaid with the French Revolution anthem “La Marseilles” the song of rebellion demanding liberty, fraternity, equality. The cruel irony in Maria’s proclamation, “death to the machines”, as the workers violent destruction of the Heart-machine brings chaos to their city and livelihood. This aggression of the workers reflects unsuccessful revolts against Weimar democracy led by extremist groups such as ‘right...