Portrayals of Power in Texts Concentrate on the Struggle for Human Independence

“Portrayals of power in texts concentrate on the struggle for human independence”

George Orwell’s iconic book “1984” written in 1948 and the film “V for Vendetta”, directed by James McTeigue, both contain similar portrayals of power and the struggle for human independence. Both of these texts are views of how a futuristic, dystopian world would be run with a totalitarian government in control, specifically in the UK. Propaganda, technology, destruction of language, idolization, scape goating; these are all key tools used by the governments in both V for Vendetta and 1984, to manipulate and control the citizens and to maintain their power.

1984 is set in Oceania, and more specifically, Airstrip One, what we know to be London. Airstrip One is ruled by the political party INGSOC who is controlled initially by Big Brother. INGSOC’s motto, which is plastered all over the streets, is “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”. Big Brother and the party maintain power through the use of intimidation, propaganda surveillance through the telescreens, thought police and even the children who are taught from a young age to identify those who were not complacent or who appear to be unhappy with their life. Everywhere they look, the people are reminded of Big Brother’s presence through the use of telescreens, posters and paintings with the words “Big Brother is watching you”.

This world is a place of ongoing warfare, ongoing government surveillance, intimidation and the destruction of human independence, more specifically the breakdown of the human language. Newspeak, the language of Oceania has been described as "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year", as quoted by Orwell in the novel. The whole reasoning behind Newspeak is that if a person is no longer capable of comprehending their own ideas, then the people of Oceania will no longer be able to commit thought crime because they will not know the words in which to...