1984

Discuss the link between the past and the future, in 1984 and Metropolis. 12th Grade

Both texts highlight and effectually foreground, the need for humanity to learn from its mistakes for its ultimate survival. The social, cultural and historical milieu of a composer’s era, significantly molds construction of their text and the ideals, values and attitudes that they choose to address within it. These influences offer a unique distinction between different texts, however, also highlighting notable commonalities. Through the implementation of dystopian fiction, in which they depict a post-apocalyptic future, arising from cultural realities that enable tyrants to exploit periods of adversities and tribulations, both texts offer didactic and implicit cautionary warnings of what will occur should present trends endure. Fritz Lang’s expressionist and overt surreal silent film, ‘Metropolis’ (1927), can be interpreted as a reaction to the rapidly fluctuating, economically unstable social milieu of Germany during the immediate post WWI era, in which the newly emerged, controversial Weimar Republic gave birth to new individual freedoms and consequent cultural diversity. Lang’s physical depiction of the segregation and dichotomy between the upper and lower classes of Metropolis prompts his audience to question the...

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