Rebellion Across Media: Analyzing "1984" and "Metropolis" 12th Grade

George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) is a cautionary novel which explores a dystopian society mired in propaganda and totalitarianism. Similarly, director Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) is a critique of a futuristic world where growth and industralisation benefit the few and oppress the many. Both texts reveal societies in which rebellion becomes the focus for unlikely protagonists, who dare to challenge the existing totalitarian values of their world, and who are inspired by the passions of their intimate relationships. Both novel and film were created in post-war contexts: Metropolis post-World War I and 1984 post-World War II, and both to provide warning and caution for future generations at risk of exploitation. The composers of these texts created worlds of totalitarianism and rebellion, as expressed through their different textual forms.

Orwell explores the impact of power through ‘Big Brother,’ a ubiquitous leader of a tyrannical government in which ‘The Party’ is a socio-political power oppressing the lives of citizens. Orwell depicts the oppression and loss of individuality brought about by this totalitarian regime. The language, ‘Newspeak,’ dehumanises citizens by destroying their freedom of speech and expression. Omniscient...

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