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Compare and contrast the ways in which George Orwell in ‘1984’ and Ray Bradbury in ‘Fahrenheit 451’ present ideas about identity and freedom.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury and 1984 by Orwell demonstrate man’s battle against dictatorial authority. In both novels, the authority establishes control through the fear of violence and limits freedom through constant monitoring; the government shapes people’s identities via the use of propaganda, leading those who are unable to conform to stick out, causing those outcasts to band together rebel against the oppressive government and desensitized society. Orwell, influenced by the resurgence of dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, satiated his distaste for totalitarianism and political authority. Orwell immersed himself in writing novels that were politically fueled, with works such as Animal Farm and 1984 as some of his more notable works; This theme is vividly explored in ‘1984’ with characters such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Fahrenheit 451’ with the ‘firefighters’ which highlight the dangers of totalitarianism and limiting of freedom through fear. Bradbury was influenced by his considerations about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years Bradbury recounts 1984 as a commentary on how mass media reduces interest in reading literature and through this tries to control the narrative to fit the totalitarian society literature’ this is conveyed in the novel when history is rewritten to fit the narrative totalitarian. Both writers employ the use the dystopian genre to expose the weaknesses of human nature and keep the characters in a state of conflict and unhappiness, which is a consequence caused by the totalitarian society, which works to limit people’s freedom.

In both novels, Bradbury and Orwell emphasize that knowledge is power and, as such, cannot have a place in a totalitarian society; they also employ this to serve as a warning to modern society, which is becoming more evident than ever as an increasing amount of our people turn to technology for entertainment rather than expand their knowledge-creating perfect conditions for a totalitarian society. Orwell has a considerably more robust way of illustrating this ‘Who controls the present controls the past ‘, In particular, the noun ‘control’ will have a major effect on the play and its outcome as a totalitarian society is based on control, especially in ‘1984’ and is a key aspect of how the government stays in power the quote as a whole also helps create a semantic field of dystopia. By tampering with past knowledge, the Ministery, in turn, controls the present by utilizing this intelligent psychological weapon if no one else can identify which knowledge is true and which is false, it creates a paradox forcing people to have to believe what the government tells them is true as they are not able to disprove the facts Orwell intentionally does this to make us the reader question what is real and what is fake within the novel, but also for us to question if what we have learned about the past is entirely accurate or has it been tampered with like within the texts. Bradbury also acknowledges that he has to limit knowledge and achieves this through ‘book burning.’However, Orwell goes to an extreme by even limiting thoughts through ‘thought crime’, creating an absolute absence of individual thought; it is something the protagonist struggles with throughout the story, but what makes the society even more ominous is the fact that the lack of individuality identity is presented as a positive how the freedom of thought is established as a sin and how the vocabulary is made limited to simplistic and made-up words that deny people of intellectual growth. This coincides with the earlier point that knowledge is power; by making society less intelligent, the government is diminishing society’s power, lessening the chance of rebellion.

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Fahrenheit 451′ Vs ‘1984’: Compare and Contrast Essay.
(2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 20, 2024, from

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Fahrenheit 451′ Vs ‘1984’: Compare and Contrast Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie.
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