The books Brave New World, by Aldrous Huxley, and 1984, by George Orwell, are alike because they have comparable organizations. By using brainwashing techniques, censorship, and the obliteration of history, the leaders in Brave New World and 1984 control the thoughts and recollections of the people in their societies. Without using these techniques, the societies being controlled could not exist, because the people would not be disciplined like they needed to be. The citizens in these societies are slaves of the leaders, but cannot resist or do anything to change things for themselves.
Chiefly, brainwashing was essential to accomplish while the children were young because then it would ensure that they would grow up to be model citizens in the society. Principally, love was disallowed in both societies, by the virtue that it would cause problems. Fights would begin over relationships that would cause uncertainty that was not needed in the society. When the citizens Brave New World were young, they were involved in sexual games that would introduce them to sex and portray it as something casual.
“.this little boy seems rather reluctant to
join in the ordinary erotic play.”
(Brave New World, pg. 30)
As they got older, they were not able to know love, or would not be able to distinguish it from sex, so it became the norm to ‘have everyone’. In 1984, marriages were allowed, but on the grounds that the two people getting married were not in love. They wanted the people to feel like they were only getting married to be of service to the party (when their children were set up working with the Spies, growing up to be pawns for the Party). The one they were supposed to love was Big Brother.
“You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him
you must love him.” (1984, pg. 201)
Everyone was designed so that people would feel like they were existing for the Party, and the Party is virtuous. People’s reactions towards death was also deteriorated in Brave New World, so people would not show anxiety if one of their friends died.
“What are these filthy brats doing here?
“Disgraceful? But what do you mean? They’re being death
conditioned.” (Brave New World, pg. 208)
They would just continue on living in the society, as existing happily and productively was their purpose. In 1984, emotions about occurrences like death was frowned upon as well. Anyone who was made a fatality by the Party was deleted from history, so the Party would have no one accusing them. They wanted people to dwell in society with a devotion to the Party, performing their roles without a thought of opinion. The slogans of the two societies also help to brainwash the citizens of the societies. In Brave New World, the World State slogan ‘Community, Identity, Stability’ obliterates any ideas of freedom, or individualism. The people of the society know that to be a model citizen that motto must be exercised, so they follow it accordingly. It goes without thinking to be slave of the society, because the motto says it should be so. The World State slogan in 1984, ‘ War is peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength’ does not make sense. It is designed not to make sense so that once the people in that society accept it, they will surrender to the Party, and allow the Party full control over their lives. This is an example of doublethink, a manipulation of the mind used by the Party. By installing doublethink in the minds of their citizens, the people of Oceania were restricted to getting the truth only from the Party. This allowed the party to do whatever they needed to do to keep the society in order.
Censorship was used by the leaders of the societies to manipulate the people. In Brave New World, there wasn’t any literature that was uncensored. Mustapha Mond, leader of the society, would not allow this kind of reading in the society, because it would introduce ideas that would get the citizens thinking too much about their lives. If they tried to change something in their lives it would cause the society to fall apart, because people would begin developing their own ideas. The news from other parts of the world is censored as well, so the citizens of the society don’t hear about abnormal things which would eventually get them thinking about the design of their own society. The leader, Mustapha Mond knew that if their society must be censored to condition the people so the society would prosper. Mass consumption was promoted and was fundamental to the society. In 1984, the Party used censorship to control the people in the same way. The telescreens in the revolting apartments watched the citizens’ every move, so they can ensure that there are no conspiracies against the Party. The actions of the people are censored in the way that they cannot act in a way they want to; they can only do what the party wants them to do or expects of them. Their minds are conditioned to do this, so it is natural for them to be in that state. No diaries are allowed, because it might be preserved and someone in the future might read it, and the reader might realize how counterfeit the Party was. A major part of the Oceanic culture was the censored language. The Party invented a new language called Newspeak, to provide of source of expression that would give ‘proper’ mental habits to the citizens, making other thoughts impossible. It became impossible for the people to identify anything that was not good about the Party, because they had no way to describe it in words. The new language also made it impossible to read old books that might contain true history, something that the Party did not want people to know for many reasons, one being it might contradict the fake history they invented.
The obliteration of history was something else used by the leaders to make their society work. In Brave New World, the only part of history known to the average person was the story of John Ford, and how he designed the assembly line. Mustapha Mond allowed this part of history to be known as it was related to mass production and consumption, staples of the Brave New World society. The calendar in the Brave New World society was also based on the year A.F. (After Ford). No historical books were allowed either, because of the chance that it might spark some interest in the past, or in the future, creating ideas and ruining the society. In 1984, the Party deletes the true history, and builds a fraudulent history to make their society succeed.
” The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten,
the lie became truth.” (1984, pg. 178)
The manipulation of history is done in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth. They rewrite newspaper articles to change history into what would benefit themselves, or make themselves look moral. History had to be censored in these two cultures because of a few important reasons. To begin, people needed to think that they were living in the happiest, most abundant time in history.
“Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears
with statistics proving that people today had more
food, more clothes, better houses, more recreations-
that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were
bigger, healthier, stronger, more intelligent, better
educated than the people of fifty years ago.”
(1984, pg. 146)
They must believe that this is the best period of time that anyone has ever lived in, and that there is no other way to exist in the world. They must give credence to the fact that they are being treated very well by the leaders, and that they are happy in life. They also must not believe that an individual has ever taken personal initiative in a society, and expressed new ideas, or tries to change something, going against the government. If this happened then someone in society might develop some revolutionary ideas, and characterize a significant role in the downfall of the society.
In conclusion, the brainwashing techniques, censorship, and obliteration of history is the means of by which the leaders of the Brave New World society and the Oceanic society stay in control of their citizens minds, giving them a great deal of power to do whatever they want in their society. Without using these techniques, the citizens of the two societies would get a different illustration of reality, and would probably disagree with the ways of their own society’s behavior. If these techniques were ever discovered by the people, then most likely a revolution would befall the society, and changes would be made. Since this is most likely unreasonable, the citizens are these societies will believably be slaves forever.