Comparing Power And Control In 1984 And The Hunger Games

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Technology; Power and Control in 1984 and The Hunger Games By: Sophia Zervaas Utopia, a seemingly perfect paradise in which a society lives in harmony and happiness. Dystopia, a deprived, dehumanised place where a society lives in oppressive subservience. Both plausible, both improbable, both blur into one obscured singularity. The novel 1984, written by George Orwell in 1949, and The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross in 2012, both explore the ideas of a utopian, dystopian world to which the subjugated protagonists Winston Smith and Katniss Everdeen doggedly navigate their respective societies that have been corroded by greed and corrupted by power. Within crafted worlds of Technological Surveillance systems purposed for coercive control, …show more content…

In both 1984 and The Hunger Games individuals are rendered powerless by oppressive states which subvert technology to surveil and distribute propaganda. In George Orwell's 1949 novel, 1984, telescreens placed in the homes of individuals deemed a possible threat to the party are symbolic of the omniscient panopticism Big Brother yields. Winston psychologically struggles with the constant surveillance and subsequent lack of privacy: ‘Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing.’ Telescreens act as a pervasive deterrent, yet in a place where individuals are always watched, always listened to, and always judged, resentment is inevitable, and recidivist acts increasingly likely. The simple act of keeping his back to the telescreen ‘from habit that became instinct’ is Winston’s small but symbolic act of defiance, yet paradoxically this instinctual act underscores Big Brother’s dominion over all aspects of an individual’s private life, inclusive of thoughts which have been rewired to register Big Brother’s insidious omniscience. In contrast, in Gary Ross’s 2012 film, The Hunger Games, citizens of Panem are given the blessing of privacy in their homes; however, technology is used to showcase the death of tributes selected on reaping day, broadcast as a macabre form of reality TV called The Hunger Games. Gary Ross’ satirical allegory of death and suffering as simply consumable entertainment of the Capitol elite parallels reality tv shows in today’s society that convey a similarly phlegmatic detachment of the ruling class. The close-up eye-level camera shot of Katniss, the District 12 tribute, when Caesar Flickerman declaims ‘You know her as The Girl on Fire!’ conveys to the audience Katniss’ sense of fear and uncertainty. Her vulnerability, crafted as an entertaining distraction purposed to maintain the

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