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Intertextual Concern In Fritz Lang's Nineteen Eighty-Four

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A comparative study of intertextual perspectives and contextual concerns in Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis and George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four enhances a responder’s appreciation of the power of literature to stimulate a sustained contemplation of transcendent values. Lang’s noncommittal and artistic portrayal of the dialectic between capitalist oppression and the proletariat revolution captures his deeply ambivalent attitude towards modernity and the social fragmentation of Weimar Germany. Additionally, Orwell espouses a need for equality and freedom through the lens of 1930s totalitarianism, providing a cautionary critique of the elite’s accumulation of arbitrary power and the complete subjugation of freedom. Hence, a comparative…show more content…
The rise of Fascism in the Spanish Civil War, despite Orwell’s efforts to fight against their abuse of power, led him to adopt a pessimistic outlook on the impact of revolution. Initially, similar to Freder, Winston is compelled by a lack of freedom in his society to resist the manipulation of free thought in his repeating diary entry “down with Big Brother.” Hence, the repetition in “If you loved someone, you loved him” underscores how emotive memories of his mother, a symbol of his connection to the past, enable Winston to retain his humanity and internally rebel against the Party by rejecting their “rewritten history.” However ultimately, Winston’s rebellion is crushed and he is tortured into exclaiming “Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia!”, wherein the truncated syntax reflects his broken spirit as Orwell highlights the inability of the individual to overcome totalitarian oppression. Thus, where Lang glorifies Freder’s success through an uplifting soundtrack, Winston is reduced to a mindless adherent of the Party in the ironic ending “He loved Big Brother,” with his loss of humanity reflecting society’s defeatism after WWII. Therefore, comparing these conflicting perspectives on the power of governments to suppress the individual highlights the dynamic nature of socio-political
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