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Government control over its citizens is significant to the regime and it is this dominance over their people that leaves little room to question authority, but rather conform to the regime’s ideologies. This is portrayed in V for Vendetta by James McTeigue and in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Both film and novel show significant aspects as to how the two governments use censorship by conditioning the citizens and being cruel where the society uses dehumanization as a means of control.
The government is determined to create a stable and ideal society, however, the distinction between citizens is censored by the government, resulting in totalitarian rule. This portrays the negative influence a controlling government has on people. In order to prevent it, citizens must rebel against the authority and unite.
The government censors community perspective and affects their social status. In both works, the controlling governments have a negative impact on the people by reinforcing laws and restrictions on the society, making it an ideal one. This is seen in Brave New World when the Director states, “the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny”. The Director is emphasizing how the World State has the higher authority over everyone in society. This is exemplifying the members of the community’s castes are “conditioned” at a young age and are instructed to perform daily tasks to create an ideal society. Regardless of what a human being is capable of, the World State aims to make “people like their inescapable social destiny” meaning their rights and freedom in society are reduced, however, they are conditioned to feel happy.
In contrast, in V for Vendetta, the government is also censoring the community’s perspective and affecting their social status. This is evident in the film when V mentions “cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have systems of surveillance coercing your conformity”. Government has ultimately shown the use of totalitarian rule as of one aspect to govern the citizens. The use of “cruelty and injustice” from the controlling government is portrayed, meaning unfairness and savagery are being shown towards the citizens which “oppresses” them to express their feelings in society. These two controlling governments are both different because of the way censorship is used against the society.
The government in Brave New World uses a method of “conditioning” to make people “like their inescapable destiny,” meaning citizens perform the desired task instructed by the government. However, in V for Vendetta, the use of “cruelty and injustice” is used in order for the citizens to perform their tasks as society instructed by the government. Ultimately, the way in which each government maintains control over their citizens differs, however the objective is the same. Through the oppression of their citizens they can gain a greater rule.
Another way the government has a negative impact by the use of laws and restrictions towards the people in Brave New World when the Controller states “One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them”, drawing attention to conditioning yet again. Citizens do not have the freedom of thought to question what it is they must believe, they simply are taught to blindly believe. Similarly, in V for Vendetta, the negative governmental impact is evident when V states, “a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing nothing, we gave it away”. It becomes clear that V understands that the freedom of thought would have given him power to fight against the government. In both works, the contexts are similar because in Brave New World, citizens are “conditioned to believe things” at a young age. Similarly in V for Vendetta, the government is reinforced to accept their lives in society which are controlled by a “handful of oppressors.” Both works show the negative governmental impact on society and affecting the social status of individuals conditioning and censorship which results in a totalitarian government in order to create the ideal society. This demonstrates how the government is determined to create a utopian society by using censorship and conditioning. However, the lack of distinction amongst the individuals is censored by the government.
The government’s use of dehumanization and stripping of identity is vital to create a utopian society through methods of control. This is evident in Brave New World as there is a distinct caste system that dictates each member’s identity. This is achieved through a Bokanovsky process where there are “Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines”. This exemplifies how there is no such thing as individuality as the identity is assigned to them based on a caste and they are exactly identical. Through this process, the government successfully strips a citizen’s identity and is thereby able to control them more effectively. On the other hand, V for Vendetta gave a significant aspect as to how negative governmental impact can harshly strip a citizen’s identity. This was evident in V for Vendetta when Evey reads her Valerie’s letter in the cell she was captured in and referred to the cruel injustice Valerie suffered from the government. The letter read, “They shaved off my hair and held my head down a toilet bowl and told jokes about lesbians”. This is explaining how Valerie was a lesbian and had feelings for her girlfriend named Ruth. However, Ruth killed herself because she couldn’t live with betraying Valerie. Later on, they came for Valerie who was also stripped down by the government officials and harshly abused her by “shaving her hair” and holding Valerie’s head “down a toilet bowl” while making “jokes about lesbians.” These events stripped Valerie’s identity because she loved an identical gender which was oppressed by the government and thus the government thereby is able to control the society and oppressing an individual’s feelings. These two ideas contradict because of the citizens in Brave New World are assigned an identity based on a caste however, in V for Vendetta, citizens are stripped for loving their identical gender by the government. The governments are urged to create a stable society with the Bokanovsky process and stripping identity of an individual in order to maintain control over its’ society
Another example of dehumanization is seen when Bernard’s characterization is shown in the book. This was evident in Brave New World when the Director states, “if ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre-preferably to Iceland”. This is demonstrating the director is stating how the characteristics of Bernard, not being “infantile” are inhuman from director’s perspective, and thus he threatens Bernard to transfer him to Iceland due to his behavior. This is also shown in V for Vendetta when Evey is tortured by V, in the same manner that V was tortured by the government and how everyone is tortured by the government. This was evident when Evey was informed by the jailkeeper, “The penalty in which is death…you must tell the identity of V and you can live back to your normal life. If you cooperate, you will be released from this faculty”. Evey decides not to cooperate with the government and as means of control, Evey was forced to live in severe conditions by being tortured in the cell. This scene portrays the significance of government control by stripping identity of an individual if a citizen fails to “cooperate with the government.” The mention of “penalty in which is death” was to infiltrate Evey’s mind with fear. In other words, if an individual decides not to collaborate with the authority, there are consequences for every citizen. These two medias are parallelly similar in a sense that restrictions and laws are all applied to every citizen, however the consequences are quite diverse as in Brave New World, citizens are transferred to Iceland due to any inhuman characteristics whereas in V for Vendetta, the citizens are harshly abused if an individual fails to cooperate with the authority. The government’s ideology is to create a utopian society, however, if an individual disobeys the restrictions by the government, he/she may face consequences that results in totalitarian rule.
In conclusion, Brave New World and V for Vendetta compare in the sense that they both make their audience aware of the negative governmental impact both medias shown with the use of censorship and dehumanization. The government is determined to create a utopian society despite the lack of variation between citizens and the negative governmental impact it effected on the society. The use of censorship and dehumanization dominated all individuals and putting restrictions on their uniqueness and human qualities one may possess at birth.
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