27th September 2018

Power.

Power is, if not, the most influential and alarming aspect of the modern world. It plays a strong part in how society and individuals are controlled and contained worldwide. It is represented to us through the use of social media, government control, and everyday social settings. Through the use of Dystopian visual and written text, it helps to represent the corruption of power and where this corruption will lead us to in the future. I think through the use of studied Dystopian text I have been allowed to see the danger of power and the warnings that are laid before us, particularly since George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

George Orwell expressed a warning to us if we carried on being lead and not leading we will lose all control, even of our own minds and bodies. He displayed the idea of manipulation through power, control, and surveillance in “Nineteen Eighty Four” to the victims of the world. His novel followed a simple man, Winston Smith and how love and fierceness would lead him to rebel against the totalitarian government. Ultimately this leads Winston to be caught by the party and giving into power.“Freedom is the ability to say that 2+2=4. But in the end, the government would announce that 2+2=5 and you would have to believe it.” I believe that this quote represents how Winston fought for his love and his beliefs but ultimately those who were of serve importance would out rule all hope he had in challenging their power. I believe this connects with Stephen Speilberg’s, Minority Report through the following quote: “Sometimes, in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” This is because in order for Winston to attempt to challenge their power and fight for the love and inner power he had found he had to risk the possibility of not achieving this and losing everything. He had to make the choice of whether he wanted to risk his life to live a better one not just for himself, but for the surrounding society. Throughout the novel, we are constantly reminded of the slogan the party posts across buildings, telescreens and over the speakers.  “From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the party: WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. This slogan represents how war isn’t peaceful but under the misplaced power, they have the ability to manipulate society to believe war is peace. I think this relates to the real world because government leaders are able to convince their countries of a change in opinion and that it is for a better. They take away individuals personal opinions by convincing them of better choices. They don’t warn you of the dangers only the positive aspects of the change. This quote alone is what I believe to be one of the many warnings that are displayed to us through dystopian text. This is because it is warning us that if we believe war isn’t peace we shouldn’t change our opinion because someone with a higher place in society doesn’t want you to think this. 

“The shape of power is always the same; it is the shape of a tree. Root to tip, central trunk branching, and re-branching spreading wider in ever-thinner, searching fingers. The shape of power is the outline of a living thing straining outward, sending its fine tendrils a little further, and a little further yet.” The opening quote to Naomi Alderman’s, “The Power” represents how not only in the novel but also in the real world that power spreads through people like wildfire. Throughout the opening chapter to the text, we read of women passing power through each other and enlighting power within one in other. Men are running for the hills when they come to the understanding that the power isn’t only in the younger generations but in all woman. All of a sudden men lose all power and strength they have been gifted with within the world and are now under the influence of women. I believe this connects to Minority Report through the following quote: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” This relates because someone who has more than others, in this case, woman having power and men none they gain natural control due to their benefits on others. This text is especially illuminating because in most dystopian visual and written text there is usually government control, security and often a strong male character leading the way. This novel shows that women can also be the hero and characters can change places. “Boys dressing as girls to seem more powerful. Girls dressing as boys to shake off the meaning of power, or leaping on the unexpected, wolf in sheep’s clothing.” This quote resembles how power can influence people to hide from not only society but them true selves. When times become tedious and alarming many individuals want to hide and stay hidden until it passes by, but in some it sparks courage and strength in who they are. Power is a terrifying concept because of this hold society has formed it to have over the weak and faint-hearted. 

Charlie Brooker’s, “Black Mirror” Television series has become one of the most alarming dystopian’s to date. The series features a range of suspenseful episodes, each with new characters, worlds, and concepts. A stand out episode that represents power through society strongly is “Nose Dive”. “Nose Dive” follows a well-established woman, Lacie Pound and how she uses social media and online networking to create a better life for herself by impressing and pleasing others. All interactions with members of the public lead to sending ratings out of 5 to one another and the higher your rating the better life and person you are, like a celebrity in a real-world context. Lacie wants to live in a flash apartment with facilities only wealthy people have but she can’t afford this place and the only way she can get it is to get a better rating. “Pardon the term – mid to low range folks. So in terms of quality, you could do with a punch up right there. Ideally, that is upvotes from quality people.” This represents how in order to live in a quality subdivision Lacie will leave her family and friends because they aren’t classified as quality people. 

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