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Sara McDougallMr. DundasENG3U118 January 2018Freedom is Involved with Dystopian Novels”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!” (Orwell 6). This quote from 1984 provides one example of lack of freedom out of the many that are found in dystopian novels. Dystopian novels tend to have themes about freedom, and this is the best shown in Blindness by José Saramago and 1984 by George Orwell through: the point of view of the main characters, the use of unusual metaphors and the extremely descriptive scenes. Imagine, living life in constant fear, not knowing what to do or say and knowing that even a slight suspicion of someone else could end life. This is how the main characters in both novels feel every single day. Winston from the novel 1984 is in constant fear of Big Brother (who is the person that rules everyone).  He fears that if he is caught making a wrong move or doing something illegal, which he often does, that Big Brother will end his life and hurt the one he loves most (Julia). Winston lives in a society with one leader named Big Brother. Big Brother controls everyone’s life which takes a toll on each person, especially Winston, until he finally goes crazy and breaks down completely because he cannot handle the stress of the society around him. The doctor’s wife also lives her life in constant fear, but on a steeper level than Winston. Everyday the doctor’s wife is held at gunpoint and is told that she herself along with the other woman that live in the confinement will be murdered if they do not provide what the men want and what they are demanding of them (sexual intercourse) . The doctor’s wife along with the other blind people in her bay are denied food until the man with the gun (along with the other males in his bay) are pleasured by the woman. This puts all the women in fear, because going into the males bay they have no idea what the men are going to try to do to them. The doctor’s wife also has the additional fear of not being able to provide food for the others in their bay. In both novels, the main characters feel as though they have no freedom and fear for their life everyday.The second element that shows freedom loss in dystopian novels is the constant use of unusual metaphors and similes used in both the novels Blindness and 1984. The authors of both novels (George Orwell and José Saramago) often compare the character or the characters surroundings with animals. Since this is quite an obscure comparison, it speaks great volumes when the readers begins to read the novels. These comparisons show the reader how low the characters’ lives are and how they feel they are being treated while living in a dystopian society. When the doctor’s wife from the novel Blindness states “If we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals” (Saramago 116) it truly shows how terrible the characters living conditions are. Although this is said to describe the horrendous living conditions that the characters are forced to live in, this could also represent the deterioration of the small society they have as they urge to maintain humanity and not become completely animalistic. A similar situation happens in the novel 1984 when Winston describes his living area as “The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rat droppings” (Orwell 3). Considering that both novels share comparisons to animals, it shows that the leaders in the books do not care for their citizens, and that the citizens feel that they have no power to change their way of living, because they have no freedom. The final component that shows lack of freedom in dystopian novels is the appalling imagery describing each moment that both George Orwell and José Saramago used in order to create more lifelike sensations while reading their novels. In the book Blindness the author often describes intense or fragile situations with an overload of extreme details that are sometimes unnecessary. The author does this to give a shock to the readers and to make the intensity of the moment more realistic. An example of this is when the doctors wife is stabbing the blind man with the gun (the main leader) and it is described as “The scissors dug deep into the blind man’s throat, turning on themselves they struggled with the cartilage and the the membranous tissues, then furiously went deeper until they came up against the cervical vertebrae” (Saramago 189). Now in the novel 1984, the author provides the same sort of details, but not as extreme. The author wants to provide a more emotional connection between the characters and the reader, which is less of an image and more of an allusion in the reader’s mind. An example of this is when an old man is pleading to Big Brother (the leader) for his life saying “Do anything to me!” he yelled. “You’ve been starving me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me. Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there somebody else you want me to give away?” (Orwell 69). The scenes in both novels are explained in great detail, representing the constant change in both character and setting. This can be seen as lack of freedom due to the nonstop changing that only one person has control over.Dystopian novels tend to have themes about freedom, and this is the best shown in Blindness by José Saramago and 1984 by George Orwell through: the point of view of the main characters, the use of unusual metaphors and the extremely descriptive scenes. Would it ever be able to live a life like one of these characters, without any freedom?


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