A utopia is a seemingly perfect world, with happiness, honesty, equality, and peace. Although in the novel, 1984, by George Orwell, and the film The Truman Show, directed by Peter Wier, the readers and viewers are presented with a negative utopian society.
A negative utopian society is a perfect world that somewhere has gone wrong. The controllers in the novel and film succeeded in achieving complete control and power, which was their attempt to make the ideal society. Each controller has a different threat, in 1984 it is association while in the film, The Truman Show, it is separation from the outside world. In George Orwells 1984, the ruling body, known as the Inner party, gains complete control over the people in their country.
In all the homes, apartments, business offices, and town squares, there are telescreens. The telescreens give the ruling body the ability to invade the peoples privacy, and create fear into their lives. The ruling body of 1984 is afraid of unionization between the people and their ideas. They believed that if people got together and talked about their ideas about the parties, they would realize that their way of life had not always been like this, ruled by the Inner Party. The Inner Party controls everything that the people in their society does, thinks, says, and acts.
Winston Smith, the main character of this novel, begins to realize that he has thoughts from his past and that the government had not always been so controlling. Winston believes, “your worst enemy. . . was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
. . The most deadly danger of all was talking in your sleep. There was no way of guarding against that. ” (Orwell, 56) Winston is always on the search for someone to share his thoughts and hatred of the “Inner Party.
” The government is afraid that if the people got together they would realize that their power is not strong. Their power is fear of the people and the government shows fear to obtain power. O’Brien, an Inner Party member asks Winston, “how does one man assert his power over another?. . . By making him suffer.
. . Progress in our world will progress toward more pain. ” (Orwell 220) Winston gives into the power of the government in the end, and becomes another afraid citizen of the controlled world. He starts working for the government and becomes ignorant as the other citizens.
In Peter Weir’s film, The Truman Show, the ruling body directed by Christof, gains complete control over Truman’s life since birth. The entire world has watched Truman grow up through the television screen while Truman believes that he is leading a normal life. Truman has no idea that other people are watching is every move, from sleeping, work, and all his personal daily duties. The director is afraid of separation from Truman and the actors that play the daily roles in Truman’s life story. Christof is afraid that if one person slips and says something that would make Truman realize that his entire life is fake that he might end up leaving and destroying his television show.
The director controls everything that is going to happen in Truman’s life, from their actions, arguments, and the feelings. Truman, the main character that the film is about begins to realize that something is wrong in his life. Everything appears the same everyday without change. “Look at that sunset, it’s perfect. “(Weir) Truman’s world appears perfect to him. Sylvia (Lauren) falls in love with Truman and tells him that it is all just a show.
Truman begins to see the little mistakes that happen. A random object falls from the sky and the radio makes up for the object that fell from the stage by saying “watch out for falling objects from an airplane. ” Truman went after his wife with a knife and she said “do something. ” Truman faces his fear of the ocean and takes a boat into the sea and runs into the end of the stage set. He realizes that his life is fake. When he meets the door that he can either exit or stay in his world he says, “I’m not going to make it, your gonna have to go on without me.
” (Weir) Truman overcomes the society that has transformed his whole life and takes the chance and enters the real world in search of Lauren. He must now deal with conflict, fear, dishonesty, and separation from people. The outside people all know about his life before and he must start all over and become the person he wants to be. The idea of a perfect utopia has been an idea for many people. The world will never know the true effects of a perfect society.
The novel and film show the warning to the readers and viewers of what could happen if anyone attempts to make a perfect society. In 1984, George Orwell says that people can be conquered and changed by a powerful government, which people have to accept. In the film, The Truman Show, the director believes that he can run a persons life but he learns different when Truman overcomes his weakness and leaves the set to enter the “real world.” Orwell’s society was effective, while Wier’s negative utopian film was defeated