English Speech; Power (1984+Gattaca) Essay

A Totalitarianistic government exercises complete control over its citizens. A Totalitarianistic citizen succumbs to its government. However; a government’s quest for an ideal society through Totalitarian rule will always result in a corrupted ideal society. Through the government’s ability to shape individuality into becoming that of conformity, and through the sheer influence of the government’s control and domination over all aspects of a society’s everyday life; the stable relationship that should exist between the ruling and following powers becomes heavily unbalanced and the two social statuses become heavily distanced from each other.However, there will always be people who will try to overrule this political power and break out of this system. These people can be likened to that of Vincent in the film Gattaca (directed by Andrew Niccol), and Winston in the novel 1984 (written by George Orwell).

These characters exercise attributes of individual power, and in this way, contribute to the inner-corruption ensured by a Totalitarianistic society through arising to their own values and beliefs.The political propaganda and the forced ideologies commanded of 1984’s corrupt figure of government- known as The Party- exercise a form of political power at its most extreme. As this power is so dominant in Winston’s society, there is no place for individual power; therefore throwing out the balance of a stable society, and in turn, enforcing corruption within it. Winston’s society is discriminative in this way. However, through all of this; Winston is given a sense of hope through a glass paperweight.

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When it shatters, as does his hope. This develops symbolism in that the condition of the paperweight relates to the rise and fall of Winston’s hope throughout the novel, which in the end is torn by the government’s Totalitarianistic tendencies. Although Totalitarianism generally relates to that of a corrupt political system, in Gattaca; this power takes on a different form. In this film, science has changed the way that people are segregated in a new form of discrimination; where people known as ‘valids’ and ‘in-valids’ exist.

The valid group of Gattaca’s society act as the Totalitarian power figure; ruling over the lesser in-valids, who are succumbed to lurk in their shadows. A particular scene displays Vincent, an in-valid in rebellion of his society’s Totalitarian-like ways, looking into the distance in the foreground, as a space rocket launches into the stars in the background; all shot in a wide-angled range. Vincent is given a sense of hope through witnessing this, but this hope passes as the rocket disappears; rather like Winston gained through his glass paperweight.The symbolism of the rocket recurs at several occasions throughout the film to reintroduce this theme of hope in which Vincent believes in and what he values most; to able to become an astronaut. Totalitarianism equals complete control; complete control equals unbalance and unbalance equals a corrupt society. The futuristic texts Gattaca and 1984 relate to each other in the senses of political power- in that the citizens of the society are treated in a Totalitarianistic-like manner- and in individual power- where said citizens aim to fufill their values and beliefs.However, a citizen’s sense of individual power clashes with the ideas of a Totalitarianistic society so must be eliminated by enforcing conformity.

Therefore; a corrupt society is created as unbalanced relationship between states of power exists. Power cannot be forced onto people, however, it can be distributed between them for a balanced and fair society where hope cannot be crushed.


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