ISU Essay Rough DraftNatural human behaviour is built on the premise of freedom; freedom of thought and action that give the human race limitless capabilities. For the most part, human behaviour and thought are very spontaneous in nature and do not follow a step by step or calculated process.
Nor, can the actions of humans be easily predicted.. The freedom inherent in humans is undeniable. Human beings work in a way completely opposite to machines and computers. Machines have no freedom to think, speak, move or have feelings. Freedom is not a trait pocessed by computers because they are governed by mathematics, programs and by someone else – human beings. What happens if humans begin to take on computer like traits and figuratively morph into machines? Applying mechanical traits to a person or mechanizing them, ultimately results in the dehumanization of humans because it eliminates many of the innate attributes that are instinctive; expression, feelings, freedom of thought, mind and body and the spontaneity that defines humans.
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Therefore a loss of anyone of these traits could be considered inhumane. Humans can become mechanized like a computer; processing infjormation and producing the desired output. This concept is evident in literature, especially in the dystopian worlds of George Orwell’s 1984 and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, which show that control is detrimental to the human race. 1984 and A Clockwork Orange act as examples to demonstrate the extent to which governments will go to improve a dystopian society. Like the “real world”, both novels illustrate that attempts to improve decaying worlds move towards employing means of control and constraints over the human race. Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange and George Orwell’s 1984 show that psychological and physical controls placed on a society will improve efficiency and order in that world. However, the improved society has serious repercussions. Ultimately, both novels illustrate that when measures of control are placed on a society, the human race is dehumanized.
Methods of psychological control and physical control are used commonly in both novels and ultimately mechanize the characters . Although each method works in a different way to command others, these two techniques are intertwined and would not work without the other. Control is achieved in 1984 as well as A Clockwork Orange due to the interrelationship between the mental and physical; O’Brien illustrates that “we control matter because we control the mind” (Orwell, 227). The reverse is also true in both novels because if certain physical actions are eliminated, the thoughts that allow for those actions are eradicated as well.
Psychological and physical constraints used by the state in both novels are manifested as one in the repression of human nature by using such methods as fear as a control and its physical counterpart propaganda.Both 1984 and A Clockwork Orange show that fear of brutality and violence is a psychological control that can have a commanding effect over a person; fear can ultimately force a person to eliminate their actual thoughts in order to avoid punishment. . As a result, fear will eventually force a person to eliminate certain trains of thought to avoid being hurt and people. Winston Smith acts as a symbol of this dehumanization in 1984. In Winston’s world “thoughtcrime is death” (Orwell, 30) and he responds by “eliminating all incriminating thought that the Thought Police looked for” (Orwell, 79) that would warrant “a trip to 101” (Orwell, 79).
Winston, symbolic of his society, thinks of only what he is told to because he fears that he will be killed for disobeying and thinking freely. Winston’s behaviour essentially shows that fear can mechanize a person by programming them to think only about what will not warrant punishment. Like Winston in 1984, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, must live in the same way. Alex too must eliminate certain thoughts and beliefs, (namely violence) because of the fear he has of becoming violently ill when he thinks of that particular subject; a side affect of the psychological control of the government’s Ludivico’s technique. The fear Alex has of becoming violently ill forces him change or eliminate certain thoughts; in one case Alex “viddied that he’d have to change the way he felt about this rotten veck very skorry (Burgess, 93) or become violently ill. In this case, Alex is controlled into permanently changing his opinion of another man who has just assaulted him; the state could just as easily force Alex to eliminate certain ideologies rather than opinion.
Burgess illustrates that fear of violence causes one to alter his or her thought process and is dehumanized because he or she loses self expression. Both authors show that fear as a psychological control results.