Essay on 1984 and metropolis

The workers are dehumanised to this end, marching faceless and in unison to their sacrifice.

Looking at the link between past and future in Metropolis and 1984

Lang sees the prize of technology in the modernist movement as a threat to the future because it abandons the ethical treatment of workers in the past, something that threatened his context of the Weimar Republic. The Republic faced growing emphasis on the production line with the rise of Fordism, even referencing it in the character of Joe Frederson, as his hair. For Lang, the production line of the Model T Ford threatened the humanity of the worker as it broke the body of workers down to small parts of a big machine, rather than the skilled craftsmen of pre-production line maufacturing.

This can be seen in the scene where the worker is working at a machine, and in his movements he is symbolically crucified in his arms-out stance, as the chaotic and fast paced music conveys the stress of his torment. The encroachment of oppressive technologies is for Orwell also a point of contention with modernist thinking, but in the dehumanisation it results in is instead a product of the state seeking power over thought in surveillance.

For the citizens of Oceania, nothing is considered to be private and living in such a dystopian state requires being aware of this torturous fact. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

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In Metropolis, the state only requires labour, but in Oceania, the state requires complete subjugation. For Orwell, the modernist dystopia is one where individual liberty is dead at the hands of power that seeks only power, and the dystopian future state to fear is one where private life is abolished. His vision of a dystopia is a continued form of elements of his context, Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany, where the individual has no privacy and no point to existence but to be controlled by the state.

Orwell considers this dystopia contrary to the natural condition.

The Complete Metropolis

For Winston living in Oceania, being alone and engaging in a private life is simply not normal, and he relishes the opportunity to do so, as it is the natural order of his ancestral memory as a human being. His feelings of relief are fated to tragedy, however, as in an anti-climax the man who rents the room to him is in fact an agent of the thought police.


What mattered were individual relationships… they were loyal to each other. In his sacrifice of his love for self-preservation, Winston loses his grip with the world he lives in, losing the core of his personal humanity as his soul symbolically floats away. Lang fears revolution, where Orwell fears and end to any possibility of it. Very informative. Thanks for that piece of writing. How is that shown in Metropolis? Hi Harry. I think we have to consider what is meant by human feelings. I suppose in a rampant capitalist society where the workers are used as fodder — their most basic feelings are disregarded.

The workers who gather in the Catacombs to listen to Maria- do so becuause of their degraded status and desperate need for hope.

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