Ideology and Utopia in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
This dissertation attempts to study the issue of ideology and utopia in two representative examples of modern English Literature which are Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Our major interest is to analyze and compare the ideological and utopian elements in the two novels. Our aim through this study is to identify which function each novel was meant to perform, whether ideological or utopian. We take our theoretical bearings from Karl Mannheim’s Ideology and Utopia (1936). For Mannheim, ideology reflects the concrete historical environment of a particular dominant group that tries to perpetuate the social order, while utopia is an outlook, held by subjugated groups in the same society, of a transformed and idealized future. This competing relationship has resulted in dystopia. Thus, the two dystopias, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty- Four are meant to perform a double function for they hold an ideological as well as a utopian outlook. Both, Huxley and Orwell are warning against many political practices they recognize as threats to the British society. In this sense, they are trying to prevent change; meanwhile they are directing people’s attention to the kind of society they should strive for and thus, transform it.
- Département d'Anglais