Task Question: Compare the techniques that the authors if the two texts use to explore the struggle against oppression.
Dystopian literature and film illustrates a futuristic society that contains oppressive societal control and is conveyed as an illusion of a perfect world. These characteristics are demonstrated throughout both James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta and Ray Bradbury’s The Pedestrian. The issue explored in these artforms is the struggle against oppression. This issue is conveyed through the freedom that the citizens have been stripped of. Both also contain manipulation of the citizens though constant monitoring by the government and desecration of privacy. As well as a totalitarian regime that has power over the people and uses malicious techniques to terminate creativity and any forms of art. Dystopian civilizations contain corruption and oppression of citizens to contain any forms of revolution.
Bradbury and McTeigue both represent dystopian culture to be deprived of freedom and a constant battle against oppression . McTeigue uses the protagonist, V, to paint a portrait of the world they live in as he described it to contain “cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression.” Clearly describing to the audience the corruption of the government and the suffering of the people as their rights have been ravaged and freedom revoked. There is nothing fair about this society, those who stand against them will face relentless pain and injustice. The defilement of freedom is also represented through the colours of the Norsefire, the government party in command, logo as it relates to the Nazi flag with a similar colour palette. The red represents power and danger, which co-insides with the actions of the Nazis and the Norsefire as their power-hungry motives lead to death and danger. The colour black in the logo represents fear, the society is built off using the fear instilled within the citizens and it is as if a malicious presence has emerged upon the city drowning it in darkness. Although McTeigue demonstrates the deficiency of freedom through the words of V and the Norsefire logo, it is the absence of citizens that conveys the shortage of liberty in Bradbury’s The Pedestrian. Bradbury emphasises the deprivation of freedom through the citizen’s complete obedience to their government. The streets of this city during the day are described to have ‘a thunderous surge of cars’, but during the night the ‘highways, too, are like streams in a dry season’. This simile alludes that at night the citizens are locked up in their homes, no one outside; the freedom to even leave their homes has been robbed and violated. A society that is built on terror causes people to be completely obedient in fear that they may be arrested for merely leaving their home at night. Bradbury and McTeigue both successfully convey the struggle against oppression through the desecration of freedom in these dystopian societies. They want people to think about how their freedom is being defiled and what are they doing to stand up against controlling governments.
As well as conveying lack of freedom in these societies, Bradbury and McTeigue both represent the struggle against oppression through the ceaseless monitoring of the citizens within these dystopian societies. McTeigue represent this government to defile the privacy of the citizens with constant surveillance and monitoring. The city once gave the people “the freedom to object, to think and speak as they saw fit,” but after the tyrannical government held the reins there were “censors and systems of surveillance” put in place to infiltrate the homes and punish those who thought and spoke against the views of the government. They use these surveillance systems to control and manipulate the citizens into doing the what the government deems to be right. It oversees the nation and does not allow people to be safe within their own home. Similarly, Bradbury conveys the abuse of monitoring within The Pedestrian as much like V for Vendetta it is the use of a curfew that instils this monitoring. Bradbury uses the monitoring of citizens during a curfew to represent the end-less surveillance in this dystopian society. The only thing enforcing this curfew is “one police car” as it monitors a city to control the residents and detain those who show individuality and personality. As this driver-less car embodies the dehumanisation in this society and the power of technology as automatic cars monitor the people’s every move. Bradbury and McTeigue both efficiently convey the issue of the struggle against oppression through the use of surveillance and monitoring of the citizens with these dystopian cities. These stories are warning people about the surveillance of homes and conversations, and what is private in this age of technology?
Also, both The Pedestrian and V for Vendetta are controlled by a totalitarian regime that eliminates any form of art and creativity. McTeigue conveys that this government destroys beautiful art that has been cemented throughout the ages because it does not connect with their believes. This is demonstrates during a scene when Gordon Deitrich shows Evey Hammond a room where he has kept some of history’s greatest pieces of art hidden away from the world. He had a copy of the Quran hidden because this government will abolish any religion apart from their own, once again relating to the Nazi’s actions. They destroy art because it can lead to a revolution and inspire those to stand up to and speak their voice on what they believe is right. Art is powerful, that is why dictators use it as propaganda to persuade people to believing in their movement. Also in The Pedestrian art is looked upon similarly. But mostly through the art of literature. Bradbury conveys writing and literature to be a forgotten aspect of life. Mr Mead, the protagonist, explains his job to be a “writer”, the police car quickly responded with “no profession” as if it has never known what a writer was. The author skilfully uses characterisation to highlight Mr Meads personality and independence to contrast the differences in their personalities. As Mr Mead is bright and full of life but the car is emotionless. This government has tried to destroy all forms of literature because they wanted to censor the people and contain them so their opinions could not be heard. In these dictatorial governments there is only one opinion and that is the governments opinion. They want to script history and manipulate the truth. This has been done in The Pedestrian as they have demolished the thought of writing and literature. People aren’t given a platform to write freely and express themselves, these are key features to a dystopian society. Bradbury and McTeigue portray dystopian societies to embody the destruction of arts alluding to the struggle against oppression. Both of the authors want people to express their opinion and speak out and say what they believe is right and wrong, if people remain silent there will only be the opinion of the government.
The struggle against oppression in James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta and Ray Bradbury’s The Pedestrian is conveyed through the scarce freedom of the citizens as they have their rights corrupted. Along with this is also the relentless monitoring of the citizens as their privacy is meaningless. Lastly is the destruction of art to control the citizen and destroy any platform of creativity. These dystopian civilizations oppress the people and the corrupt government will not tolerate any form of opinion as it may lead to a revolt against the government. Throughout both the film and novel the people were obedient and never voiced themselves, leaving the government to take control, enforcing injustice and leaving the citizens with no rights or freedom. McTeigue and Bradbury want people not be obedient and be able to think and speak for themselves because if people don’t it will inevitably lead to an oppressive government.