The Reality of Dystopia in Politics and Media: A Critical Examination of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Fahrenheit 451, and V for Vendetta

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Florida Southern College
In 1949, George Orwell published his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a story of a dark, dystopian future. In the wake of World War II, the future seemed bleak to many people, including those in Western democratic societies. While Orwell’s vision never came to pass, his work remains popular with audiences, even impacting society to the point of adding vocabulary. In 1953, Ray Bradbury released Fahrenheit 451, illustrating his own ideas of complete censorship and giving readers a supposedly “cautionary tale” on the problems of government-imposed societal limitations. Now, websites that are forced for legal reasons to block resources return a status code of “451.” Thirty years after Fahrenheit 451, Alan Moore and David Lloyd published V for Vendetta, a graphic novel depicting a totalitarian regime, taking both real and fictional symbols to craft its dystopian setting. Often seen as a symbol of resistance against governmental oppression, the Guy Fawkes mask used in the story has become popular among anarchist groups. All three texts have retained popularity and remain on all-time bestseller lists, and their impacts on modern society are undeniable. However, with such dark messages, the question of why these works are popular still stands.
Honors Thesis Spring 2021
Dystopias, Political science, Mass media, Dystopias in literature