The following sample essay describes the different perspectives on the future presented in the film Minority Report and the book 1984. Read the introduction, body and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
The future is an unknown figure of time that can be scary to think about. Both the movie, Minority Report and the book, 1984 give vivid predictions about the future and give a different perspective of the future in multiple ways. George Orwell’s 1984 is a novel based on a dystopian life style with a totalitarian government centered on war and hatred.
Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report is a movie based on future time (2052) with a system which predicts future murders, so citizens live a homicide- free utopian life. Although both give examples of the future in the time it was published, a dystopian and utopian life style are different. Dystopia is an imaginary state in which the condition of life is extremely bad from deprivation, oppression, or terror and utopia is an imaginary place in which everything is perfect.
1984 and Minority Report both have details that reflect on one another, even though they were created almost 20 years apart. There are several parallels that exist when considering the events of 1984 and Minority Report. Both works have character similarities, thematic undertones, and terminology that relates to one another.
The main characters in both sources have certain characteristics that are similar. Winston Smith, the main character in 1984, is rebellious to his society and government due to his arrest for thoughtcrime. Once Winston is caught for his actions, his “friend” O’Brien is against Winston and was never on his side.
Winston realizes this when the door opened. O’Brien came in. Winston started to his feet. The shock of the sight had driven all caution out of him (Orwell 261). Winston believes that when O’Brien walks into the room he has been captured too, but really O’Brien has been a part of the inner party and is there to bring Winston to the Ministry of love. John Anderton, the main character in Minority Report, begins by completely trusting in the precrime system and believes it can help because he is an officer for precrime himself. Later in the film, the system reveals that Anderton will murder a man he has not even met; he tries to fight the system to prove he is innocent. When John Anderton finds out he will murder a man the guards, his coworkers, are now forced to take him in for his precrime. Anderton says, they always run and begins to run away from the precrime police (Minority Report). Both John and Winston get in trouble for thoughtcrime/precrime. The novel and the movie both give a surprise effect when the characters turn against the main character. Once Winston commits thoughtcrime, he gets caught and his friend O’Brien turns against him. And when the system predicts John to be a precrime murderer, his friends have to turn against him also, because it is the law. The novel and the movie both have specific laws that have consequences when broken and both sources have a common theme when it comes to those laws and government.
The overall central idea and theme of Minority Report and 1984 is the idea that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts. Power is enforced by technology, because both the novel and the book are based on the future, which means technology would be way more advanced than in the present time in which they were published. In both societies technology is used to give the citizens facts about how much the state of living has improved since the source of power was created. In 1984, the announcer on the telescreen reads, Attention comrades! We have glorious news for you the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 percent over the past year (Orwell 61). The party in 1984 persuades citizens that they are the reason that the community is not falling apart. Due to the technology of telescreens, the party is able to tell the citizens that without the technology and the party things would be awful. Similarly, in Minority Report the precrime service has screens everywhere in the community stating how much the homicidal rates in the district had reduced because of the advances of the precrime system (Minority Report). With all of the screens shouting facts about how good precrime is, will make citizens believe that precrime really works. In both societies, statistics are manipulated to encourage citizens to appreciate the government. Technology is also used by the government in both of these works, so they know where each individual citizen is. 1984 does this by the use of telescreens that are placed in every corner of the community. In Minority Report, retina scanners are in every public place that constantly scans people’s eyes to identify them. Technology is used in 1984 and Minority Report to monitor people and watch them all the time. This is how both governments control thoughtcrime and precrime from happening and protect the community.
Thoughtcrime and precrime have similarities that relate to the discipline received for committing these crimes. Thoughtcrime is pretty much like an illegal thought or the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question Ingsoc, the ruling party. Precrime is the tendency in criminal justice systems to focus on crimes not yet committed. When thoughtcrime is committed in 1984, offenders are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine gun nests (Orwell 7). The Ministry of Love sounds like it would be a good place to be, but really it is where thought criminals are taken to learn the right ways of the party. In Minority Report precrime criminals, when caught are sent somewhere that resembles this, that discipline the offenders of precrime. In both places people are essentially brainwashed so they cannot commit any more crimes. Due to factors that the government has set up, the source of power is impossible to be fought against, this is why the governments can maintain complete control. In both, the main characters are forced by their society to do things in order to stay alive. This is relevant in 1984 when Winston is discussing with Julia what will happen to them if they get caught, Julia says, Everybody always confesses. You can’t help it (Orwell 173). Equivalently, in Minority Report, John is being hunted down and he tells the precrime police, Everybody runs (Minority Report). Both characters have similarities that relate other events in both works together. John and Winston wanted to run because they both knew something was not right, and they wanted to prove they are innocent.
The movie Minority Report almost seems like it was a remake of the novel 1984 due to all of the similarities. There are several parallels that exist when considering the events of 1984 and Minority Report. Both works have character similarities, thematic undertones, and terminology that relates to one another. 1984 and Minority Report both give a common view of the future and could possibly be accurate at describing it.