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“Lives of Others” by Dreimann and Orwell’s “1984”

“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past(Orwell, 309).

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In his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell describes by far the most terrible and powerful political regime that has ever been created by the human mind. Oceania is the classic example of dystopia, the world in which a person desperately tries to survive often at the cost of others. Those, who try to break free of this bondage, are doomed to failure. Winston Smith is one of them; his most intimate is to escape from the all-seeing eye of Big Brother. To some extent, he is an embodiment of the individual who has been subdued by the state and virtually turned into an animal. This character became an archetype, and now many writers and film directors use him in their own works, though under different names (Lucas, 95). For instance, one may remember Florian Henckels film The Lives of Others. Gerd Wiesler shares many common features: with Winston: both of them are disillusioned with an existing political system that forces people into submission and justifies these actions by noble pretexts. They are also forced to cooperate with the state but Gerd occupies a higher position in the hierarchy than Winston, he is one of those who spy on others but later he realizes he has been horribly deceived by his government.

One may as well draw parallels between Winston and Georg Dreymann, the playwright. They commit their deepest thoughts to paper in an effort to leave a trace in history and convey a message to future generations. This part of their lives is entirely unknown to others. The main difference is that Georg still cherishes hope, believing that his plays will eventually find their readers while Winston is firmly convinced that his diary will be destroyed as soon as it is discovered by the Thought Police.

Julia and Christa-Maria also immensely resemble one another; the most striking detail is their sexual promiscuity. They are heavily dependent on people, who possess the authority and this dependence makes them act in this way. Christa-Maria loves Dreymann but she cannot leave Hempf, a party official because her refusal may prove very perilous for her. Moreover, these women do not consider betrayal as something immoral and unacceptable. They are corrupted by society, but in 1984 the degree of corruption is extremely intensified.

The theme explored in both works is the manipulation of public opinion. In Nineteen Eighty-Four the domination of the Party is absolute because people do not know anything about other counties; they are totally isolated from the rest of the world. As a result, the state can impose its opinion on the population by changing the history or even vocabulary of the language. The censure, arrests, and constant supervision are the strategies used by the government to eliminate any possibility of dissent. Certainly, similar methods of control are depicted in The Lives of Others, for example, bugging, shadowing, or arrests. Nevertheless, the situation is drastically different as in this film citizens of Eastern Germany understand that there is a different way of life, so Stasis does not manage to subjugate them (Nickerson, 1). In this case, a comparison is not quite appropriate because these films are distinguishable in terms of genre: 1984 is dystopia (James, p 44), whereas The Lives of Others is a historical movie.

George Orwells novel will always attract the attention of many authors and cinematographers because this book warns human society against the dangers of despotism and dictatorship. It eloquently proves that people can be gradually enslaved even without noticing. Other authors will refer to this novel because 1984 abounds in very strong and vivid characters.


James. G. Pauli. L. “Utopia/Dystopia”. Douglas & McIntyre, 2008.

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Lucas. S. “Orwell”. Haus Publishing, 2003.

Nickerson. C. “German film prompts open debate on Stasi. A forbidden topic captivates nation”. The Boston Globe, 2006. Web.

Orwell. G. “Nineteen Eighty Four” 1st World Publishing, 2004.

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"Lives of Others” by Dreimann and Orwell’s “1984." StudyCorgi, 13 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Lives of Others” by Dreimann and Orwell’s “1984." November 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Lives of Others” by Dreimann and Orwell’s “1984." November 13, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Lives of Others” by Dreimann and Orwell’s “1984”'. 13 November.

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