The main plot twist of both Brave New World and 1984 is the ultimate reeducation of the main characters that challenge society’s norms. What essential features do dystopic teacher figures possess that facilitate reeducation? In both 1984 and Brave New World, there are various similarities in both the teacher figure’s characteristics and the general plot of the reeducation taking place. O’Brien is a member of the Inner Party in 1984; Winston Smith strongly believed that O’Brien was a member of the resistance and O’Brien used this to his benefit, double crossing Winston to reeducate him.
Winston had never been able to feel sure -even after this mornings flash of the eyes it was still impossible to be sure -whether O’Brien was a friend or enemy” (Orwell 25) The lesser characters of Brave New World, Bernard, John the Savage, and Helmholtz, were educated by Mustapha Mond later on in the book after the happening John the Savage incurred regarding soma ration. “Seven and a half hours of mild, unexhausting labour, and then the soma ration and games and runrestricted copulation and the feelies. What more can they ask for? ” (Huxley 224)
There are numerous similar characteristics both the teacher figures in 1984 and Brave New World possess. Both O’Brien and Mustapha Mond have a high ranking status in their societies. Strangely, they show some level of understanding with the characters they must reeducate, despite the giving them no flexibility in their reeducation. O’Brien connects with Winston on various levels before being exposed as loyal to the Party all along, “The boots were approaching again. The door opened. O’Brien came in. ” (Orwell 238) but it has been implied in the text that O’Brien may not have been completely acting when connecting with Winston.
Mustapha Mond also demonstrated his high level of understanding regarding how Bernard felt about the World State society, but merely chooses to reinforce the World State’s laws instead of trying to make a change. “Bring three men, he ordered and take Mr. Marx to a bedroom. Give him a good soma vaporization and then put him to bed and leave him” These subtle clues suggest that both of these teacher figures may have already been through what the characters they are trying to educate are going through throughout the text.
The way the teacher figures reeducate their targets is similar too in both books. However, in 1984, this is done intentionally while in Brave New World, it is almost a last resort in an attempt to save the lesser characters. In 1984, O’Brien lures Winston and Julia into false belief that O’Brien was part of the Resistance. He also gives them a copy of what is supposedly Goldstein’s book about the ideals before the Oceania state. “I will lend you a copy of Goldstein’s book… from which you will learn the true strategy by which we shall destroy the society we live in.
Full members of the Brotherhood have read the book. There are not many in existence, as you can imagine. The book is indestructible. If the last copy were gone, we could reproduce it almost word for word. You will return it in fourteen days. ” (Orwell Chapter 9 -10) This is very similar to Mustapha Mond telling Bernard to bring back John the Savage from the reservation, as Bernard was always a misfit in the World State society, and John the Savage was a perfect example of what the World State society seeks to abolish.
After the characters the teacher figure seeks to educate are given the opportunity to explore an ideological rebellion within their society, they are soon reeled in from their newfound freedom. In 1984, Winston and Julia’s freedom was taken away when they realized there was in fact a telescreen in their supposedly safe room. The thought police arrived and destroyed the little refuge they created for themselves under the pretense that they could actually live differently in their dystopic world. “The head of a ladder had been thrust through the window and had burst in the frame.
Someone was climbing through the window. There was a stampede of boots up the stairs. The room was full of solid men in black uniforms, with iron-shod boots on their feet and truncheons in their hands” (Orwell 222) Bernard on the other hand, realized that despite being a misfit, he would never completely understand John the Savage and instead embraced his new celebrity status, almost reintegrating with society.
This backfires when John the Savage fails to integrate as well, and eventually lands himself, Bernard as well as Helmholtz in trouble with the World State society. Very nearly whats going to happen to you young men. I was on the point of being sent to an island” (Huxley 226) When freedom has been given and taken away, that is when the real reeducation started. This is represented in 1984 through Room 101, the embodiment of rehabilitating citizens to the Oceania society. ” In Brave New World, this is not a deliberate step to reeducate Bernard, Helmholtz and John the Savage, but a coincidence meeting when they are taken to Mustapha Mond.
Mustapha sheds light on many fundamental values the World State society is created upon, while debating with them regarding whether or not all of this is worth the consequences. This reeducation is done so as the citizens receiving the teaching are either brainwashed to join together into society, or determined unfit and separated from society. Winston and Julia are great examples of successful integrations back into society as they discovered their love for society once more after their reeducation.
Bernard and Helmholtz are not so lucky in their reeducation as they chose to be exiled instead of returning to society. John the Savage managed to integrate for a brief time when he participated in the orgy, but soon after realized what he had done and because of his retained humanity, committed suicide in penance. The defining characteristics of teacher figures include their status, their mentalities toward their dystopic societies, as well as their methods in rehabilitating others into society. The similarities in 1984 and Brave New World are unmistakable and easy to draw connections from.
O’Brien and Mustapha are both teacher figures, but they also have differences in their role in context. O’Brien actively went ahead to reeducate Winston and Julia, while Mustapha ended up with the teacher figures role of reeducating others in the way of the World State society. Despite this, it is clear to see the defining characteristics of the teacher figures in a dystopic society. They are vital characters pertaining to the plot of the story and an irreplaceable source of understanding to the nature of the dystopias they serve.