Gattaca, as a dystopian story, has more in common with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World than it does with 1984. George Orwell's novel is a projection into the future about the kind of absolute dictatorships that existed in his own time in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The population is under constant surveillance, there is no freedom of expression or thought, and the general condition of life is one of privation—food is poor and scanty, and the whole of London seems to have turned into a vast slum. By contrast, in Gattaca, as in Brave New World, we see a wealthy and technologically advanced society based on eugenics and genetic planning in which people's characteristics and abilities are designed from the point of conception. Unlike in 1984, there is apparently no restriction on free speech. But one could judge the society of Gattaca to lack just as much freedom because one's DNA (which is constantly checked through instant tests of blood, urine, hair, and body tissue) determines one's job and the entire trajectory of one's life. The only way Vincent (Ethan Hawke), who is genetically "defective" ("invalid" in the dystopia's parlance), can fulfill his dream of going on a space mission is through essentially "buying" the genetic identity of another man named Jerome (Jude Law). Vincent is thus, like Winston in 1984, a heretic and a rebel against the dystopia, but unlike Winston, he gets away with it. Even if Vincent's ruse were detected, there is no indication that he would suffer the kind of fate Winston does in being tortured and brainwashed. The world of Gattaca, though lacking freedom, does not appear to be based on the kind of physical cruelty we see in Orwell's story.