What are some key similarities and differences between 1984 and The Truman Show? I would really appreciate specific examples. I need help with the ideas and concepts and examples. Once given the examples I will be able to write my essay.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What a great question! I might have to use this comparison the next time I teach this novel. Well, you are right in thinking that there is a lot to compare between these two texts. Firstly, both Winston Smith and Truman are in a world where pretty much there every move is observed and watched. They have no privacy whatsoever and their exterior lives are completely controlled by forces beyond their power. The only true escape they are able to engineer is interior: in their thoughts and minds.

Of course, a massive difference is that Truman at the start of the film does not know that he is under constant surveillance, and at least the powers that control his life are not malevolent in the same way that Big Brother is for Winston Smith. Both main characters try to escape or rebel against the powers that constrain them, but only Truman's rebellion is successful. 1984 offers critical comment on totalitarian regimes, whereas The Truman Show comments upon entertainment in today's world, the modern surveillance society and reality shows. Both, however, and this is the point I guess, show the consequences of limiting the freedom and the privacy of the individual.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial