Sample Literature Essays on Short Responses to a discussion post

Response 1

I concur that the “prison” in Orwell’s 1984 is the mind, as individuals in Oceania experience the “prison system” of the criminalization of radical thought. The Inner Party’s enforcement of strict rules, through the authority of the “Thought Police”, perpetrates the persecution of individualism and restricts the independence of individuals in thinking, thereby promoting the experience of imprisonment among them. This means that the relationship between the Inner Party and citizens is that of complete control and inhibition. In essence, the citizens are not free to pursue their own interests and desires, instead having to adhere to the laws and requirements of the Party, even in their thoughts. The “prisoners” in both 1984 and The Matrix serve as the sources of energy and labor for the respective systems of power, thereby illustrating the systems’ exploitation and imprisonment of the individuals.

Response 2

I concur with the writer that the freedom of human consciousness is a central factor in the concept of a “prison” in Orwell’s 1984, Escape from New York, and The Matrix. The lack of this freedom promotes a sense of confinement of the human body in a restricted scope or structure, thereby creating a “prison”. In both Orwell’s 1984 and The Matrix, imprisonment takes the form of control over individuals’ minds through fear and the compulsion to obey specific rules concerning individual thoughts. Inhibition of the thoughts and minds of individuals creates a prison through control over the ideas and minds of individuals. The authorities rewire the minds of individuals (through control over them) to exploit them and make them docile, and hence alienate them from the real or desired states of their minds. This means that the minds, ideas, and thoughts of these individuals are not their own, but rather, are subject to outside control. I concur that in their depictions of the “prison”, the texts illustrate that societies could act as, or transform into, prisons despite lacking the traditional structures or mechanisms of a prison structure when their members lack fundamental freedoms in their lives.