George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, two of England’s foremost literary figures of the last century, each wrote a compelling description of a future dystopia, both of them nightmare visions of society totally under the control of a ruling clique whose only purpose is the enjoyment of power. In Orwell’s 1984 the ruling tyrant is named Big Brother and is clearly modelled on Stalin, whilst in Huxley’s Brave New World the ruler is known as the Director, a character somewhat less sinister and brutal than Orwell’s Big Brother. The two books are of course very different. Brave New World is a black comedy, which does actually make us laugh, whereas there is absolutely nothing funny about 1984. Nonetheless, there are similarities between the two, and both men can be said to have accurately predicted certain specific features of the world we now inhabit.
Who is the winner? You decide: