him at Eton. However, Orwell is as much drawing on the same tradition as Huxley as he is taking his impetus from Brave New World itself.

For the Ancients, the Golden Age was a time before history. In their turn The Renaissance harked back to the world of the Ancients, and as the rise of capitalism, science, and industry cast a shadow over the world, some Utopian thinkers once again looked to a time before 'civilisation': Jean-Jacques Rousseau, later Henry David Thoreau, and in our time elements in the environmentalist movement. It is no coincidence that Winston dreams of the 'Golden Country' - a pure and idyllic place amongst nature away from the drudgery and fear of life in the city. And meeting with Julia in the woods outside London, Winston feels he has found his Golden Country.

However, unlike its predecessors, and inspired by the Nineteenth Century's love affair with the concept of progress and a better tomorrow, early Twentieth Century Utopianism envisaged a Golden Age that was yet to arrive - that ever hopeful country of tomorrow. A key voice in this movement was H.G. Wells, who, though he drew Dystopian as well as Utopian visions of the future, was still preoccupied with the idea of positive social and scientific progress. But the First World War was to deal a savage blow to such optimistic visions of the world, and the brief period of prosperity that followed was washed away in the anxiety and collapse of the nineteen-thirties, until regimes arose in the real world that seemed as negative and frightening as any in fiction. It was against his backdrop, that new visions of Dystopian futures arose.

As a child Orwell was fascinated by H.G. Wells' Modern Utopia, and long held ambitions to write something along similar lines. He was also introduced to Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (1921), and in 1944 said to a friend 'I am interested in that kind of book, and even keep making notes for one myself that may get written sooner or later'. Interestingly, the widely suggested influence of We on Brave New World was denied by Huxley. However, it is undeniable that there are resonances of Brave New World in Nineteen Eighty-Four: themes of political freedom versus an ordered and hierarchical society, the control of human destiny, the monopoly of a totalitarian system on truth and right. But while Huxley's world is a totalitarianism of science, Oceana is a society apparently bereft of much scientific progress: it is Orwell's deliberate negation of the post-war utopianism of a shining future of technological innovation.

There is also a certain connection between Winston Smith and Huxley's protagonist Bernard Marx. They are both aberrations in the system, men of imperfection unable to reconcile themselves with the world in which they find themselves. However, it is important to see Winston Smith as much as a descendent of Orwell's earlier characters, and indeed Orwell himself. Notable is the figure of Gordon Comstock, hero (again, a not particularly heroic one) of Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), who pursues a despondent and ultimately futile rebellion against the 'money-god' before, like Winston, learning to embrace the system. "We are the dead," is Winston's mantra for his place as a powerless dissident from a society of conformity, a sentiment heard in Comstock's thoughts. And through Comstock, Orwell recognises that advanced capitalism is itself a form of totalitarianism, and the slogans of advertising torment Comstock just as the slogans of the Party torment Winston. And Winston, despite his contempt for the Party, is very good at his job in the Ministry of Truth, just as Comstock is an excellent copywriter, despite loathing the language of advertisements. Furthermore, Winston's encounters with the 'proles' recall not only Orwell's time in Paris and London, but also the experiences Comstock, (as well as those of Dorothy in A Clergyman's Daughter (1935), who finds herself living in poverty following a loss of memory.)

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