Contexts of Metropolis and 1984

Topics: World War II, World War I, Soviet Union Pages: 6 (1287 words) Published: May 5, 2015
Contexts of Metropolis and 1984


Russian revolution, November 1917
Socialists led by Lenin and Trotsky overthrow imperial order and execute Tsar and his family in July 1918 Revolutionary socialism seen as alternate political system to capitalism Huge amount of mutinies and strikes especially from the army who were weakened from war with Germany and did not feel like they had the capacity to shut down the outbreak Socialists had support from lower classes and political left with the Provisional Government holding state power leading to a period of dual power ensuing

World War I
Germany had to pay off large amounts of reparations money and debt as a result of its defeat in WWI Workers suffered as the ones who had to labour hard to keep Germany from falling while the rich were hedonist Social crisis- Kaiser and traditional authority rejected, democracy seen as way forward but only experimented with rather than fully integrated Opposing views: capitalism and communism

Rise of Soviet Russia and its Influence on Germany
Geographical proximity to Germany- socialist revolution was a continuous issue The workers and upper class despite being segregated, are actually quite close to each other in terms of location Inspired a socialist revolution in Germany which failed

Weimar Republic (established 1919) saw many political extremes and political violence Traditional authorities were rejected: democracy was experimented with, including a democratic national assembly and a new constitution

Social Unrest in Weimar Republic from Revolution
Economic misery followed World War One
Rise of labour movements and unions in the 1920s due to oppressive working conditions Exploitation of workers (e.g. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911) November Revolution (1918-1919)
Inspired by Revolutions in Russia
A need for the for the workers to take control after decades of an oppressed lower class with the higher classes being the ones educated and in control In March 1920, the Kapp Putsch that aimed to set up a new government as the rebels were angry at them for signing the Treaty of Versailles. “Backstabbed by the politicians”

Nationalist terror groups assassinated 356 government politicians

Rise of Nationalism and the Nazi Party/Hitler
Nationalism Socialist German Worker's Party, anti-Russian and very nationalistic Represented main force opposing socialist revolution
1924, Hitler attempted coup but imprisoned
Mein Kampf written while Hitler was imprisoned
May 1925 to October 1926, rise of Hitler coincides with making of Metropolis 1929, referendum for "Law Against the Enslavement of the German People" (halting reparations payments) wasn't passed, but attention and support of Hitler and the Nazis gained

Rise of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago
Modern Capitalism and Marxist thinking combined
Hugo Stinnes
Wealthy Industrialist
Intro of 8 hour working day
Acquired newspapers and created a monopoly media like influence over the people Reparations and hyperinflation
Larger wealth gap between poor and rich. Big industrialists could pay off debt quickly despite the hyperinflation and worthlessness of the currency

Growth of German cinema during Weimar period
Hollywood afraid of Weimar cinema as better quality than Hollywood films Films such as:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Dr Mabuse the Gambler
Heavy use of Expressionism
Also Modernist aspects such as the architecture in Metropolis Judaeo-Christian imagery used
Garden of Eden
Tower of Babel
Coming of Christ
Whore of Babylon
Seven Deadly Sins


Political Context pre-World War Two
Rise of totalitarianism in1930s especially in Europe
All dictators
Huge purges
Dangers of absolute political authority in an age of advanced technology Orwell describes their regimes as filled with ‘ nightmarish atrocities’ during his time in Spain...
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