A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Comparative Essay on ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’

By Alex Jul11,2024
A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Comparative Essay on '1984' and 'Brave New World'

Lit majors spend the majority of their time comparing two literary works. 

So, writing a comparative essay should not be out of your expertise. Now, when was the last time you read 1984? Do you even remember what happens in Brave New World? Before you start comparing and contrasting these works, read the books! 

Don’t have time to spare for reading? 

Well, consider hiring an English literature essay writing service to get a professional to summarize the main points of the books so that it’s easier for you to follow along with this step-by-step guide.

1. Make a List of the Similarities and Dissimilarities

Ask any expert from MyAssignmenthelp.com offering essay writing help, “How can I remember all the points of similarities and dissimilarities?” they’ll tell you – 

“Just use a table!” 

Here’s a simple example that you can follow:

1984Brave New World
SimilaritiesCitizens are loyal to the authority.Government control is present.A special department spreads propaganda.The society follows a totalitarian state.Citizens are loyal to the authority.Government control is present.A special department spreads propaganda.The society follows a totalitarian state.
DissimilaritiesPeople are raised by their parents.Government controls using fear.Government presence is all-encompassing.People are created and raised by the government.Government controls using pleasure.Government presence is less.

As you make this list, ask yourself the following questions – 

  • What’s the main goal of this comparison essay?
  • What major areas does your professor want you to highlight?
  • How can you fit the themes to the topics that you’ve already covered in class?

Remember that the timeline matters a lot for a comparative study. 

  • Brave New World was published 17 years before 1984. 
  • 1984 was published post-World War II. 

Therefore, 1984 is a direct result of a time that has seen what vast destruction human beings are capable of thanks to atomic bombs. Take all these aspects into consideration when coming up with your list.

2. Decide Your Focus Area

If you consider 1984 and Brave New World, both are novels. That’s a similarity, isn’t it? However, are you really going to write an entire essay focusing on that?! It is neither informative nor interesting. Pretty much everyone knows they are novels.

Instead, it’ll be better if you direct your area of focus to the major themes in the novels. Both the stories depict dystopian societies – but is the same type of dystopia explored in both? 

Despite being different, how do Orwell’s and Huxley’s worlds have similar characteristics? 

What does this say about the authors’ views of the future?

These are the more interesting aspects that you can focus on while writing your essay.

3. Finalize Your Thesis Statement

The thesis statement of your essay creates a focused argument and allows the readers to understand what you’re trying to accomplish in your paper. Now, writing such a statement for comparative essays can be dicey. Students often end up making vague claims like – 

“Despite being set years apart, the worlds depicted in 1984 and Brave New World are quite similar in certain aspects.”

If you write something like this, questions will immediately pop up – 

  • What are the similar aspects?
  • What is the author’s stance on these similarities?

Such a generalized statement won’t do. No one will question that there are similarities in both worlds. Your thesis statement has to be more arguable.

Here’s a simple example:

“Huxley’s version of a government that strips citizens of their autonomy using pleasure is a more fearful future than Orwell’s version where the government rules using fear.”

This thesis statement is more specific and makes the author’s stance clear.

4. Arrange Your Ideas

There are two ways in which you can frame your comparative essay – 

  • Subject-by-subject
  • Topic-by-topic

Now, following the first option for this topic means you dedicate the first half of the entire essay to discussing all the major points you’ve noted for either 1984 or Brave New World. Then, in the second half, you discuss the points for the other book. The problem with this is that you’re leaving it up to the reader to figure out the similarities or differences by reading through all the points.

Professors usually discourage students from opting for this option.

So, the best option is to take one point of similarity and cover both the books while discussing it. This makes it easier for the readers to follow along. For example, if you’re discussing the point of identity, you can discuss how the citizens in 1984 are more likely to have individual identity since they are born naturally and raised by their parents. On the contrary, the people in Brave New World are artificially born and raised by the system, thus eliminating any chances of them having individual identities.

In conclusion,

A comparative essay focusing on 1984 and Brave New World can cover various themes like loyalty, individuality, propaganda, and more. There are so many things you can discuss! If need be, you can always get professionals to help you with the research. Good luck!

By Alex

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