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Equilibrium is the future world of 1984 where Oceania won the war
Not surprising that the similarities between these two works are common, Equilibrium could just be seen as a martial arts knock off of Orwell's masterpiece, however what if one is the future of the other?
In 1984 there are many things in the works by Big Brother and the Party that have been achieved in the Equilibrium world; for example, one main cause of the Party is to eliminate the orgasm, which has clearly been achieved in Equilibrium.
"We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' " Chapter 3, 1984
Look at Equilibrium, doesn't it seem that all of that has been achieved? We're not quite sure how reproduction is performed in the world of Equilibrium, however the fact that all sensation has been chemically removed matches up perfectly with the 1984 universe.
"Libria, I congratulate you. At last peace reigns in the heart of man. At last war is but a word whose meaning fades from our understanding. At last, we are whole. Librians, there is a disease in the heart of man. Its symptom is hate. Its symptom is anger. Its symptom is rage. Its symptom is war. The disease is human emotion. But Libria, I congratulate you, for there is a cure for this disease. At the cost of the dizzying highs of human emotion, we have suppressed its abysmal lows. And you, as a society, have embraced this cure: Prozium. Now we are at peace with ourselves and human kind is one. War is gone. Hate, a memory. We are our own conscience now, and it is this conscience that guides us to rate EC-10, for emotional content, all those things that might tempt us to feel, again, and destroy them. Librians, you have won. Against all odds, and your own natures. You, have, survived"
Even the operation of the Party is consistent in Equilibrium
In 1984 all possible resources are put into protecting the oppression of the people, and Prozium was the tool to which the party aimed for.
Once the enemy was defeated, despite the book's claim that the war would be never ending, there was no need to even have the basic emotion of hatred. The family unit in Equilibrium is artificial, and we see how easily the Thought Police AKA Grammaton Clerics are able to assess the minds of those with false thoughts and emotions.
In 1984 Big Brother is paraded on the screens wherever possible, as is the case in Equilibrium - the two are so identical that you could clean up the streets of the 1984 movie, apply for slightly more advanced technology, alter the clothing, and you'd be left with the exact same world.
So why isn't there mention of the old Party, Big Brother or past events in Equilibrium?
Simple: by that point in time the party were successful in erasing paper documents which put into question the false truths of the Party, and as the world moved into computer era, the ability to delete people, information and new was so simple that human history was remove. The removal of emotion destroyed any urge to know about the past or compare it - the people of Equilibrium did not know if what they had was good or worse than previous.
"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened — that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?" 1984, Chapter 3
"The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?"
It could also be argued that the American side of Oceania had its own version of Big Brother known as father which was the American doppelganger used to make Americans feel as though they were the centre of the Party, as was the case in London.
The war of 1984 turned nuclear, it's not hard to imagine. We know that 1984 is set after World War II, where clearly nuclear weapons were used. Russia AKA Eurasia was another nuclear powerhouse. At one point in the universe, the need to maintain a constant war faded and all hell broke lose, leading to the true World War III:
"In the first years of the 21st century, a third World War broke out. Those of us who survived knew mankind could never survive a fourth; that our own volatile natures could simply no longer be risked. So we have created a new arm of the law: The Grammaton Cleric, whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man's inhumanity to man - his ability to feel."
"He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed."
Hoped you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully there is enough evidence to support my claim.