Raskolnikov. The Russian in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. He kills the annoying hated pawnbroker of the town. He was able to kill her because he was above the law, like Batman the vigilante. This gave him a strange boldness. He became obsessed with the crime he committed and finally told the world what he did.
Raskolnikov’s reality was that of pain, fear, and obsession. Artists make their own perceptions of reality. They perceive the world through their craft. Their world is viewed through a vision of beauty. In some cases, you will have the “troubled” artist. They may be bipolar and have their work be inspired by their pain.
Obsession is what artists feel. When they can’t go to sleep because they’re busy thinking or even making art! Their mind is pulsing with ideas as they refine their craft and practice what they love. Artists see beauty in many things. For example, a macro photographer finds beauty in small things. All artists don’t let other people decide what is beautiful to them. No one else can tell you what is beautiful!
This reality of freedom for artists is not the case in the novel 1984. The government surveyed and controlled their population. They had the thought police to stomp out revolution and creativity. In Equilibrium, art and music do not have value. Beauty does not have value. The government destroys things that give us feeling and provoke emotions. The premise of the movie is that extreme emotions are the root of ALL evil and cause wars.
In Equilibrium and 1984, each main character breaks out of the imposed reality. They don’t only try to make the world beautiful for themselves. Their own ART of rebellion is made to make the world beautiful for all. In our culture, we don’t let others decide what has value. We decide as individuals, because our reality is ours to keep. We can see life from the eyes of a bug to a bird. Those in charge can’t change what you find to be beautiful.
PS – Those books I listed are my favorite books! I love the scary governmental control of 1984, and the thrilling suspense of Crime and Punishment