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“Good Night And Good Luck:” An Allegory For Fear

893 words - 4 pages

"Good Night and Good Luck:" An Allegory for FearThe American drama film Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney and released in 2005, could be argued to be an allegory for the social climate of the time period. It was during this time that the American people feared threats of terrorism specifically from the Middle East. This heightened sense of fear allowed the government and media to do what they do best, manipulate. Similar to the social climate of 2005, the film Good Night and Good Luck was set during the 1950's where the ideas of a communist agenda drove waves of paranoia throughout our nation allowing the government and media to exploit the common man and strip him of his rights. It's evident that in both situations the government used this mass hysteria to manipulate the media and strengthen control over its people.The first component that ties these time periods together is the media. The entire film Good Night and Good Luck is about the CBS new station and their struggle to expose to the citizens what was really going on behind the government curtain. The main character of the film, Edward R. Murrow, who was an actual CBS news reporter of that time, knew the power of the media. He understood that he had an obligation to show the people of America what was really happening within their country. He understood that Americans were wealthy, comfortable, and compliant people who only wanted their television to be a form of escape. People don't like to hear the truth, especially if it's painful or menacing in any way. However, he stood up to those ideals and gave the people what they needed. In relation to the political and social climate of 2005, the media was used in a very similar, yet different way. The people of America began to understand the need for informative media, but in contrast to the media in the film, the media of 2005 was exposing only the harshest truths, yet not reporting on some equally important information. This bias exposure of current events led to a mass hysteria. In both situations, American government was influencing its people into a heightened sense of paranoia through use of the media. This fear along with biased media influence leads me to my next point.Fear is one of the strongest, most compelling human emotions. This mass fear is what allowed the media to influence us the way the government wanted. In both situations fear is instilled through the media, pushing Americans against one common enemy. The media paints a very clear...

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