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Manipulation In 1984. Essay

934 words - 4 pages

In the classic novel 1984, author George Orwell writes of a future country called Oceania in which there is nothing that the government doesn't control. By limiting the country's historical knowledge, manipulating their minds, and conditioning their bodies, Big Brother is able to undermine citizens and use them as puppets. Though American government isn't as austere as the fictitious one in 1984, there are definite parallels between Orwell's writings and today's society.In 1984, The Party is in control of every source of information, including historical events occurring in the past and the present. One day at work, the main character of the novel, Winston Smith, has to "rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother's speech in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened (pg. 35)." In other words, he must manipulate the words of an article in such a way as to not make the government appear as anything less than perfect. Winston writing in his journal daily automatically assumes that on discovering this secret diary, he will surely be put to death because it is not in favor of The Party and contradicts the very belief system of Oceania. Big Brother, so in control of his country and its citizens, is able to literally rewrite history. He is able to construct the way the world was, is, and always will be by simply having the words switched in a document so that it reads more suitably. This familiar condition is seen in America on many occasions. First, so many documents and missions are marked classified and referred as "big government secrets." What could the government be hiding? Surfaced scandals, such as innocent civilians being killed and secret bombings during the Gulf War, having information on terrorist attacks before the event occurs, and hidden documents about flawed big business industries, have shown Americans that not only is our government not perfect, but that they believe that us knowing about it would be similar to the end of the world. Wars, economic situations, even white house scandals are hidden from us so that we will better trust are government, making it easier for American government to tell us what we want to hear, true or not. Big Brother and our government alike are convinced that government control begins with limiting and controlling the knowledge of the citizens.Psychological manipulation is another very important aspect of Big Brother's existence in the novel. "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU" is seen everywhere. Scared senseless by this constant reminder, citizens are convinced that every move they make could be questionable so not following the rules is not even an option. "[During the Two Minutes Hate] a hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture...seemed to flow through the...

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