Take a second to think about the word propaganda. What comes to mind? Do events such as World War II or The Cold War? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, propaganda is a noun which means “the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.” In other words, propaganda, in this particular definition, is viewed as the deliberate transmission of an idea or document that a group of people believe in. This definition suits the description of propaganda in the novel 1984 by George Orwell. The Inner Party is pushing the concept of “Big Brother,” the ultimate leader. But words can have multiple meanings and can leave room for interpretation. In an alternate definition, from The Analysis of Propaganda by W. Hummell and K. Huntress, propaganda is defined in a different manner:
“Propaganda means any attempt to persuade anyone to a belief or to form an action. We live our lives surrounded by propaganda; we create enormous amounts of it ourselves; and we form most of all our cherished beliefs with its aid.” (Heinen 42)
With this definition, one can infer that any act of changing another’s point of view is considered a form of propaganda. The latter definition is more accurate.
If every act of influence in another’s decisions is considered to be propaganda, then it has more of a hold on society then one can believe. This concept can be applied to the previously mentioned novel, 1984. If each act was a variety of this mind control device, then every moment of a human’s life is controlled and influenced by it. A specific example of this is the transition to Newspeak, the new language of Oceania. If the government were able to manipulate a language, the minds of hundreds of thousands of humans could be easily controlled. By limiting the vocabulary one has to think and to speak with, it is hard to explain complex...