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The Dangers Of The Government Controlling Thought Based On 1984

2039 words - 9 pages

Many countries believe that propaganda helps to institute a necessary level of patriotism in their citizens. Most authoritarian governments, the type of government that Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell illustrates, use propaganda. However, the use of propaganda also limits the freedom of people since propaganda can control thought and speech. Propaganda can influence people to believe that their country is the best country by either exaggerating the positive events that are happening in their country or by showing negative events that are happening in other countries. Nineteen Eighty-Four is more about the dangers of the government controlling people’s thoughts by propaganda than the dangers of an authoritarian government system.
The belief that a government is always watching their citizens can control people’s thoughts and propaganda can help to establish this belief. The leader of a totalitarian government is often “omnipresent, all-knowing, larger than life and half-divine” (Roelofs 4). An omnipresent leader can institute an extreme level of obedience into the citizens of their country because the citizens may conclude that the government could determine if the citizens support most of the government’s actions by analyzing videos or other visual evidence collected by the government. The leader can force the citizens to act in a similar way to help create a sense of unity. In 1984, Big Brother is omnipresent and spies on all of the citizens of Oceania through the façade of moving eyes on the posters that say “Big Brother is watching you” (Varricchio 7). The moving eyes of Big Brother demonstrate that Big Brother watches all of the citizens of Oceania all of the time since the average citizen of Oceania is unable to determine where the moving eyes are looking at any point of time. The moving eyes also illustrate that Big Brother is watching all of the citizens of Oceania since the moving eyes are seen everywhere which may mean that Big Brother is able to watch all of the citizens of Oceania because he has a loyal group of personnel who assist him in spying on the citizens of Oceania. Winston concludes that writing a diary about his discontent of the Oceanic government may result in his “vaporization” (Orwell 19) because he is afraid that the government may spy on him through the telescreen. The Oceanic government limits the freedom of thought by spying on the Oceanic citizens. Therefore, the Oceanic citizens postulate that their thoughts can result in their death or nonexistence. The Oceanic government believes that the control of thought limits the chance of any rebellions that may result in the overthrow of the government and the Oceanic government is all about power.
Propaganda can also control people’s thoughts through the portrayal of the country and the government’s attitude to resistance. In Oceania, the movies are more propaganda than entertainment, which is typical of many authoritarian countries (Varrachio 4). ...

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