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1984, By George Orwell Essay

1070 words - 4 pages

It is feasible that in the future machines may be more powerful than man, to such an extent that machines control mankind, mechanizing human life. This is seen in Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano, a post-World War III society in which machines are more powerful than mankind (Ponniah 229).The Technology in 1984, by George Orwell, has a similar influence. 1984 portrays a totalitarian society, powered by the icon of Big Brother. Big Brother and his Party use many methods to keep their citizens suppressed and to give them false hopes, some of which include Thought Police and technology. One such form of technology in 1984 is the telescreen –an instrument used mainly for issuing propaganda and observing citizens. Propaganda is directed at the Party members’ emotions of safety; while the close scrutiny of the telescreen is aimed at the Party members’ sense of fear. In George Orwell’s 1984, citizens are programmed, by the Party, into instinctively subjecting themselves to Big Brother through the different uses of telescreens.
Manipulative propaganda is constantly streamed out of the telescreens to convince the citizens into presuming that the Party is improving their lifestyle. This causes the citizens to obliviously believe any report coming from the telescreen and subsequently subjugate themselves to the Party without any rational reasoning, allowing the citizens to think of Big Brother as their saviour. Propaganda is targeted at the Party members’ sentiments of contentment and security. “The phrase ‘our new, happy life’ recurred several times. [...] Parsons, his attention caught by the trumpet call, sat listening with a sort of gaping solemnity, a sort of edified boredom. He could not follow the figures, but he was aware that they were in some way a cause for satisfaction” (Orwell 58). This event occurs at the canteen in the Ministry of Truth, a department where records are altered to aid Party propaganda. While Winston, Syme and Parsons are eating, an announcement plays on the telescreen reminding citizens of the colossal improvement of life quality because of the Party. The announcement uses large numbers, most likely altered at the Ministry of Truth, to provide proof of the increasing quality of life. The Party targets the citizens’ most basic desire –a happy and prosperous life. This false belief of an improved lifestyle leads Party members into thinking that their benefit lays within the trust of Big Brother. Even those who do not accept this at first are manipulated into believing these inaccurate claims through the repeated display of this information. Parsons, a typical Party member, is seen to be so intrigued yet clueless about what he is being told. He realizes that he should be happy but has no awareness as to why he should. This shows that the telescreens, by issuing emotional propaganda, help the Party to formulate its citizens into absent-mindedly conforming to Big Brother and his ideologies. Propaganda, specifically emotional propaganda,...

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