Propaganda in 1984
Autor: Zomby • July 19, 2011 • Essay • 1,219 Words (5 Pages) • 5,934 Views
"By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise" (Ferry, 19). This quote was shared by the famous dictator, Adolf Hitler. In the book 1984, the Inner Party uses propaganda as a means of enforcing its viewpoints on the citizens of Oceania. Hitler used this same approach in order to control the German population's thoughts about the Jewish people. 1984 is a book about a dictatorship that controls its civilians through the means of propaganda, close monitoring and thought control. Those who try to rebel are tortured and brainwashed into conforming to the Party's beliefs. Propaganda is defined as the organized dissemination of information and allegations, to assist or damage the cause of government, movement, and etcetera (Dictionary.com). 1984 has many uses of propaganda in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. These examples show how the Inner Party is able to maintain power and control over its party members.
In the first part of the book, Orwell describes the characteristics and the social attributes of Oceania. Winston describes Oceania when looking through a window, stating "the world was cold" (Orwell, 4). Other than the literal sense of something cold, a symbolic approach can be associated with someone who lacks personality or feels or expresses little emotion. The people of Oceania are constantly brainwashed by means of propaganda and restriction of their vocabulary. When Winston is looking outside his window, he is not necessarily referring to the weather as being cold; but, the people of Oceania as lacking in personality and thought, rendering them as uniform robots.
At one point in the novel, Winston visits the Parsons' place, when asked by Mrs. Parsons, to help with a sink blockage. When describing the Parsons' apartment, Winston notices something: "on the walls were... full-sized banner of Big-Brother" (Orwell, 27). Contrary to Winston's apartment, the Parsons choose to display Party paraphernalia. The Parsons are a perfect analogy of the brainwashed society; Mr. Parsons actively speaks in 'Newspeak' when he can and is proud that his children are active spies. This family caters to the Party by promoting their lifestyle by means of propaganda imposed by the Party.
In the novel, the Proletarians account for "85 percent of the population" (Orwell, 89); however, they are not under surveillance or controlled like the members of the party. A slogan of the party states "Proles and animals are free" (Orwell, 92).The slogan relates the proletarians to animals; therefore, they are not classified as 'human' in the eyes of the party. Since the proletarians are the working class, they are not viewed as a threat to power. The Inner Party only has a vested interest in the Party members because they are considered the 'rich' population of Oceania; money equals power. These examples illustrate how the Inner Party needs to maintain power and control through propaganda.
Part Two of the story demonstrates other forms of propaganda that are used to control the masses of Oceania. The first example is the telescreens that are used to deliver propaganda to the Party members. "The new tune which was to be the theme-song... but resembled the beating of a drum" (Orwell, 187). The music is coming from a telescreen and the reference to the beating drum is a metaphor that illustrates an impending doom that could be interpreted as an attempt to place the Party members in a trance.
During Hate Week performances, the Inner Party displays various forms of propaganda that stimulate emotions of hate throughout the Party. "A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London... even outnumbering the portraits of Big Brother" (Orwell,