The Dangers of the Government Controlling Thought Based on 1984

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...ituation. The Oceanic government controls the thought process of all Oceanic citizens from the Inner Party members to the proles. The Oceanic citizens accept the governmental untruth because the untruth is the only thing they learn from an early age. Many governments hide the truth to make their country seem better or make another country seem worse through propaganda. The absence of truth is dangerous since people who do not know the truth want to rebel because they want to search for the truth and are not content until they find what the actual truth is. Negative images, especially ones that happen in a person’s own country, lead to a sense of worry because people want to be safe. The purpose of a government is to help people to feel safe. In Oceania, the citizens do not feel safe since the government is protecting itself instead of the Oceanic citizens.
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