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1984- Researched Essay

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Conner Woods

10/21/14

Period 3

1984- Researched Essay

                Can you really control the thoughts of an entire society? Winston Smith, protagonist of the novel 1984 by George Orwell, was living in an oppressive society with thoughts controlled by the government. Winston was considered a thought criminal for thinking against the government and for keeping his thoughts in a journal. Winston meets Julia who also thinks the ways of Winston. The two of them were going to rebel against the government with a group called the brotherhood. The Brotherhood was created to go against the government, but in the end they went against Julia and Winston to torture them and brainwash them into perfect party members. The persuasive techniques used by the government are bandwagon, red herring, and reasoning to gain the citizen’s trust in this inhumane society

        George Orwell used bandwagon to persuade the citizens into trusting the government’s control. The government is making people fall under their control by making one person subjected to being a great party member and others will follow. It is like the metaphorical ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ which goes back to the Wild West where they jumped on the wagons to get rides to the west.. In an article by Ralph A. Ranald, he states a point saying that the “communication consists in the imposition of an insane view of reality by the strong few upon the weak many, through overwhelming force”(251). To summarize his thoughts   he is saying that even an insane view that is believed by the strong will be mimicked by the weak. During a time called ‘hate week’ people would shout words to the crowd to get them fired up about the war. The reason for their shouting is that at a time of war, they would be more devoted to the country. Bandwagon was used throughout the novel to gain control of the citizens.

        A persuasive technique used in 1984 by the government was red herring. Red herring is a topic or statement introduced to distract the reader from the central issue. The idea was introduced in Book One which was at the place Winston worked. Winston’s job was to rewrite history to make the government sound good. “We the party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?”(204-205 Orwell). They literally go out and say that they control the citizens and the population. James Davis states that “Big Brother manipulates the society and controls reality corrupting language” (207) The technique of red herring is very effective and utilized by the government to suppress their thoughts.

        In 1984, the concept of reasoning is used in the novel. Reasons are explaining to the reader and should accept the opinion is valid. An example of this used by the government to control the people is the fact they inform you that ‘Big Brother’ is watching you at all times. He is able to watch the citizens by using telescreens. The telescreens are supposed to be and stay on at all times (Orwell 2). These telescreens would try and catch people with thoughtcrime. Critic Kathleen Fitzpatrick proposes the idea that there “was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime. Desire is thoughtcrime in ocean because it elevates the human, the individual, above powers of state to control them”(PG###). Basically she is saying that they need to stop the thoughtcrime to control the people and you can’t without reducing crime. The persuasive techniques of reason is used by the government because they are saying that thinking badly against the government is thoughtcrime and any individual with disobeys the rule will be punished.

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