In his book 1984, George Orwell coined the term “double think” to explain the logical or rhetorical fallacy of brainwashing people by propaganda, self-contradictory arguments such as “war is peace” or “slavery is a democracy,” and other inconsistent and dishonest government policies. Today, the public trusts the media, and as a result, the media can easily exploit members of the public, especially children who are subjected to it, because people consider the media to be a credible source of knowledge. The idea of Orwellian double thought shows characters who, like the present generation, have been enslaved by the media. Mass media has influenced children from reality in the form of mind control. This paper will seek to reinforce this statement through the book “Nineteen Eighty Four”, written by George Orwell, and other sources.
Orwell novel was an extreme prediction of future events. He believed that brainwashing was influenced by the words disseminated through television screens, newspapers and magazines. Every day the television screens share a lot of propaganda which children listen to intently. They are constantly exposed to political propaganda, publicity and hate speech. The people in 1894 also experienced the same feeling while cheering for ‘good news’ but raging with anger when ‘bad news’ was revealed. According to Orwell, the media relied on the principle of repetition of information which eventually becomes the acceptable truth. Rahv (183) also believes that the book was essential because it engaged powerfully with the present while displaying politicians’ ability to manipulate history using written language. Similarly, the politicians and the media in the present have established ways of concealing the truth using hidden language.
Orwell illustrates how politicians deceive the defenseless villages and millions of peasants causing population transfers (148). In addition, Woodcock makes reference to modern English used by editors, radio presenters, and speakers of the congress” as heavily “reliant on ready-made phrases” (92), just like Orwell predicted. The key feature that enables brainwashing in these television shows aired today is the transformation of the self into a collective. In “Falling Skies,” when children are linked by a harness, they share their thoughts. More famously, in “Star Trek,” the fictional alien race the Borg subsumes those they conquer into a hive mind. This seems to mirror a fear Americans have of losing their individuality to collective thinking and acting. I think that cognitive research points to a more collection of the self. Viewers have different perceptions of the negative and positive values of these shows. Mind control is viewed in a negative light, and individuals are perceived to be weak if their minds can be controlled .Moreover, the advertising agencies today use similar tactics and language manipulation to promote the rapidly growing industry.
Orwell also tries to warn people against using language to conceal truths while shaping a sense of reality that. According to Rai (122), Language shapes politics and is a key contributor to reality .Traditionally language is used to expand horizons while improving understanding Orwell’s demonstrates how words can be used maliciously against human consciousness” (Rahv, 182).Continuous alteration was effected in all forms of communication newspapers, books and posters. The media uses all sorts of different methods to entice our children. From many different social media sites, all the way to the early Saturday morning cartoons without ceasing.
When a person’s mind is taken over by someone else or their actions are controlled through deception or false information. This list contains movies and television shows in which mind control and brainwashing are demonstrated in popular culture. Fictional television shows such as “Dollhouse,” “Falling Skies,” and “Homeland” typically sketches the mind. Like a storehouse filled with memories, the mind can be induced to hold new thoughts, or have them replaced entirely. As Walter Bishop, the lead scientist in “Fringe,” says in one episode, “The brain is a computer, it’s an organic computer. It can be hijacked like any other.”
In the same way, the antagonist Big Brother Party ensured that all the prediction made by the party was considered correct notwithstanding the lack of documentary evidence. Opinions expressed in conflict with the party’s interest were immediately suppressed (42).Just like other literary scholars George Orwell was particularly interested in the modern English. He vigilantly unmasked the power that language has over the truth in politics and misleading the people, as he attempted to create public awareness. He accomplished this by greatly focusing on News and media, unfolding a society that dared not question the obedience to the government or the spread of propaganda. At the time, language was used to control the minds of the subjects, with the destroying the any personal will or imagination. The people’s wants were conditioned by the media’s influence of dictating their preferences in all matters. Media bias favored them by targeting gullible audiences like conservatives or liberals with vague and mixed political messages. People tried to prevent the language misappropriation, however, the nineteen eight four government sort to cutback the Newspeak vocabulary. One reporter claimed that “we’re cutting the language down to the bone; Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year” (55).
Certainly, in the novel 1984 media controlled people’s thoughts and views. The Big Brother Party hid the truth from the people distorting their existing reality. Orwell says “language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” (150).Evidently, the media under the influence of the party referred to the Ministries using certain terminologies that were meant to conceal the truth. For instance , The Truth ministry kept falsifying government records, while the Peace Ministry dealt with war .The love Ministry filled people with fear (6) because suspected criminals where questioned and tortured here. Likewise, The Plenty Ministry fabricated economic wellbeing amidst the commodity shortages during the war.
Today’s generation of children has been greatly brainwashed by the media. Haven’t you ever heard a child say look mommy,” look at the T.V. that’s the toy that I want”? Or while watching television and some commercial pops up of Toys R Us or Wal-Mart, and one tries to hurry up and change the channel just to find an even more eye-catching advertisement? Through commercials, advertisements, and including the good old video games those children and the youth are being targeted in some sort of brain washing scheme. That is why they target the children; reason being is the younger generation will be the future of our great nation. Children do not see things as weak or strong except when it comes to their favorite superhero like Wonder Woman, Shera, Batman and Robin, and Joker all that gives children false illusions of what reality is, the media’s way of brain washing them. By letting someone believe that they could achieve such great powers if they just get a supernatural encounter.
Indeed, the book “1984” speaks of the government as Big Brother and that Big Brother is constantly watching everyone. As one of Big Brothers many rules are,” everyone is to leave their televisions on always”. The government is using mind control as a form of brain washing through the Television, Computers and Cameras. Big Brother would manipulate everyone into believing he had eyes and ears always watching, which the government probably is always watching the citizens.
Similar to Orwellian double thinking the media and television news channels today utilizes a lot of language manipulation. Throughout the media coverage of “Palin vs. Biden elections the news claimed that “Palin had a conservative side” and yet she is “the gaffe-prone politician” who occasionally lapses into blue judgement and lost her bid for vice-president in the 2008 election. Then it goes on to say how the winner of that same election Mr. Vice President Biden is also a blue language and speaks in a double language as well. The media likes to play with people’s emotions and enjoys the word games. The children are definitely the target of these brain wash through the media.
In conclusion, Orwell states that, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” This adage is an important system of controlling the history that is told to the children and psychological independence of the people. The government in power has complete control in the present, therefore controlling the way its subjects interprets and views the past. Doublethink is crucial to the conversion of Winston’s because he is gradually to accept Big Brother’s words as true, even though he tortures him his memories begin to fade and contradicting the traitors. The children are also influenced by the media because they believe it to be superior in both thoughts and accomplishments.
Orwell, George, Thomas Pynchon, and Erich Fromm. Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel. New York: Plume, 2003. Print.
Orwell, George. “Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1949.” The Complete Novels 7 (1990).
Rahv, Philip. The Unfuture of Utopia in Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text, Sources, Criticism. 181-5.
Rai, Alok. Orwell and the politics of despair: A critical study of the writings of George Orwell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Woodcock, George. Orwell’s Message: 1984 and the Present. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd, 1984.