Manipulation In 1984 By George Orwell

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151385 Magnet English 9 Ms. Halloran June 2, 2023 The Effects of Misinformation As Explored In 1984 In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the ruling government, known as the Party, maintains total control over the citizens of Oceania primarily through means of manipulation. This is because the citizens assume that the Party is successful and inherently trustworthy. In order to strengthen its command over its citizens, The Party utilizes the powers of propaganda and misinformation which contribute to its ability to form a naive society in which there is no clear ‘truth’ whatsoever. Winston’s workplace, the Ministry of Truth, which regulates information shared to the citizens by the Party, contributes to this perpetual deception. As part …show more content…

Orwell describes the procedure by stressing the monotony of Winston’s actions, creating the impression that Winston rarely considers the implications of his role. Winston follows a routine in which “with the deep, unconscious sigh which not even the nearness of the telescreen could prevent him, [he] pulled the speakwrite towards him…and put on his spectacles” (Orwell, 37). Winston goes on to dispose of the ‘outdated’ news, as “he crumpled up the original message…and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames,” doing so “with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious,” (Page 39) which implies that this is habitual practice for Winston. Orwell indicates that misinformation can only be prevalent if the people are unaware of their contributions to a negative cause or willfully ignorant. He showcases this concept through Winston’s routine, where he substantially edits previously published articles, and the restrictions placed upon language through “Thoughtcrime,” as well as the constant surveillance through the telescreens, prevent Winston from finding fault in his own actions, so Winston (who considers himself a rebel to the Party) still falls victim to this routine. Additionally, it is part of Winston’s job to revise these articles, so his “schedule” falls under the guise of …show more content…

The ease of manipulation of the news and spreading information, which Orwell explores through the pneumatic tube in Winston’s workplace, relates to the simplicity of spreading information on social media, which is becoming increasingly prevalent, and perhaps necessary, in the modern world. This connects to a study from the University of South Carolina, which shows that because of social media’s inherent reward-based systems, users form habits in their posting methods so that they can be recognized by other users. These habits formed through social media usage are clearly a problem, shown by the study which found that “frequent, habitual users forwarded six times more fake news than occasional or new users,” so by extension, those who are more active on social media are more likely to be oblivious to the legitimacy of the news they spread, thereby contributing to a negative cause. These actions which spread fake news are akin to the actions of the characters in the novel who have become almost robotic in their preaching of the Party and its ideals. In 1984, the government exploits an already ignorant society, and if the society as a whole were non-complacent with the government’s actions, the Party would not have maintained an exponentially high level of control upon its citizens that allowed them to influence people’s thoughts and to alter truth itself. Therefore, it

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