George Orwell wrote the book 1984 as a warning to the people in the future. Orwell opened the people’s eyes to the way the government controls the people by torture and control of information and language. Also, the government controls by war and fear, brainwashing, propaganda, and several other evils. One of the major ways the government controlled the people in the book was by propaganda. Propaganda is the information, ideas, or rumors intentionally spread widely to help or harm a person, group, nation, etc. In 1984, George Orwell warns us about the use of propaganda by government to control people.
The propaganda used by the government in 1984, during the time period of the book, and today is used to keep the government in control, to force people to think in one way and to make the citizens think what the government wants them to. Propaganda is selective information that is given for many different reasons. Governments tend to use this method to stay in control. In 1984, the Party uses fake messages to stay in control and make the people of Oceania think they are doing well for their nation. A message given by the government was “Attention!
Your attention, please! A newsflash has arrived from the Malabar front at this moment. Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory. I am authorized to say that the action we are now reporting may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end. Here is the newsflash-” (Orwell 25-26). In this situation, the Party told the citizens the war is over and they have won. Little do the citizens know, there was never a war happening. The government told the people this lie so that the people would gain hope and believe they are safe.
All throughout the “war” the people of Oceania were sending food to who they thought were the soldiers fighting for their country but all the food really went to the Party. Just like the Party in 1984, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis told their people dishonest information to stay in control. Hitler and his soldiers forced prisoners to send false material back to their loved ones. “Concentration camp and killing center officials compelled prisoners, many of whom would soon die in gas chambers, to send postcards home stating that they were being treated well and living in good conditions,” (“Holocaust History” OL).
Hitler uses propaganda to cover up mass murders and to make the people back home believe that the ones they love are safe. While the family and friends of these innocent people had no worries, the unfortunate prisoners at the concentration camps were suffering and were being tortured to death. Due to the threat of being killed on the spot, the prisoners were forced to write only good things in their letters that were sent to their families. Today, governments still use propaganda to stay in control. Recently, President Barack Obama used propaganda to defend himself and assure his people would not go against him.
When there was a United States ambassador stationed at an embassy in Libya, Obama knew that his people were in danger but did not send troops to Libya to protect the United States citizens. “Romney went on to say that he wanted to ‘get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror’” (“Due Diligence: Did Obama Initially Deem Libya Attacks a Terrorist Act? ” OL). The president knew that the attack at the embassy in Libya was an act of terror for fourteen days and did not announce it to the people of the United States.
Obama was guilty because he did not send troops to protect his staff members in the embassy and the members were being attacked by the terrorist group, al-Qaeda. Obama wanted to cover up his mistake so he pretended he did not know that the attack was a terrorist attack. Barack Obama lied to his people and told them that what happened was not an act of terror. Propaganda has been used by governments for many years and a purpose for using it is for the government to keep their power. Governments also use propaganda to get their people to think in certain ways.
George Orwell demonstrates the use of propaganda this way in 1984 by showing how the Party forced the people of Oceania into believing what they told them because the citizens had no choice whether to listen to the Party or not. “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in,” (Orwell 14). The citizens of Oceania are forced to go to the Two Minutes Hate where they are taught about the war and they listen to speeches by Goldstein that are fabricated.
The people are not told that these speeches are false but are told to listen to everything Goldstein has to say. In the time period when 1984 was written, Hitler and the Nazis did whatever it took to brainwash the people with propaganda. “If they didn’t follow the propaganda they were punished and were brainwashed to believe that Hitler and the Nazis were right,” (“Holocaust History” OL). Hitler did not care what kind of information he was sending out as long as the people believed what he was saying.
If they did not follow it, the punishment given to them was strict and made them obedient to Hitler in order to avoid the harsh punishments. US President Barack Obama has promised to do whatever is necessary to protect US citizens abroad and said he was urging foreign governments to guarantee their security,” (Bowen OL). Obama knew that the lives of his people were in danger. He knew that he should have sent troops over to Libya to protect the people of the United States. Although, Obama had said he would do whatever was necessary to protect his citizens, he did not. When Obama didn’t send troops to Libya for protection, four embassy staff members from the United States were killed including ambassador Chris Stevens.
Governments tend to lie to their citizens without them knowing, which forces to them to believe what they are being told. Propaganda is used by governments to make their citizens believe only what they want them to believe. In 1984 the Party used different slogans to make the people think what they wanted the people to think. The party is trying to convince the people of Oceania that what they want is what they already have. They do not want freedom because it is slavery.
If they were free they would not be happy and would not live the way they do. The citizens are forced to believe that war is peace and that being unaware of what is going on is strength. The government in 1984 assures people will believe the government so there is no way they will rebel against them. During the Holocaust, Hitler used media that all the German citizens saw to persuade them with his opinion. “Newspapers in Germany, above all Der Sturmer (The Attacker), printed cartoons that used anti-Semitic caricatures to depict Jews,” (“Holocaust History” OL).
All German citizens and soldiers were told such harsh things about the Jews who in reality did nothing wrong. Hitler used everything he could in order to voice his opinion. Once the people started seeing this horrible media, they actually began to believe it. The Jews were tortured for the longest time for someone’s opinion that people began to believe for no reason. Still today, governments try and control their people’s minds by giving false information. The government’s lies are what get the citizens to believe what they tell the people of their country.
Propaganda has been used all around the world for several years. George Orwell used his novel, 1984, as a warning to show the future how propaganda is utilized by the government. The administrations use methods like propaganda in order to keep their control, get their citizens to think in one way, and to make their people believe in the government. In 1984 the Party feeds the people information in the form of propaganda which they want their citizens to believe. They do this in order to stay in control and so that the people have no reason to rebel against them.
Just as the Party does in 1984, Hitler tells Germany and people all over the world false information so that they think what he is doing is morally right. He advertises his opinion everywhere and eventually people catch on and start believing it also. President Obama also gave his United States citizens false information so they would think he was doing the correct thing and so his people would not go against him. George Orwell portrayed the use of propaganda in his novel, 1984, very accurately as we can see the propaganda that is still used by governments today.