Power Play

Power play is the use of tactics intending to increase a person’s physical or psychological power. One tactic is the use of language. Language can be used by those in power to control the thoughts and actions of individuals. This control can be seen in George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, ‘Tank Girl’ directed by Rachel Talalay and Anita Heiss’ poem ‘What is The Spirit of Australia?’ All three texts illustrate the various ways that language can be used to manipulate the thoughts and actions of others.

George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ is strongly based around the media of Oceania. This is because the media is one method the Inner-Party uses to control the members of its society. One technique of the media is intimidation. This can be seen on page four of the novel when the reader is being introduced to the city of Oceania. “The black-moustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. Big Brother is Watching You, the caption said, while dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own.”   This example shows how the media intimidated residents into submission. This can be seen through the use of the adjective ‘dark’ when describing Big brothers eyes and the description of the text on the poster, ‘Big Brother is Watching You’. Both of these are intimidating features of the poster which insure that residents know that nothing they do will go unnoticed. This example shows the strong influence language has on the individual. Another example of the Party’s use of the media is through their slogan. This slogan tells the people of Oceania to believe in contradictions. Although it does not make sense they have been told to trust it so they do. This slogan can be found on page 6 of the novel, ‘War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength’. The use of the oxymoron throughout this slogan forces the residents of Oceania to accept these contradictions. This also makes them accept that the way...
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