In dystopian novels, authors use propaganda in the dystopia to show how the citizens of the nation can be controlled. The leaders use propaganda to prove that they are in control of everything that goes on. When those who are in control of a dystopia (or think they are in control) use propaganda, they want to show the populace that they are the ones who call the shots and that they are the ones who are always right.
Propaganda is prevalent throughout the novel 1984, written by George Orwell, in which “Big Brother” always watches them. In this novel, the citizens watch telescreens, which seem to be omnipresent. They are told what to think, which further proves that this novel is a dystopia because the citizens’ feeling and thoughts are controlled, taking away freedom of speech. In 1984, the citizens cannot turn the telescreens off, so the propaganda coming from the screens is always being put into the citizens’ heads. The screens are always giving new information about rebels and what happens to them to try and scare the citizens into believing the government.
Not only do the words in the propaganda tell the citizens how to think, but they also play patriotic music to make what they say seem better for the nation. Even though the information being put on the screens isn’t necessarily right for Oceania, the government makes the citizens feel like it is. Since propaganda is such a major part of 1984, the citizens have no time to plot against the government or to think for themselves. If the citizens even react weird or dissatisfied with the propaganda on the screens, they could be labeled as troublemakers and get in serious trouble. The idea that “Big Brother is watching you” inflicts fear in the citizens, and it enables the dystopian government to control the citizens through propaganda on the screens (Orwell).
Orwell, George. 1984. New American Library, 1950.