propoganda

All posts tagged propoganda

 

Propaganda serves as a method by the government to control the flow of information to its people. It is so prevalent in dystopian societies because such governments are entirely dependent upon their complete control of their citizens. By managing the flow of information, they can shape people’s views and opinions favorably for that government.

In Ender’s Game, Propaganda is the tool of  the International Fleet, a far-reaching government instituted with cooperation from all countries for one purpose: The Protection of Mankind. Eighty years ago, the people of earth were caught off-guard against a dangerous foe, now known as the “Formics” or Buggers due to their exoskeletal appearance. The Formics were an advanced alien race, and even though Earth managed to defeat them, humans now live in fear that one day the Formics will return. Before, the Earth was on the verge of a Third World War but suddenly they all had one rallying cry that every human could share. “Never Again.”

 


 

In the Hunger Games, President Snow says “The only thing stronger than fear is hope.” Like the Capitol, The International Fleet knows this too well. As long as there is a greater enemy, the Formics, then the earth is one nation and the International Fleet is in total control. The Propaganda posters loudly declare that the Formics are their one true Enemy and they must be defeated at all costs while fostering hope that some “hero” will end the threat. Any sympathy for the Formics is crushed. They are the enemy.

It’s somewhat important to recall that the last time the Formics attacked was 80 years ago. But the International Fleet has had 80 years to convince people that they’re coming back. It’s that one unifying thread that keeps them together, the survival of humanity.

Most often, Propaganda is viewed as the tool of the weak and a largely negative thing. In most cases, it usually is. However, the International Fleet had one purpose: to keep mankind alive against a dangerous threat. Who was to know that this thread was also itself. The Formic Wars were the only thing that kept the world together. The external threat forces a pause on Earth politics so that Human Kind could survive. And when the Formics were ultimately slaughtered by Ender, the world fell back into war, proving that they needed a reason to look over their should so they had no time to look upon their neighbors. It’s not to say that propaganda is positive, only that bias is a necessary thing to hold together a Nation.

 

Citations:

Ender’s Game Trailer. www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=0MOqoRSWHCs.

Card, Orson Scott, and Alan Smithee. Enders Game. Boekerij, 2013.

Card, Orson Scott., and John Harris. Ender in Exile.  Tor, 2008.

“Los Angeles Times.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/enders-game-new-propaganda-posters-appeal-to-honor-fear/#/0.

I hate to admit it, but I first watched Catching Fire before I read any of the books, or even watched the original Hunger Games. Instead, my impression of the series before watching this movie, was shaped by what I viewed in advertisements on television or in magazines, like those for Covergirl’s Catching Fire collection or Subway’s “Fiery” subs. Everything in the media made the world of The Hunger Games seem so extravagant and lavish, however upon reading the book soon after viewing the movie, I realized this initial impression of mine, cultivated by all the marketing, was completely off from the series’ reality. The dystopian society of The Hunger Games is a mixture of extreme fear, poverty, depression, and a multitude of intimidation and corruption at the hands of the Capitol. However, the ads for the movies rarely, if it all, highlighted the uglier truth in the series. The Capitol uses this same technique as it manipulates the districts. It seeks to make the situation of Panem seem a whole lot better off than it is in actuality through an extreme amount of propaganda.

It is undeniable that propaganda plays a key role in Panem and keeping the districts in so called “order”. When the mayor reads off the history of Panem on reaping day, he lists “the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up much of the land”(Collins). The Capitol seeks to maintain its control over the districts especially on reaping day, which the day itself is plenty of a reason to spark a rebellion, as two dozen children are chosen to be killed by the Capitol. Seeing the obvious reason for potential for rebellion, the Capitol uses propaganda like this to keep the districts in check. They make it clear how worse off the citizens of Panem were before the Capitol came in control. They are making an effort to convince the citizens that with the Dark Days and rebellion, the Hunger Games is obviously the only solution to maintain this “peace”, therefore there is no need to rebel. The Capitol is doing what is best for the citizens, or so it claims. When every piece of information you get about your history is distorted and manipulated, and when you have been told these same lies your entire life, it is hard to see a reason why you would ever have doubt. Even though it seems inconceivable to us today, we don’t know what it is like to not have the freedom to do our own research, form our own opinions, and not have everything we know about anything be based on severe lies. The Capitol needs propaganda like this video to keep their citizens in check and for them to see that their is no grounds for rebellion, even if their current conditions are horrible, the Capitol assures them what they have is good, or rather it could be a lot worse. 

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. NY, NY, Scholastic Press, 2008.

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