Language as the Device for Psychological Manipulation in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Psycholinguistic Analysis (Published)
Language is the unique human talent that works amazingly in molding one’s thoughts and deeds. If grown unrestricted, it can help people widen their notions about things and issues in and around them. On the other hand, if shrunk and chained, it hinders the flourishing of ideas and information. The blossoming as well as the limiting power of language has been very perspicuously illustrated by George Orwell in his dystopian novel, 1984. How linguistic constituents hold the absolute ability to do and undo human thoughts has been portrayed in the novel in the most striking manner. Orwell has shown how language can manipulate psychological functions supreme-handedly. To lead popular thought to a certain target, language has to be engineered in the required mechanism. It does so, and attains complete control over people’s mind. This paper examines how language sets a demarcation line for human psychological processes. It attempts to dig deep into the linguistic treatment in 1984 and comes up with a vivid description of the dominance of language on people’s mental procedure. It investigates the manipulations of the ‘Newspeak’ and strives to grasp a psycholinguistic analysis of the novel.
Throughout history, the norm of reciprocity has shaped human psychology, emphasizing the role of cues such as debt, favor, bargain and obligation in governing social relations. Manipulation premises are widely-accepted in analyzing agency theories and decoding mind-control techniques. Awareness of the effectiveness of these manipulative schemes is essential to counter verbal manipulation and isolate the necessary features that make up the manipulative scenario. Such curious use is prevalent in causal discourse, highlighting the intricacy between causation and manipulation. The case of the English verb GET is illustrative of the manipulative meaning which characterizes the causative use of this verb in the International Corpus of English.
The purpose of life cycles through which passes each organization and social system to which it belongs is in its holding phase permanent “Youth” in which the prevailing conditions for achieving permanent development and growth of the same. The changes occur as a necessary determinant for achieving this desired state that would assure the effective operation of the organization. Any change is followed by resistance by the direct implementers of the same (employees). The consequences and the final balances of such resistance solely depend on the competence of managers, especially in the phase of the initiative for change and leadership styles that same practice.
This paper examines excerpts of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan’s political discourses to determine how language is utilized as instrument for manipulating the electorates by politicians. Working within the tenet of Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis, the paper seeks to explore the workings of power in the Nigerian presidential discourse and to unravel the concealed meaning in the utterances under study. Findings reveal that the two presidents grossly utilized manipulative languages in marketing their agenda, ideology and programme to their audience. These were achieved in their portrayal of self as humble servants, political redeemers, alignment with the suffering of the vast majority of the people and statement of government reconciliation. While Obasanjo took time to narrate his walking through the valley episode, Jonathan painted his picture of humble childhood experience, and concluding that he is one of the suffering majority. These are manipulative strategies geared towards entreating and appealing to ideological sense, controlling the people’s thought and perception, and manipulate the unsuspected members of the public towards accepting their candidacy.
Nigerian Newspapers Coverage of the 78 Days Presidential Power Vacuum Crisis under President Umaru Yar’adua: Managing or Manipulating the Outcome (Published)
The Nigerian press has always been accused of manipulating political crisis to the gains of their owners or the opposition. This accusation was repeated during the long 78 days (November 23 2009 – February 9 2010) that Nigerian late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was incapacitated due to ill-health. In fact, observers believed that the kind of media war, power play and intrigue that hailed the period almost cost Nigeria her hard-earned unity and democracy. Eventually, Yar’Adua and his handlers irrefragably lost to ill-health and public opinion. However, the late President’s ‘kitchen cabinet’ believed that he lost ultimately to public opinion manipulated by the press. How true was this? How far can we agree with the kitchen cabinet bearing in mind that this type of accusation came up during the scandals of President Nixon of the United States and the ill health of late President John Attah-Mills of Ghana. Based on these complexities, the researchers embarked on this study to investigate the kind of coverage newspapers in Nigeria gave the power vacuum crisis during Yar’ Adua’s tenure in order to establish whether they (newspapers), indeed, manipulated events during those long 78 days. In carrying out this study, four national dailies (The Guardian, The Sun, New Nigerian and Daily Trust Newspapers), were used. Using five units of analysis (news, features, editorials, cartoons and opinion articles) and seven content categories, findings revealed that Nigerian newspapers gave the presidential power vacuum crisis prominence. The results also showed that the issue was adequately covered and took a positive direction. However, it was, also, discovered that Nigerian newspapers frequently covered the power lacuna in their reports which were influenced by regional and ownership factors. Based on these, it was recommended that ownership and regional affiliations should not impact on media reports. And that the media should provide leadership in times of national conflict by setting and consolidating agenda.