In 1984, what are some rhetorical techniques employed by the telescreens to encourage hatred of Goldstein?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many of the rhetorical strategies from the Two Minutes Hate relate to propaganda techniques.  Below are several specific techniques.

1. Pinpointing the Enemy--This technique helps the speaker(s) unify a group against one specific foe.  During "the Hate" in 1984, the Party features Goldstein in every "episode."  The people of Oceania have been conditioned to hate the sound of Goldstein's voice and his appearance because they associate him with hate, and while Goldstein's face appears on the telescreen, footage of seemingly neverending columns of marching Eurasian soldiers appear in the background.  The audience automatically associates Goldstein with the enemy army and focuses all of its animosity upon Goldstein.

2. Appeal ad Populum (Produces the Bandwagon Effect)--Many marketing agencies seek to induce consumers to buy a product or take action simply because everyone else is doing so. One of the most common techniques used to produce the bandwagon effect is appeal ad populum (a speaker/writer convinces the audience that something is true because everyone believes it). The Party relies on this technique throughout 1984, especially during the Two Minutes Hate. Winston notes to himself in Chapter 1 that even when he is thinking insubordinate thoughts about Big Brother that

"the horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in" (16).

Winston finds himself jumping out of his chair during the Hate, shouting at the screen. This is precisely why the Party requires the workers to gather together in front of the telescreen--they realize the power of peer pressure and mob mentality and that once an individual gives in to their rhetoric, many will follow.

3.  Scare Tactics--Though a logical fallacy in rhetoric, scare tactics work surprisingly well because of the technique's ability to induce fear. Near the end of the Hate, Goldstein's voice becomes more like a sheep's bleating, and his face fades into the figure of a huge advancing Eurasian soldier.  Not only is this the use of the transfer technique which causes one to transfer emotion or thoughts about one subject to another, but it is also an effective employment of scare tactics.  The soldier becomes bigger and bigger, and his machine gun seems like it might explode into the crowd at any minute.

4. Paradox and Parallel Structure--At the end of the Hate, the Party's three slogans appear on the screen along with Big Brother's face. The slogans themselves are examples of a paradox--they are seemingly contradictory, but when Winston reads Goldstein's book, he sees the "truth" of the statements. The parallel structure of the slogans is effective in making them rhythmic and perfect for repetition.