Theme of Manipulation in George Orwell’s 1984 and James Dashner’s the Maze Runner

In 1984 by George Orwell and The Maze Runner by James Dashner they both emphasize the good of controlling the characters into thinking what they want them to think. In 1984, Winston Smith has trouble with oppression in Oceania. A society where the party members scrutinize the actions of the citizens in the society, with the ever watching Big Brother. Winston dares to write his thoughts in a diary and pursues a love interest. In The Maze Runner a teen wakes up in a glade at the center of an enormous labyrinth. Like the other youths dropped off before him, he has no memory of the past. He quickly becomes apart of the group, soon after he establishes a unique view that scores him with a promotion to become a runner. With the always changing maze, they have to work together to find an escape route. In 1984 by George Orwell and The Maze Runner by james dashner they both illuminate manipulation through the people in the societies through the use of symbols within the stories.

Orwell and Dashner use symbols like the telescreens and the maze to illuminate the benefits of manipulation. The telescreens in 1984 are the book’s most visible symbol of the Party’s continual monitoring of the citizens. These telescreens show the most power in the use of manipulation. The telescreens “received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it” (3 orwell). Through the use of the telescreens manipulation is revealed. These high tech devices are able to pick up any slight sound made, as it says “above the level of a very low whisper, would be pick up.” It shows that there is no secret spot in Oceania, someone is always watching and manipulating you. These telescreens “could spy upon you day and night” (158 orwell). Again we see that the citizens will always be watch and there is no other way of living. The maze in The Maze Runner is also the most visible symbol of manipulation.

The maze represents order for the gladers. The maze is there to brainwash the youths into believing “Wicked is Good.” Wicked is using mind control and manipulation just as Big Brother is using on Oceania. “Confusion, curiosity, panic, fear. But laced through it all was the dark feeling of utter hopelessness, like the world had ended for him, he had been wiped from his memory and replaced with something awful” (7 dashner). Wicked has placed these youths into this maze, removed their memories, basically brainwashed all of them to be able to use the power of manipulation. When it says “the dark feeling of utter hopelessness” is Wicked’s way of controlling these youths into thinking the only good thing left in the world is Wicked. The use of symbols that represent manipulation carries on with newspeak and the glade.

Orwell and Dashner use symbols like newspeak and the glade to illuminate the good in manipulation. Newspeak in 1984 is used to illustrate the idea that language can corrupt thought. Newspeak is used to manipulate Oceania into thinking what Big Brother wants everyone to think. As said “newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year” (49 orwell). Through the use of the new language “newspeak” manipulation is revealed. Newspeak is used as a method of mind control. It makes things hard to explain because their descriptive words are now doublegood and doubleplusgood.

Since Oceania has started using this new vocabulary the intelligence of the citizens has increasingly gone down. While using newspeak Big Brother is able to manipulate the citizens into what he thinks is right for Oceania. In this case “the whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought” (50 orwell). Again we see that the whole purpose of newspeak is to lessen the value of thought and the citizens using the language.

The glade in The Maze Runner is used as a safe place for the youths that live there. The glade is surrounded by impossibly high concrete walls on all four sides. The glade is surrounded by the maze, and during the night time the giant doors close, sealing the youths inside or out of the glade. The youths think the glade is a safe place, supposedly, but Wicked still has control over the glade and what happens within or without the it. The use of the glade and being able to control what happens in it is seen as another way for Wicked to control the youths into thinking that the only good thing left in the world is Wicked.

In 1984 by George Orwell and The Maze Runner James Dashner both illuminate the theme of manipulation through the people in the societies through the use of symbols in the stories. Orwell uses symbols like the telescreens and newspeak, while Dashner uses symbols like the maze and the glade. Both of these authors are able to get the theme of manipulation across through the use of these symbols.

In both of these stories the use of manipulation is used in a good setting. Like in 1984 they use manipulation to make sure no one rebels. And then in The Maze Runner they use manipulation to find a cure for the virus. In the real world and in our time manipulation isn’t used very often. Not as often as we see it in these to stories. These stories want us to know about manipulation because in a way it’s a social skill. In the real world we learn to manipulate as soon as we know they are different from us. We also learn to not be so obvious about it. Manipulation is a part of how we deal with one another. So the fact that we learn manipulation from these stories, we can get an idea of how it can be in the real world.

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Theme of manipulation in george orwell's 1984 and james dashner's the maze runner. (2021, Jun 22). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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