In recent decades, critics of American society have often attacked its materialistic aspect; Americans are portrayed as superficial and shallow. However, as history and literature demonstrate, immediate impressions are not always true. The way things appear may not be how they truly are because the positives have overshadowed the bad, an aspect may have been hidden, or the viewers may have be blinded to the truth.
The Gilded Age, in the late 1800's, reflects a period where advancements ousted the social injustices from the public eye. The period seemed productive and prosperous; advancements in technology and industrialization were the image presented to the public. However, in reality, Robber Barons created large trusts to manipulate the market and government. Although the society appeared to be moving forward, it suffered from corruption that was glossed over.
Hawthorne suggests that people may be different from how they appear because they may have intentionally hidden their true selves.
Chillingworth, in "The Scarlet Letter", appears to be a kind-hearted doctor respected by the town.
However, he is actually a vengeful soul that is using the guise to exact revenge. He purposefully hid his personality to seem different. For now, Americans withhold some degree of their intellectual freedom from advertisements, but once the mind is lost, the body will follow.
The totalitarian state of Oceania is in a constant state of war, and part of the Party's ongoing struggle is to keep the public satisfied with this warfare. If the public were dissatisfied, they would resent the shortage of food and other commodities and possibly rebel against the Party. The Party therefore has to distract the public's attention away from the negative side of warfare, and they use the media to do this. By using only language that carries neutral or positive connotations...