“Good Night and Good Luck:” An Allegory for Fear

Essay by maxhayes1212High School, 11th gradeA-, October 2014

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"Good Night and Good Luck:" An Allegory for Fear

The American drama film Good Night and Good Luck, directed by George Clooney and released in 2005, could be argued to be an allegory for the social climate of the time period. It was during this time that the American people feared threats of terrorism specifically from the Middle East. This heightened sense of fear allowed the government and media to do what they do best, manipulate. Similar to the social climate of 2005, the film Good Night and Good Luck was set during the 1950's where the ideas of a communist agenda drove waves of paranoia throughout our nation allowing the government and media to exploit the common man and strip him of his rights. It's evident that in both situations the government used this mass hysteria to manipulate the media and strengthen control over its people.

The first component that ties these time periods together is the media. The entire film Good Night and Good Luck is about the CBS new station and their struggle to expose to the citizens what was really going on behind the government curtain. The main character of the film, Edward R. Murrow, who was an actual CBS news reporter of that time, knew the power of the media. He understood that he had an obligation to show the people of America what was really happening within their country. He understood that Americans were wealthy, comfortable, and compliant people who only wanted their television to be a form of escape. People don't like to hear the truth, especially if it's painful or menacing in any way. However, he stood up to those ideals and gave the people what they needed. In relation to the political and social climate of 2005, the...