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Diploma Thesis from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 1 (A), University of Graz (American Studies), language: English, abstract: INSPIRATION What does it mean when the name 'Orwell' is mentioned in the news? Does it mean that fiction has become fact? Is America heading towards a totalitarian society? These are the questions I asked myself when I began to carve out the framework for the topic of my thesis. It was in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 that I developed a genuine interest about America and its domestic and political agendas. When the planes slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I was on my way to go to a class at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. What I remember about my state of mind on that day is that I was rather confused and unexplainably unmoved by what had happened. As it turned out later, my emotional passiveness was a shock reaction. It took me a few weeks to realize the disastrous events of that day. At the beginning of October 2001 Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive, came to speak at the University of Eau Claire. At that time I was a camera man for the campus TV station and I thought it would be a good idea to record Rothschild´s speech and make a little report for our weekly news show. Rothschild talked very convincingly about the necessity to increase the American people´s awareness of how America´s foreign policy depends on a domestic policy which the Bush government would be aggressively imposing on the U.S.A. His speech had a crucial effect on me. I began to study the American mainstream media culture and was particularly interested in their presentation of America´s role in the world. Simultaneously I observed how almost all the government´s responses were declared to be in the name of patriotism and national security. Whether it was the war in Afghanistan or tighter domestic laws, the government demanded the unequivocal and unquestioning approval of the American people. I began to realize that the government´s one-sidedness would not conform with the democratic value of free speech. I would begin to learn about totalitarian aspects in society that were indoctrinated by the government. [...]