Out of all the topics we have discussed in this class, the theme of control has most resonated with me. As demonstrated in “Exercises in the Restoration of History” and “Learning to Read and Growing in Knowledge,” the dominant groups in society, which were white, land-holding men, kept their workers and slaves from becoming educated in an effort to keep them working. The lectoras in John Ross’s piece has kept the workers pacified, but the dominant group believed that having an education would encourage the workers to leave or run away. The theme of control also goes hand in hand with the theme of manipulation. Through advertisements, people are manipulated into buying certain products, which demonstrates control over consumption. In addition, those who control the coverage on news outlets also control the flow of information. Instead of reporting on important issues that need our attention, people are fed stories about celebrities. This controls the actions of the public by keeping them distracted from things they should care about, and this distraction arguably keeps some people pacified as well. Control over the flow of knowledge and over what people consume block their ability to think freely. We are swayed by biases and the one-sided stories we hear and it directly impacts how individuals function in society.
Pravita Ramratan 1D08