1984 reading log
Summary: In the first section of the novel the reader is introduced to the main character, Winston. Winston lives in "Oceania." Winston begins to write a diary, and because of this he begins to think about a prior event. In "The Two Minutes of Hate" Winston noticed a man, O' Brien, who was seemingly perfect. While remembering this event, Winston began writing "DOWN WITH THE PARTY" which is a crime and could lead him to his death.
Quote: "Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing" (Orwell 13).
Discussion Questions: What is the purpose of "The Two Minutes of Hate?"
Why are the Parson's children so violent and rude to Winston.
The reporting of BB today December 3rd, 1983 doubleungood references unpeople rewrite and return your form to plusauthority now
Up until section 5, the reader knew about "newspeak," but never quite the exact reason why the party wanted language to be so narrow. In section 5, we learn that newspeak is meant to be a way to completely abjure thoughtcrime. By reducing the amount of language a person can say, the party is quelling any form of rebellion. This reduction of language also can inevitably lead to every person being callous. Even though language can be indelible, as generations of people go by "newspeak" will be the only language people know. As time passes newspeak will become inveterate, and the ability to think on your own will be diminished. By this the reader is shown how in the novel language is shown to be basically illeglal in all forms.
1. Why does the party not allow any love or emtoinal interaction between people?
2. Would there ever be any real justification for a government to break a citizen's privacy, even if it is for security?
3. How is doublethink sort of like brainwashing?
1. Throughout the novel we are shown how careful the party is of making sure that no form of freedom is possible. The party tries to control everything possible, but the party cannot control one thing, love. The party has no power over its citizen's emotions, so the party instead ruins the idea of any love or emotional interaction. We are shown how the party tries to dirty the idea of love when the narrator says:
"The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and – though the principle was never clearly stated – permission was always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema. This again was never put into plain words, but in an indirect way it was rubbed into every Party member from childhood onwards. There were even organizations such as the Junior, Anti-Sex League, which advocated complete celibacy for both sexes. All children were to be begotten by artificial insemination (artsem, it was called in Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions. This, Winston was aware, was not meant altogether seriously, but somehow it fitted in with the general ideology of the Party. The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be killed, then to distort it and dirty it. He did not know why this was so, but it seemed natural that it should be so. And as far as the women were concerned, the Party's efforts were largely successful." (Orwell 77).
The party does not allow any love simply because they want to be in complete control. The party wants to be able to have total control over its citizens, but cannot control love, so the party instead outlaws and destroys the idea of love.
Julia and Winston's relationship:
The relationship between Winston and Julia is quite odd. The "love" they feel towards each other seems to just be a mutual idea of rebellion. Both Winston and Julia like the fact that sex is basically a personal rebellion against the party. We are shown how even Julia purely likes Winston because he dislikes the party when they say:
Winston. "What could you see to attract you in a man like me?"
Julia. "It was something in your face...As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them."(Orwell 135).
Julia does not love Winston because he is rich or powerful, but because he is rebellious, and she is the same way. The only thing that draws Julia and Winston together is their mutual disliking towards the party.
Ignorance is strength is a key slogan for the party because it keeps the people from wanting knowledge. If all the people which Big Brother rules over understood how much of a tyrant Big Brother is, rebellions would be frequent. Thus, telling the people that not knowing too much is powerful keeps the people from wanting to know anything more, because the people believe what they already know is strong enough. By keeping the people in ingnorance, Big Brother can keep all citizens "in line" easily. The photo shows the agreement between two men who know nothing about the man that either man is shaking hands with. Even though the men are literally blind, the men are okay with the agreement because they believe that even though they know nothing, they still hold some form of power.
"She knew the whole driveling song by heart, it seemed. Her voice floated upward with the sweet summer air, very tuneful, charged with a sort of happy melancholy […]. It struck him as a curious fact that he had never heard a member of the Party singing alone and spontaneously. It would even have seemed slightly unorthodox, a dangerous eccentricity, like talking to oneself […]."
Julia. "You can turn round now"
"He turned round, and for a second almost failed to recognize her […]. The transformation that had happened was much more surprising than that. She had painted her face." (Orwell 155)
""Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know with any certainty that any other human being shares my memories. Just in that one instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete evidence after the event – years after it." (Orwell 168)
"What I had really intended to say was that in your article I noticed you had used two words which have become obsolete" (Orwell 172).
"He never saw his mother again…When he came back his mother had disappeared. This was already becoming normal at that time. Nothing was gone from the room except his mother and his sister. They had not taken any clothes, not even his mother's overcoat. To this day he did not know with any certainty that his mother was dead. It was perfectly possible that she had merely been sent to a forced-labor camp. As for his sister, she might have been removed, like Winston himself, to one of the colonies for homeless children […]."(Orwell 177-178)
Winston. "You can turn it off!"
O' Brien. "Yes we can turn it off. We have that privilege" (Orwell 184)
Seminar Panel Article Summary
The article, "The Country Where Big Brother is Watching" focuses on the country of North Korea. The article opens by talking about the kidnapping of 11 Japanese citizens, and how North Korea admits to being the kidnapper. The article then talks about how an escapee of North Korea managed to get a phone book only high-level citizens were allowed to have. From the phone book, other countries were able to learn the general overview of North Korea and how its society works. From the phone book, other countries learned that North Korea has many hotlines, which allow a person to call and basically tell on a friend, family member, or neighbor, like the Junior Spies in 1984. The article continues, and talks about the general poverty of North Korea. North Korea has become quite poor, and has been in a long-standing, deadly famine. The poverty comes from the fact that the country has a high military budget, and that is where most of the money goes. The article then talks about how North Korea will often extort money out of other countries as a way to make any actual money. Altogether, the article portrays North Korea like Big Brother's society in 1984.