1984 Reading Log
Kela Sowell

Part 1 Sections 1&2

Oceania is a totalitarian region run by a leader named Big Brother who belongs to a group called the Party. Every citizen's move is watched; no one really has control of anything except for Big Brother. A middle-aged man named Winston Smith is the main character within the novel. In Sections 1 and 2, he begins to question this society that he's known for as long as he can remember. Winston realizes how controlling Oceanian society is and his hate towards Big Brother therefore begins to grow. He begins to keep a diary (which is undoubtedly illegal) to keep his thoughts, which includes his hate for Big Brother.

"You had to live--did live, from habit that became instinct--in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized" (Orwell 12-13).

A) What would be a government's ultimate motive to keep their people clueless?

B) How does a society such as this one even come about?

Learning Station #3

The rep of Big Brother's dayorder in Times of 12/3 is ungood and makes refs to unpersons. Speakwrite it in full and upsub before filing.

Part 1 Sections 3-6

In this portion of the book, Winston begins to really ruminate upon why the Party loves to control people's thoughts. Needless to say, I wonder the same thing. How can a government be so corrupt as to brainwash all of their people? The Party is so clandestine in the way they influence their people that not only do the citizens believe in the Party, but everything that the Party does is automatically august. It amazes me how the higher power is able to just sit back and watch as they destroy the lives of their own citizens. Anyone who isn't indulgent towards the Party like everyone else is quelled. The higher authority just has an inveterate ache for control and power.

Part 1 Sections 7&8

A) Is life in the book as bad as it seems?

Overall, Oceanian society is undoubtedly not the best place to be. However, with the way that the Party describes the world before, is Oceania a better place to be? Is the Party just making up stories to gain more power? After all, “It struck [Winston] that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness” (Orwell 85). It's really not a struggle living under the control of the Party, but it's the dullness and individuality between people that seems to be missing. For Winston, the control and lack of individuality that the Party promotes is what makes his society undesirable.

B) Why do you think Winston has so much faith that O'Brien is on his side?
C) What does Winston mean when he says that all hope lies in the proles?

Part 2 Sections 1-3

Winston and Julia's relationship happened only because Julia was able to notice that Winston was anti-Party. She tells Winston, "'It was something in your face. I thought I’d take a chance. I’m good at spotting people who don’t belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them'" (Orwell 135). Within their first couple of meetings, they confess their love for each other although they really don't even know much about each other. Not only do they claim to love each other, but their relationship is quite sexual. They decide to make love on their first private meeting. Although they do seem happy, I think Winston and Julia are just moving way too fast in their relationship. Their overall relationship probably isn't even based off of love.

Big Brother Slogan Poster

The message that my poster is trying to convey is how people cannot handle freedom. Freedom will get people nowhere and those people are therefore enslaved by it. That message can be seen in the picture at the top. Those who are enslaved by freedom don't know how to handle it and cannot take care of themselves as a result. However, lack of freedom will give people the chance to be looked after, specifically by the Party. Humans need to be protected. In order to be protected, the Party watches everyone, anytime and anywhere.

Part 2 sections 4-8

“Of all the crimes that a Party member could commit, this one was the least possible to conceal" (Orwell 150).

“Sometimes, too, they talked of engaging in active rebellion against the Party, but with no notion of how to take the first step" (Orwell 165).

“He had the sensation of stepping into the dampness of a grave, and it was not much better because he had always known that the grave was there and waiting for him" (Orwell 173).

“When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference. Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again" (Orwell 179).

“There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime" (Orwell 190-191).

Article Summary

"Lies My Teacher Taught Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by Alexander Saxton explains how many American History textbooks leave out many negative aspects in order to sugarcoat our history. Take a glorified American Hero such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln for example. Although they're really not bad guys, the bad things and mistakes that they had throughout their lifetime are most likely not mentioned within most American History textbooks. However, the textbooks have no trouble including how our past American heroes went through such a struggle to make it out alive at the end. The point is, the message that these books want to get across is that these great American Heroes did so much to ensure that we have the life that we live today. Yet, they leave out the part that these heroes did make mistakes just to further emphasize the idea of "America the Great."

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