1984 Reading Log
Sofia del Cano

Part 1 Sections 1-2

1. In these sections we get a lot of background for the story. So far, it seems to be pretty complex. They live in the year 1984 in a place with no freedom of speech. Your thoughts are all basically monitored. Winston, the main character, has complied with his society's rules for all of his life, but now he is having rebellious thoughts that could get him killed.

2. "He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth nobody could ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane you carried on the human heritage" (Orwell 37).

3. Is Big Brother good or bad? What are his intentions for the society he has created?

Learning Station #4

We think the chorus has something to do with money. It also seems to hint at a change in the society and economy that is coming. It signals a new beginning and a change from what was once common. The line "and judge you from the card castle, comfort of America" is saying that what they know is temporary and that one move could send it crashing down -- like a card castle. Also the line "fault lines should be worn with pride" shows how one action, in this case an earthquake, could change everything. The song, I think, is talking about an unstable society that is heading towards change.

Part 1 Sections 3-6

The novel 1984 tells the story of a society that is more controlling than we can imagine. Every aspect of the citizen's life is closely monitored. Almost everything pleasurable is abjured as well as discouraged, and they have no freedom. The citizens have to live strictly by the rules of the Party leaders. These leaders have somehow tricked theirs "followers" into believing they are the most august. I have a feeling that these leaders have a reason for being so shady and secretive; they probably have a clandestine motive. They must have a reason for forcing their citizens to follow their inveterate laws. The Party leaders clearly do not want anyone rebelling against the society they have created, so they take every opportunity to quell even the most subtle sign of a rebel. In order to do this, they train Party children to be spies so they can turn in their own parents, and also take to monitoring one's every move through a telescreen. Thought Police are also responsible for listening to everyone and making arrest or "vaporizing" if they see an opportunity. The Party leaders will take any measures to protect the society they have created.

Part 1 Sections 7-8

1. Has Winston ever had these rebellious thoughts? If so why is now just thinking of acting on them?

2. Why does Winston continue to write in the diary despite he severe punishment he may receive?

I think Winston keeps writing in the diary because he has realized how corrupt his society is and he wants to perform a small act of rebellion. This diary is also where he writes of the rebellious thoughts that occur to him.  However, his inner thoughts are not necessarily private, and Winston knows that. He even understands that "thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death" (Orwell 38). But I think he keeps writing because Big Brother is an enemy and he knows he shouldn't

3. Why is there so much separation in this society? How is one "assigned" their class (prole or Party member)?

Part 2 Sections 1-3

The relationship between Winston and Julia seems to be very physical. They are clearly very attracted to each other, and they have been since the beginning. Their relationship symbolizes an act of rebellion towards the party because they are not supposed to be together -- and they know that. Yet they choose to meet in secret in an attempt to thwart the telescreens that could give them away. They know pursuing a relationship is dangerous, but they do not care. Winston wants to be with her and enjoys the physical aspect of the relationship because  "her body seemed to be pouring some of its youth and vigor into his" (Orwell 149). Though their attraction seems to be mostly physical, it does seem that they genuinely have feelings for eachother. And also, by enjoying their relationship they are defying what the party wants.

Slogan Activity

Big Brother is Watching You. The people of the Party are constantly being monitored. Their privacy is invaded by Telescreens, Thought Police, and Spy children. Big Brother clearly wants to be in total control, which is why he tells the Party that "freedom is slavery." Big Brother also resorts to changing the past in order to maintain any possible order. If he controls the past, he controls the future.

Part 2 Sections 4-8

Section 4: “Privacy, he said, was a very valuable thing. Everyone wanted a place where they could be alone occasionally. And when they had such a place, it was only common courtesy in anyone else who knew of it to keep his knowledge to himself”  (Orwell 150).

Section 5: “The process of life had ceased to be intolerable, he had no longer any impulse to make faces at the telescreen or shout curses at the top of his voice” (Orwell 163).

Section 6: “The end was contained in the beginning” (Orwell 173).

Section 7: “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. You were lifted clean out of the stream of history” (Orwell 179).

Section 8: “There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little” (Orwell 190).

Little Brother is Watching

Often, we do not have as much as privacy as we are led to believe. Public places are teeming with cameras, watching our every move. More disturbingly, we can even be watched when we are in the "privacy" of our own home. There are a few ways we can be watched, but the most common is through the webcam on our laptops. It is unsettlingly easy for someone to hack your camera and watch you through there. That being said, we also publicize ourselves and social media is the main source. Often we get caught up in posting every detail of our lives on the Internet for our "friends" to see. We are allowing other people to invade our privacy by doing this. So we really do not have as much privacy as we think we do -- Little Brother is also watching.

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