1984 Reading Log
Chapters 1 and 2
SUMMARY: In chapters 1 and 2, we meet the main character, Winston, who is an average man living in Oceania. Winston is in his flat, writing in his diary, which is strictly forbidden. After writing, he recalls the Hate assembly earlier that day. Then, he helps fix his neighbor's clogged sink. When he returns, Winston writes in the diary again, this time without caring whether he will be discovered or not.
QUOTE: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength" (Orwell 25).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: in the beginning of the novel, Winston "opens" a diary. Do you think it is worth the risk, why or why not?
Winston feels ashamed for hating Big Brother. Describe a time where you were embarrassed/ ashamed of something that you identified yourself with. What did you do?
Learning Station #3
TRANSLATION: BB today December 3, 1983 doubleungood Talk Unreal Unpeople turnin plusauthority
5-10 SENTENCES ABOUT A TOPIC:(language) In the novel, Winston meets a man named Syme who spends his days "destroying" adjectives and removing them from the dictionary to make Newspeak more efficient. Syme thinks it is an august cause and doesn't understand why Winston isn't excited about the dictionary getting smaller and less words existing. Winston actually thinks words are necessary for expressing oneself, which is one of the reasons he keeps a diary, but he tries to keep his reasons clandestine because he is afraid of being arrested for thoughtcrime. In Oceania, the government is now controlling the only thing that could never be controlled before: thoughts. By changing the language, the citizens can no longer think origionally because they do not have the words to form thoughts with. The only words the citizens can now conjure are words created in cubicles and meeting rooms of the government, making all the thoughts the governments's. The citizens are all eerily callous about their language being taken away, or perhaps we do not hear them because they no longer have the words to express themselves. The effect of language and the power it has to unite people is so strong that the only was to quell the population if Oceania is to take the language away. The only people who now pose a threat to the government (by speaking and thinking origionally) are those who words with their own, unique meaning have been made indelible.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How did you feel when Winston could not even identify a piece of coral at the antique shop? Why it important to remain connected to and remember nature?
All the churches in Oceania have been turned into government buildings, and it is said only the Proles practice religion. How does a world without religion influence the citizens' actions and abilities?
Why is Winston so desperate to learn if the past was worse than the present? Do you think he can influence others if he gains this knowledge?
RESPONSE TO QUESTION #1: I felt a wash of hopelessness when Winston identifies the piece of coral as "a strange, pink, convoluted object that recalled a rose or a sea anemone" (Orwell 107). I highlighted this excerpt as prophetic because seeing a citizen of the new, futuristic society not able to identify a commonly known piece of nature was truly scary. The only way we can remember and respect nature moving forward is to learn from the mistakes made in the past. By trying to create a flawless government, Oceania has removed all traces of the distruction of nature to make it look like they have not made any mistakes. This has made the population--Winston included as the excerpt proves--ignorant and unable to connect with and respect nature.
Section 2 ch 1-3
WINSTON & JULIA'S RELATIONSHIP: I think Winston and Julia's relationship symbolizes rebellion. From the moment Winston really interacted with Julia for the first time as he helped her up when she fell on her wrist, he felt "a raging, intolerable desire to be alone" (Orwell 121). Interacting with Julia makes Winston feel like he has private thoughts he needs to sort out. In wanting to be alone with his origional thoughts, Winston is rebelling against one of the main principals of the Party. This foretells that Julia and Winston's relationship will become dangerous very quickly, because any act of rebellion leads to death. Even if they can keep their meetings a secret, they cannot change that they have something secret that needs to be kept hidden from the Party and the Thought Poliece. Having this secret will affect their actions and they will surely be caught. As Winston remarked, "whichever way you turned, the telescreen faced you" (Orwell 122).
Creative Billboard Assignment
I decided to promote the slogan "Hate is Love". I chose this slogan because it shows a very important piece of the Oceanian government that the party is trying to promote, but does not have a line in the origional party slogan. I wanted to shed light on this slogan because it describes the loss of ability to feel empathy, kindness, and selflessness as a result of LOVE being defined as LOYALTY TO THE PARTY. Actual love can no longer be found because the citizens' "love" is no longer a private and personal thing, and it has been misconstrued by the party through posters like these. In my poster, I used a picture of Big Brother as he appears to be a great leader or protector. This will encourage the people to "love" him, or be loyal to him. I also included pictures of the Ingsoc flag and logo. Channeling "love" into one specific institution--the government--makes it a public affair only associated with the government. I colored some key words like "hate Eastasia" and "loyalty" bright red to make them stand out.
Section 2 ch 4-8
CHAPTER 4 QUOTE:“Perhaps it was only when people were somewhere near the starvation level that they had anything to sing about” (Orwell 159).
CHAPTER 5 QUOTE:“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”(Orwell 168).
CHAPTER 6 QUOTE: “He had accepted it. The end was contained in the beginning.”(Orwell 173).
CHAPTER 7 QUOTE: The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside. They had held on to the primitive emotions which he himself had to re-learn by conscious effort." (Orwell 179).
CHAPTER 8 QUOTE:“When you are finally caught, you will confess. That is unavoidable. But you will have very little to confess, other than your own actions. You will not be able to betray more than a handful of unimportant people. Probably you will not even betray me. By that time I may be dead, or I shall have become a different person, with a different face.” (Orwell 189).
Telescreen and Privacy first article summary
SUMMARY(5-10 SENTENCES): Our article starts by telling the story of Tyler Clamenti; Tyler was a college student who committed suicide after he was turned into the laughingstock of the Internet because a video of him with another man that his roommate secretly shot went viral. The article then explained that although Big Brother is not present today, his work is still being carried out through "Little Brothers", independent agencies just like Clamenti's roommate. Little brothers use small hand held cameras and hidden mounted webcams instead of telescreens, but the effect is nearly the same as that of telescreens. These Little Brothers invade privacy just for kicks, while Big Brother invaded privacy to maintain order and safety. The article points out that shooting and posting/sharing these invasive videos only embarrasses and harasses the subjects of these videos. The posters and filters feel no remorse because there are no reprocussions and they can easily become famous. These videos can only be helpful if their intent is to shed light on an issued that cannot otherwise be publicized, like the video of an Isralei soldier torturing a Palestinian woman. If little brother hadn't been watching, no one could have known about this woman. As the article showed, there are pros and cons to having ever-available "Little Brothers" and having equal opportunities to become "little brothers". The difference between the two scenarios can be us--how we choose to use our power and stand up to the invasion of privacy.