1984 Reading Log
Part 1: Sections 1 & 2
Summary: In sections one and two we meet Winston, the everyday outer party member working for the Ministry of Truth. Soon, though, it is discovered that Winston is anything but average, that he is really a thought-criminal who secretly hates Big Brother and the Party. The reader is given insight into the basic life of a Party member, and just how extensively Big Brother's thought control reaches.
Quote: “In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair" (Orwell 24).
Questions: How is it decided who will be in what caste, especially who will be in the Inner Party?
How can Winston hate the Party and Big Brother if he is influenced by thought control?
Learning Station 4
I think the chorus signals a new beginning or a change from what we once knew. This is supported by the lines "And judge you from the card castle / Comfort of America" (Incubus 19-20). Since card castles are notoriously unstable, by saying the "comfort of America" is like a card castle it means that at any moment all we know could change. Another example is the line "Fault lines should be worn with pride" (35). Fault lines can create earthquakes withing seconds, and change peoples lives in the blink of an eye. Therefore, it further backs up the idea of the sudden change of a person's life.
Part 1: Sections 3 - 6
Summary: In section three, Winston ruminates over his family, specifically his mother, and his childhood. He reflects on hiw his mother died out of love for him, a foreign feeling compared to how the somewhat callous people in 1984 now view family. The reader finds that everything before the year 1950 is blurred in his mind, and he has difficulty remembering much about his past. In order to maintain control over the population the Party not only changes history, it also manipulates emotions and makes them obsolete. In section four, the reader learns that no piece of history is inveterate or indelible, and there is no way of knowing what really happened in the past. Winston goes to his job in the Ministry of Truth and deletes any tangible or digital evidence of Big Brother ever being wrong. He even goes so far as to create a fake person in order to cover it up. This explains why the ideal Party member is so suspicious of all people, because they have been trained to lie and deceive others just as everyone else has.
Quote: “Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there was still privacy, love and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason” (40).
Questions: How do people still believe Big Brother about the perpetual wars?
Why is it necessary to change history if everyone is under the influence of mind control?
Part 1: Sections 7 & 8
1. Do the proles understand what/who the thought police are and what the party does to them?
2. Did Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford willingly lie about their crimes or were they threatened/tortured by the party?
3. What is the purpose of NewSpeak?
In response to question one, I believe the proles, though semi-aware of what the Party is capable of, do not completely understand their mistreatment at the hands of Big Brother. Wiston notes as he passes two prole women that “[t]he women studied him in hostile silence as he went past. But it was not hostility, exactly; merely a kind of wariness, a momentary stiffening, as at the passing of some unfamiliar animal” (Orwell 95). While they know enough to be cautious around a Party member, the proles have been oppressed for so long they no longer recognize the inequality between themselvs and the outer and inner parties.
Part 2: Sections 1 - 3
I chose the two slogans I did because I believe they best embody the idea of Big Brother. The three ideals of the Party are the main guidelines to a person's life in the book. Since they are the most popular slogans, along with "Big Brother is watching", they are naturally the best to use when advertising for Big Brother's cause. These slogans and pictures remind the people of Oceania exactly why they follow Big Brother.
Part 2: Sections 4-8
Section 4: “It’s all Inner Party stuff. There’s nothing those swine don’t have, nothing” (Orwell 154).
Section 5: “Syme had ceased to exist: he had never existed” (161).
Section 6: “If you ever want to see me, this is where I can be found,’ was what O’Brien had been saying to him” (173).
Section 7: “When his father disappeared, his mother did not show any surprise or any violent grief, but a sudden change came over her. She seemed to have become completely spiritless. It was evident even to Winston that she was waiting for something that she knew must happen” (175).
Section 8: “He stopped, turned aside and pressed a switch on the wall. There was a sharp snap. The voice had stopped" (183).
"Little Brother Is Watching" Response
More often than not, people post pictures and other things on the internet without a thought towards privacy. People overestimate the privacy the internet provides, or lack thereof. As shown by Tyler Clementi who had a compromising video of himself posted on the internet, and soon after commit suicide. The person who filmed Tyler, without his knowledge, had no regard for the potential repercussions of his actions. Kirn, the writer of the article, goes on to explain why one should be more afraid of Little Brother, because it is social media that poses the true threat to the people of today. Though Little Brother can do some good, such as exposing important happenings in other parts of the world, it ultimately does more harm than good.