1984 Blog

1984 Reading Log Amelia Kinsella

Part 1 Sections 1 & 2

Summary: The main character and protagonist, Winston Smith, is introduced as is the grim world he lives in. His life is controlled by a privacy invading government led by a mysterious BIG BROTHER. Winston secretly writes in a real journal he recently bought but his thoughts are confused and muddled. He reveals the year to be 1984 and initially describes, in abrupt sentences, a movie he saw the night before. This burst of writing reminds him of the real event he wanted to write about and he has a flashback to earlier that day when he felt an unorthodox hatred towards the government. Remembering this, Wiston writes 'down with Big Brother' in his journal when there is a knock at his door. He fears it will be the Thought Police who will do away with him, but it turns out to be a neighbor in need of plumbing help. When he goes to help, the reader learns that children of the new generation are being brainwashed by the government and turned into mindless, Big Brother loving machines. When he returns to his dingy apartment, Winston remembers a dream featuring a member of the Inner Party, O'Brien, who said they would meet in a place of no darkness. This makes him decide that he is against the government and is probably alone.

Quote: “All [the children's] ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children” (Orwell 34).

2 Questions:

Who is the mysterious Big Brother?

Why are women more susceptible to The Party's brainwashing?

Learning Station #5

We found many ads for Geico on large, generic sites such as Yahoo Answers and ask.com. These sites are targeted towards the greater amount of the population who are looking for help. Geico's ads are offering answers for car insurance by promoting their great deals of spending only 15 minutes or more and getting 15% off car insurance.

These Geico ads are trying to make people believe that their insurance is the most beneficial with the best deals. They are trying to get people's interest by causing awe in the viewers. If the audience thinks the deals are great, they will be more likely to buy the insurance.

The Geico commercials are not dangerous, but they may be a little misleading. They promise quite a bit of money off car insurance which may not be entirely true.

We also found a lot of ads for phone service companies like Verizon and AT&T on many TV commercials and popular sites such as dictionary.com. The TV channels that air these commercials are among the biggest, most popular channels like ABC and CBS.

The phone ads try to make other companies look bad, or at least inferior to, their own company. Verizon does this specifically by their a coverage map which compares their coverage to other companies'. They try to make themselves look better and more reliable so people will be more drawn to the company.

I think that once again, these commercials are not necessarily dangerous but are misleading. The coverages in the companies are most likely not as large as they appearance are probably more expensive than advertised as well. This can fool people into choosing a not quite honest phone company.

Part 1 Sections 3-6

In 1984, the caste system is an indelible part of life that is beneficial for only the people at the very top. The system is unfair from being controlled by power hungry people who don't particularly care about the lower classes. The government is not indulgent or generous towards the lower classes; everyone not part of the Inner Party lives and works in grimy, filthy places and their most common food is a cheap, acrid synthetic gin. Members of the lowest, and largest, party are not even considered people. Nobody complains or rebels though because the callous government brainwashes the entire country into believing their way of life is the same as it always has been. This ensures that everything, including the castes, becomes inveterate. The social structure of Oceania literally kills the members of the two lower parties which make up 99% of the population. Anyone not at the top is in danger of being vaporized, or destroyed, by the government if they display the slightest signs of unorthodoxy. This is a cruel way to govern and to organize the people who just need help, but instead receive barely enough to stay alive.

Part 1, Sections 7-8

Why is Winston so much more aware of the evils from the Party than his comrades are?

What seems more appealing, life as a member of the Party or life as a prole?

The life of a prole sounds more appealing, regardless of their poverty. The proles got lucky because they have something more desirable in Oceania than a nice house and possessions, they have freedom. This is because "They were beneath suspicion. As the Party slogan put it: ‘Proles and animals are free'" (Orwell 83). The proles gained a certain amount of freedom and privacy from the prying government becuase they appear to be an unorganized, ignorant group of people. The government pays so little attention to them, that most proles don't even have telescreen a through which they can be monitered. The prole life seems more appealing because living this way provides people with a better sense of what it is like to live without being constantly under surveillance of the over controlling government.

Is O'Brien actually on Winston's side?

Part 2, Sections 1-3

The relationship between Julia and Winston is not actually love, it is merely sexual attraction helped along by the fact that they both hate the Party. Winston himself declares after they sleep together for the first time that their relationship is “a blow struck against the Party. It [is] a political act" (Orwell, 139). They don't have a true, pure love for each other, all they have is an act of defiance towards the government. They are both people who object to how the Party operates and want to do something against this. The connection between them is quite superficial because it is powered by only a desire to break the rules and to have sex. The relationship is good in the sense that it can help start a movement against the Party, but that is its only real purpose.

Big Brother Billboard

My billboard claims that Big Brother brings prosperity to his people. The book says at one point that people have more food, money, longer lifespans, better homes, etc. These are all lies, but it is what the Party would like the citizens to believe. Because of this, I made my billboard advertise the goodness and generosity of Big Brother to bring people a false sense of security. On the poster, I put the famous face of Big Brother against a powerful, sort of mystic, background which will hopefully make people feel slightly intimidated. Accompanying his face are pictures of abundant food, shoes, and happy citizens. These are to make people feel as if he really is making Oceania thrive.

Part 2, Sections 4-8

“One could not avoid [the Ministry of Love], but one could perhaps postpone it: and yet instead, every now and again, by a conscious, wilful act, one chose to shorten the interval before it happened” (Orwell, 153).

“As though to harmonise with the general mood, the rocket bombs had been killing larger numbers of people than usual" (Orwell, 162).

“The conspiracy that he had dreamed of did exist, and he had reached the outer edges of it" (Orwell, 173).

“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).

“Winston could not remember ever to have seen a passageway whose walls were not grimy from the contact of human bodies" (Orwell, 183).

Doublespeak Article Summary

The article begins by explaining what exactly doublespeak is, the use of widely used words and phrases that are deceptive and misleading. In order to clarify the types of doublespeak words used in the world today, the author split the article up into different categories, each one containing a separate area of our lives where deceptive terms can be found. The government and military are the first two areas and both utilize a fair amount of euphemisms and misleading words. These include humane society instead of dog pound and friendly fire instead of shooting at own troops. Later, the author, who is a teacher, explains that some euphemisms are not actually too bad, especially in the area of special education. These terms can be seen as more polite, although many doublespeak words are used for other education phrases. These education doublespeak terms include independent study instead of correspondence study and career ladder instead of differentiated staffing. The author concludes his piece by stressing the importance of refraining from doublespeak and euphemisms so that we do not end up decieving others.

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