1984 Reading Log


In this portion of George Orwell's 1984, readers are introduced to Winston Smith, a 39 year old man who lives in a dystopian society, specifically the province of Oceania.  Winston does not agree with the values of the society he is living in, but does not express his opinions for fear of death if he does so.  The narrator portrays that Winston is a very lonely man.  Winston believes no one else in the world shares his opionions, so he isolates himself from the world.  Despite this, Winston believes he shares a connection with a colleague of his named O'brien.  

“Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer; though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing” (Orwell 13).

What is the purpose of the telescreen?  What is winston's method of "cheating" its purpose?  What are winston's reasons for hating his young dark-haired colleague?


I found many  examples  of propoganda on websites such as "entertainmenttonight.com".  On this particular website, I saw an image claiming that Obama promises homeowners they can save 30 years of mortgages.  This is propoganda because it is falsely promoting a political figure.


In the particular section of 1984 I read tonight, I found some aspects of Oceania's political structure very interesting. Specifically, I was intrigued by the Party's conflagration of history. In our world, the past is an indelible thing. What happens in the past stays in the past- there is no way to alter what has already occurred. The people of 1984 discredit this claim. In Orwell's world, history is forged in a clandestine manner to say whatever the government needs the people to believe. The Party (Oceania's government) has built up their leader, Big Brother, to be an august and flawless dictator who undoubtedly knows best. The Party is deceiving and brainwashing its citizens into believing that a normal individual is some sort of prophetic deity. I find this disgusting. The citizens of this callous society are living like drones. Nothing about their life is inveterate; the truth can be vaporized whenever convenient in order to maintain the brainwashing of the people.


1. Who does Winston think has the power to take down the Party?

Winston believes the proletarian class has the power to successfully revolt against the Party. In fact Winston thinks to himself, "If there is hope, . . . it lies in the proles" (Orwell 81). Logically Winston believes that since the proles consist of eighty-five percent of the population they have enough numbers to rebel and not be put down easily. As Winston ventures through the slums his hopes of a prole rebellion are immediately crushed by the unintelligent interactions he witnesses or has with the proles. These people have no need, desire or motivation to upthrow their government; the Party gives them all the recreational liberty they want in order to keep them happy and dim their intelligence.

2. What solid piece of evidence did Winston once possess that proved the Party falsifies the past? What did this evidence specifically prove?

3. Describe the highs and lows of Winston's journey to the junk shop (did he buy anything, did he meet anyone, etc.)


Winston and Julia have a very interesting relationship. The aspect particularly interesting about it is the reasons they are drawn to each other. For Winston, a big part of his attraction to Julia is loneliness. He has been solitary his whole life, and the idea of having someone to be with intrigues and excites him. Even in his marriage with Katherine Winston was alone because as Winston described her, Katherine "had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered" (Orwell 78). Obviously, Katherine was not much of a companion to Winston, especially because Katherine did not share Winston's "dangerous" opinions about the Party; in fact, she was an intense Party patriot. Additionally, part of Winston is drawn to the idea of having an affair and rebelling against the Party; he knew nothing about Julia before she gave him the note but the dangerous aspect of the crime they were committing drew him in. Julia is drawn to Winston because of physical attraction and the fact that she could see in Winston's face that he was "against them ", or the Party. The biggest commonalties between Winston and Julia are their hate for their party and their sexual desires. Lastly, Julia may not care for Winston as much as people believe; she thinks that love is a game, and Winston is just her newest player.


My 1984 propaganda poster focuses on the part of the Party's slogan that claims "Ignorance is Strength".  My poster consists of the slogan statement, images representing the Party and the ways they enforce ignorance.  Additionally, located on the bottom section of my poster I have included two boxes; the box on the left contains important values of modern life that the Party considers incriminating.  In the box to the right a series of actions that the Party considers the qualities of an ideal citizen are listed; in modern times these actions would be considered questionable and wrong.  


Chapter 4:

“One could not avoid [death], 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).

Chapter 5:

“History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right" (Orwell 168).

Chapter 6:

“The conspiracy that he had dreamed of did exist, and he had reached the outer edges of it" (Orwell 178).

Chapter 7:

“For the first time in his life he did not despise the proles or think of them merely as an inert force which would one day spring to life and regenerate the world. The proles had stayed human” (Orwell 179).

Chapter 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” (Orwell 190-191).


The topic my group and I have chosen to research is Double Speak.  Doublespeak is a term used to describe language that intentionally deceives or prevents from offending people.  Doublespeak is commonly used by the government, the military, and departments of education.  In the article "Doublespeak and Euphemisms in Education", Jerry L. Pulley discusses and provides examples for various different instances of Doublespeak found in today's language.  The "jargon" provided in the article were just expressions used to dilute the solution of meaning of deemed "harsh" words.  Euphemism's sugar coat actions and mislead the public into believing/supporting something false.  For example, the government will call their spending "Investments", so citizens may believe that the taxes they have paid is being used to better themselves and society.  Despite this,  Special Education Euphemisms are not considered Double Speak because they do not intentionally deceive.   

Comment Stream