1984 Reading Log
Sam Townzen

Part 1: Sections 1-2

Summary: Winston finds a nook in the corner of his living room from which none of the screens can monitor him. He uses this nook to write in a diary about his feelings. He discovers how he feels about Big Brother as he is writing in his diary. He also reflects back on previous encounters with others, including one with a man named O'Brien. Winston caught his glance once at his work and could tell that O'Brien was also against their government. This new knowledge gives Winston hope that someone fells the same way he does.

Quote: “It was even possible, at moments, to switch one’s hatred this way or that by a voluntary act”(Orwell 37). This quote shows how the people in this country have been taught not to really feel any true emotions. They can switch their feelings at the drop of a hat which shows us how shallow they must feel these emotions.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does Winston live by himself and seem to not have any friends?

2. How would you feel if you lived in this distopian country?

Learning Stations: Group 5

1.  I found an Obama advertisment on dailymail that says "be the change."

2. This is a campaign to persuade people to vote for Obama.

3. I like Obama, but I think this ad is not accurate. Obviously he has more power than the rest of us and so he is the change more than we are.

Part 1: Sections 3-6

Language for us is used to express our emotions and thoughts to those around us. We use our broad vocabulary to pin-point exactly how we are feeling at all times. Words are only considered trenchant if they come across the way they are intended to by the speaker. In 1984, the Party wants to abolish all the "irrelevant" words that they see unnessary by converting all written pieces to Newspeak, leaving the inveterate "oldspeak" language quiescent. By doing this, the Party is quelling all current forms of expression and giving each word less importance. By only using "good" they are completely eliminating levels of "goodness," including great, wonderful, superb, etc. This limits our communication and undestanding of each other if each word means the same thing in many different uses.

Part 1: Sections 8-9

1. If the prose understood that they had the power of numbers against the Party, do you think it would change anything. If so, what would happen?

2. Why does Winston find the uptairs room of Mr. Charrington's junkshop so appealing?

3. Why do you think the woman with dark hair seems to be following Winston? If she is a spy, do you think she will rat him out to the Party or keep the information to herself?

Response to #2: Winston feels drawn to Mr. Charrington's uptairs quaters because it vaguely brings back feelings of nostalgia from his childhood although he does not remember why. The way the room is described sounds similar to that of an ordinary family's parlour in that time period. It's possible Winston grew up in a house similar in style to the shop's back room.

Part 2: Sections 1-3

Winston and Julia started their relationship in an odd way for two adults: Julia slips a piece of paper into Winston's jacket which says she loves him. From there, they attempt many times to meet in secret to talk about the Party, ways they like to rebel against it, and their personal backgrounds. The two of them meeting in secret, in the woods or in the church tower symbolizes the little bit of power they still have. Even though there are telescreens, spys, and patrols roaming the streets, Julia and Winston still manage to engage in a love affair, which goes against Big Brother and the Party altogether. When explaining why she makes sure to always do extra volunteer work to support the Anti-sex league, she tells Winston, “If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones"(Orwell 142). In a way, their relationship is wrong(Winston is thirteen years older than Julia, they are both Party members, and Winston is technically still married) but to them it seems right because any person deserves to spend time with the one they love.

I chose to promote the slogan, "Freedom is Slavery" because in a way, it is true. With freedom comes responsibilities that tie you down, similar to that of a chain. I added hand cuffs and chains to the Statue of Liberty and the bald eagle because they both represent freedom and the chains represent slavery. I added "freedom is not free" because all freedoms, like being able to drive, come with limitations and guidelines.

Part 2: Sections 4-8

Section 4: “He turned over towards the light and lay gazing into the glass paperweight. The inexhaustibly interesting thing was not the fragment of coral but the interior of the glass itself. There was such a depth of it, and yet it was almost as transparent as air. It was as though the surface of the glass had been the arch of the sky, enclosing a tiny world with its atmosphere complete. He had the feeling that he could get inside it, and that in fact he was inside it, along with the mahogany bed and the gate-leg table, and the clock and the steel engraving and the paperweight itself. The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia’s life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.”

Section 5: “In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it.”

Section 6: “By sharing a small act of thoughtcrime he had turned the two of them into accomplices.”

Section 7: “They could not alter your feelings: for that matter you could not alter them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.”

Section 8: "At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police, there is no other way.”

This article was about the North Korean government and its similarities to the government in 1984. One of these being the little privacy for the people living under it. Another, the strict ruling of a leader instead of a fair democracy. Lastly, the small amounts of freedom offered for the entire country. North Korea has a dictator, now Kim Jung Un, who limits his people in what they can say, do, and be. He also keeps them in the dark constantly, not telling them about any military action taking place. Because of this, their country has many problems and the majority of its citizens are not happy.

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