1984 Reading Log
Sean Tso

Part 1 Sections 1 & 2

Summary: Winston Smith, the main character, is a worker at the Ministry of Truth in the year 1984. At his home, he writes in a diary his rebellious thoughts against Big Brother and the Party while remembering an event at his work. During the "Two Minutes Hate", his eyes meet with another worker, O' Brian, in a silent acknowledgement of each other's hate for the Party. Later on, he acknowledges that he is writing the diary as a warning to the future, and he labels himself as a dead man, as "thoughtcrimes" are punishable by death.

Quote: “A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic” (Orwell 27).

Questions: How is the community able to be controlled by the "Two Minutes Hate"? Are the Thought Police able to read minds?

Newspeak Learning Station 3

Time: 3:12:1983 B-B dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons. Plusrewrite submit plusparty antefile.

Part 1 Sections 3-6

In these three sections of 1984, a lot of new information is given in relation to Oceania's political system. Winston's job at the Ministry of Truth is to remove all indelible evidence of the Party's weakness from the records. For example, if there were tangible records of Big Brother mistakenly predicting the outcome of a battle, Winston would destroy the evidence and fabricate new records of Big Brother correctly predicting the battle's outcome. The entire operation is kept as clandestine as possible in order to increase the power of the Party. Additionally, the reader learns that citizens of Oceania who are thought to have committed thoughtcrimes are quelled by the Party and "vaporized", essentially being erased from existence. The rest of the population turns away in a tacit agreement to ignore the disappearances.

Part 1 Sections 7-8

Discussion Questions:

1) When Winston writes, "If there is hope, it lies in the proles" (Orwell 94), what does he mean?

2) Do you think Mr. Charrington's poem is significant to the plot in any way?

3) Do you think the dark haired girl from the Fiction Department who is following Winston wants to help him or harm him?

Part 2 Sections 1-3

In these three sections, Winston begins an affair with Julia, the dark-haired girl from the Fiction Department. Winston wants to bring down the Party, while Julia has accepted the Party's oppression and is trying to make the best of it. Julia keeps Winston's negative thoughts in check, for example when Winston states that they are practically dead, Julia exclaims, “Oh, rubbish! Which would you sooner sleep with, me or a skeleton? Don’t you enjoy being alive? Don’t you like feeling: “This is me, this is my hand, this is my leg, I’m real, I’m solid, I’m alive! Don’t you like this?” (Orwell 173-174). While the two lovers may be polar opposites, they have found solace in each other through the oppression of the Party.

For my propaganda poster, I chose the Party slogan "Ignorance is Strength". I also added the statement "Never trust your own eyes. Believe what you are told." And the words "Obey INGSOC". I chose a picture of two blindfolded men shaking hands because I felt like the image accurately demonstrates the oppression that the Party outputs to the citizens of Oceania. The two men represent the Outer Party members, such as Winston, and the blindfold represents the control that the Party has over the population.

Part 2 Sections 4-8

1) “He wished that they were a married couple of ten years’ standing. He wished that he were walking through the streets with her just as they were doing now, but openly and without fear, talking of trivialities and buying odds and ends for the household. He wished above all that they had some place where they could be alone together without feeling the obligation to make love every time they met” (Orwell 178).

2) “Both of them knew—in a way, it was never out of their minds—that what was now happening could not last long. There were times when the fact of impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking” (Orwell 192).

3) “Even while he was speaking to O’Brien, when the meaning of the words had sunk in, a chilly shuddering feeling had taken possession of his body. He had the sensation of stepping into the dampness of a grave, and it was not much better because he had always known that the grave was there and waiting for him” (Orwell 202).

4) “What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. The proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another. . . The proles had stayed human” (Orwell 209).

5) “But between the general aims that we are fighting for, and the immediate tasks of the moment, you will never know anything” (Orwell 220).

Lies My Teacher Taught Me Summary

The article "Lies My Teacher Taught Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" is a review on Professor Loewen's critique of the misinformation given in history books. Alexander Saxton, the author of this review, gives many examples of changes that have been made to history. One such change is the "savagery" of Native Americans that has been depicted in some textbooks. The real truth of the matter is that Europeans mercilessly slaughtered natives of the newly discovered North America in order to gain more land. Textbook authors today are attempting to make textbooks more politically correct in order to accurately display history. Both Saxton and Loewen believe this course of action are the correct steps to take in order for misinformation to be removed from the media and history.

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