1984 Reading Log
Tim Simka

Part 1 Sections 1 & 2

Summary (3-5 Sentences):

Winston is a middle class citizen in an alternate history, dystopian 1984 London, which is a city in Oceania. Oceania is one of three global superpowers and is governed by a group called the Party, which monitors and controls everything the people do. "Big Brother" is the omniscient figurehead of the party. Winston starts writing an illegal diary after inspiration from a session of Two Minutes Hate, and in the diary he subconsciously writes "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" multiple times. Knowing that he has commited one of the most unpardonable crimes in Oceania, Winston decides to keep writing in the diary for the future readers that will inevitably read it.

Important Quote: "There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to" (Orwell 12)


What is the key role doublethink plays in Oceania?

Who is Big Brother?

Learning Station #3

Oldspeak: The reporting of Big Brother's order for the day in the times of December 3rd, 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to nonexistant persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.

Newspeak: Rep of Big Brother's dayorder in Times of 12/3 is ungood and makes ref to unpersons. Speakwrite it in full and upsub before filing.

5 Sentence Response

Response to Language:

Oceania's language is tailor-made; the language smoothly passes on the acrid, clandestine ideas of the party. However, Newspeak also limits the old, inveterate variety of thinking humans are normally capable of by limiting vocabulary. The limitation of thinking due to Newspeak is a demonstration of how language is important to us human beings, a free language allows us to ruminate properly. If we want to keep our gift of being able to think for ourselves, we must keep our language indellible.

3 Discussion Questions and One Answer

1. Who are the people Winston believes are the best suited to start a rebellion?

According to Winston, "[hope] must lie in the proles, because... In those swarming disregarded masses, 85 per cent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated" (Orwell 81). In Oceania, the middle class is extensively monitored, so they would not be able to organize any rebellion. This close control over the middle class by the party makes apparent the party's belief that the middle class ar the people most able to lead a revolution.  What the party doesn't know is that the biggest danger to them are the proles. Conveniently, the party has turned a blind eye onto the proles.

2. What is the girl actually doing?

3. The party can control the future by controlling the past, and the past while controlling the present. How?

Winston and Julia's Relationship

Winston and Julia's relationship is not one out of romantic love. Their relationship is  drawn together by their desire for sex and corruption in the party. In fact, Winston wishes that the amount of times Julia had sex with others was "hundreds-thousands. Anything that hinted at corruption always filled him with a wild hope" (Orwell 134). Winston liked the fact that Julia had done it plenty of times because that symbolized corruption. Due to the fact that Winston was attracted to Julia because of her bountiful sex life, their relationship was based around sex and corruption in the party.

Slogan Activity

For the Slogan, I chose "Ignorance is Strength". The blindfolded person as well as the person with the "no-no" sign on his head represents ignorance. Strength is shown by the two hands. Red is used for emphasis, for it is the Party's color. Both the hands (strength) and the head (ignorance) are tinted red, and they show the Party's desire for ignorance and strength. In general, the poster is dark. The message conveyed through this poster is that if one can remain ignorant, then one can emerge strong.

Part 2: 4-8 Quotes

2:4 "He wondered vaguely whether in the abolished past it had been a normal experience to lie in bed like this, in the cool of a summer evening, a man and a woman with no clothes on, making love when they chose, talking of what they chose, not feeling any compulsion to get up, simply lying there and listening to peaceful sounds outside" (Orwell 157).

2:5 "It did not seem to matter. Dirty or clean, the room was paradise" (Orwell 163).

2:6 "The first step had been a secret, involuntary thought, the second had been the opening of the diary. He had moved from thoughts to words, and now from words to actions. The last step was something that would happen in the Ministry of Love" (Orwell 173).

2:7 "It would not have occurred to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love" (Orwell 178).

2:8 "The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organisation in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible"(Orwell 190).

5-10 Sentence Summary: Misinformationu

The article "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" starts on a positive note about how US history textbooks would be reconstructed to include silenced and repessed groups into history. However, that effort was soon stopped, and the challenge was to explain what had gone wrong with the movement. Professor Loewen critiques high school textbooks, and in those critiques, he debunks myths and other falsehoods those textbooks may contain. Loewen analyses and explains all sorts of different issues with the representation of history in textbooks. Loewen's efforts are great; he explains each myth concisely and in great detail. However, in order to analyze those myths in history, one needs to make sure that they know what actually happened in history, otherwise, uninformed analysis will provide breeding grounds for other myths and falsifications.

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