1984 Reading Log
Sections 1 & 2
Winston Smith is a member of the futuristic Dystopia of London, England in the year 1984. Living a life ultimately defined by the political power known as The Party, Winston takes daily precautions to refrain from actions easily classified as illegal. However, Winston soon finds himself in a constant state of refraining from accepting his belief that Big Brother, the leader of The Party, should be dissembled. He ultimately decides that the situation can no longer be ignored, and Winston performs an illegal act of writing the beliefs in a diary which results in something even worse—comitting a Thoughtcrime—an act equivalent to a death sentance.
“He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party would not endure for ever? Like an answer, the three slogans on the white face of the Ministry of Truth came back at him:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" (Orwell 36).
1) What does the author George Orwell invision future society to behold?
2) What are the consequences to Winston accepting his belief and what are the consequences of him ignoring it?
Learning Station #1
Runs fingers through/plays with hair often
Uses hands to express emotions
Taps fingers on desk
Looks down often
Apprehensive tone when speaking
Apprehensive body language
How did it feel to watch someone in this fashion?
Personally, it felt a bit awkward watching another person in this fashion. I felt uncomfortable as I felt like I was intruding on another person's buisness. Through the observation of their mannerisms and style of speech, I was able to learn more about the type of person I observed.
The prophetic nature of George Orwell's 1984 was ever so prominent in sections 3-6 of the novel. Stated in the reading was the turmoil of post 1950's era. Winston remembers a time of ultimate freedom and wholesomeness of the human race and reflects upon the dramatic change which resulted in a seemingly unconcious slavery and an overall callous demeanor. It is clear how Orwell's prediction of an ultimate reliance to technology, a new language and a powerful governing system is present in the modern age. There is currently a growing human dependace upon phones, computers, television and other technological sources. Next, a new language of texting is similar to Newspeak which emphasizes the need for a simplistic language that allows the human mind to remain quiescent. Finally the rise in an august government's power is prominent in society today as humans allow the government immense control to quell and initiate ideals. All in all, the prophetic nature of Orwell's novel is quite indelible.
1) Why does Winston believe hope to lay in the proles?
2) What is Winston's view upon what is considered to be true because it ws stated by the Party?
3) What does Winston hope to attain from visiting the proles living area?
1) Winston believes that hope of ultimate freedom from The Party lies in the proles. He states "“If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, 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). Knowing that the proles compose the majority of Oceania's population, Winston believes that they have the numbers to demolish The Party. Furthermore he believes that once the proles gained consciousness of their own strength, they would have no need to conspire as they could simply cooperate to perform an immense rebellion. All in all, Winston remains steadfast in his belief in the overwhelming power that lies hidden within the proles.
Why are Winston and Julia drawn to eachother?
Winston and Julia have an intense connection due to their rare mutual interests and ideals. They both share the belief that The Party is wholeheartedly corrupt, out to seek the personal advantage of power. Together they feel like their sexually driven romantic relationship is an act of personal defiance to The Party which emphasizes the need for chastity unless choosing sex for reproduction purposes. Before committing the sexual act, Winston reflects and comes to the realization that “Not merely the love of one person, but the animal instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear the Party to pieces" (Orwell 138). Both Winston and Julia know that they alone are not powerful enough to publically defy The Party, but their private rebellion of sex is a way for them to safely express their prominent desire. Ultimately, they are drawn to eachother because they find an escape from their nightmarish reality within one another.
"Big Brother Is Watching You" is an ever so popular slogan of The Party, the leaders of Oceania. The statement is a reminder for all citizens that they are never truly alone. They are always being watched; their mental and physical actions are constantly evaluated and scrutinized by the force of The Party, and further by Big Brother. Big Brother, the leader of The Party, is the all knowing power of Oceania. In order to retain his control, he seeks to create a sense of unconcious fear and submission within the citizens. Those who value their lives and their safety, value the rules of The Party. Ultimately citizens of Oceania know all to well that Big Brother is always watching them.
Section 4- “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" (Orwell 160).
Section 5- “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. But there were also times when they had the illusion not only of safety but of permanence” (Orwell 164-165).
Section 6- “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 173).
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" (Orwell 181).
Section 8- “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. 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" (Orwell 191).
"The Country Where Big Brother is Watchting"
In the article "The Country Where Big Brother is Watching", author Leela Jacinto explores the communist lifesytle in North Korea and its comparison with the world of George Orwell's "1984". When North Korean leader Kim Jong Il confessed to the abduction of 11 Japanese citizens, people in every nation could not help feeling a complete and utter sense of shock. After consistently denying the kidnapping for two decades, the "Dear Leader's" confession was a point of both outrage and consolation for those families who had gone so long without knowing the fate of their loved ones. Through the four survivers' stories, people were able to learn how North Korean spies had kidnapped the citizens and used them for a means to steal identities for international travel, to help train its spies in Japanese customs, and to be brainwashed and become spies themselves. Immediate exploration was done regarding North Korea and hidden aspects of its government. Discoveries were then made through a telephone directory which listed a 24 hour hotline of spies who dedicated their time to ratting out family, friends and colleagues. Ultimately the secretive and ever so controlling North Korean society can draw one to finds immediate comparisons with the distopian lifestyle in "1984".