Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What is the mean in having "something" beyond the party?

In Book Two of "1984" we briskly begin to learn more about Winston's feeling towards Julia as well as how hard it can be to actually have "something" for yourself under Ingsoc's rule. One important thing is that they both are able to obtain a room for themselves above Mr.Charrington's store where they can hold their affair. Here they are free from the oppression of Ingsoc and can freely express themselves like when Julia says "In this room I'm going to be a woman, not a Party comrade"(Page 142 Orwell). Another example of their freedom is that the room is located in the slums of London and happens to lack a telescreen and microphone to monitor their activities.

When in Mr.Charrington's room Winston and Julia also talk about the piece of coral in the glass "That's what I like about it. It's a little chunk of history that they've forgotten to alter. It's a message from a hundred years ago, if one knew how to read it." (Page 145 Orwell). The significance of the piece is that its sheer simplicity and exotic nature helps make it something more than just a simple thing he bought in a shop to being a relic that had once made a smudge somewhere in history that hasn't yet been erased by Ingsoc and Big Brother.

Double Life

1) How does Winston's relationship with Julia begin to change his state of mind in the opening chapters of book two?
Through out the entire book, Winston had an agenda that never changed. Until, one day at work the dark haired girl slipped him a note saying " I love you". Winston soon found himself falling in love with this woman, the same woman he wanted to kill weeks prior. "At the sight of the words I love You the desire to stay alive had welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid." Winston later found out she was just as corrupt as himself. Even though she makes it look like she agrees with Big Brother and follows all the big rules, it allows her to break the small rules and get away with it. Winston and Julia, the dark haired girl, are lovers which is against the Party. "I hate purity, I hate goodness. I don't want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones." Winsont now sees a purpose in life, something exciting to look forward to everyday. Thus, Winston is breaking the rules with no regard to Big Brother.
(New Paragraph)Before Julia was apart of Winston's life, he repeated the same thing day after day with no new adventure. Now he has something to look forward to everyday, wether its meeting her in the streets or in a secret spot to have sex, he has life to him. Winston is now having fun in life, disregarding Big Brothers rules at the same time. He realizes he must play the game, following the big rules, serving the community, etc. If he does that, it allows him to break small rules like having sex with Julia and people will not be suspicious about him.

Maybe it is Worth it

After Winston recieved the love note from the dark haired girl (later identified as Julia) his outlook on things and life specifically changed. He thinks "at the sight of the words I love you the desire to stay alive had welled up in him, the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid." Winston described his feelings as stunned and had to reread the note to "make sure the words were really there." Winston no longer wrote in his dairy because he thought it was dumb and foolish to take the risk now that he has this girl. He has something to live for. The only risks he takes is with the girl and by doing so he is rebeling but that is not his main focus. Winston is doing what he wants with little regard for Big Brother.

This relationship also gives Winston an agenda. Before Julia he would go to work and the canteen, once in a while stop in at Mr. Charrington's shop then try to write in his dairy and he would repeat that daily. Now everyday he enjoys the little satisfaction of rebeling the party by talking to Julia at differents parts of town, in the streets, secret spots, all at different times. Julia slowly rubs off on Winston eveytime they talk. She exclaims "we're not dead yet" and "dont you enjoy being alive? I'm real, I'm solid, I'm alive! Dont you like this? She makes Winston realize how much he really does enjoy this.

Opposite Couples

3) Describe Julia's philosophy on life and the Party. How does it perhaps differ from Winston's?

Many people say opposites attract, well in this case, it's very true. Winston and Julia differ in many ways. Winston throughout the whole book has been worrying about the future and what it will be like. Also, Winston writes in his diary, "If there is hope, it lies in the Proles." (Orwell 82). Winston thinks this because of the amount of Proles there are compared to everyone else, also he shows that he wants change for the future. We know that Winston wants change and people to go against the party but he has a hard time approaching things like this because he is scared of being caught. Winston breaks rules but approaches it very cautiously and even though he wants to go against the Party, he is constantly nervous.

On the other hand, we learn that Julia does not worry too much about the future and she doesn't seem to be worried about being caught breaking rules either. Julia knows that Winston is against the Party just like she is and she shows this when she says, "As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them." (Orwell 122). Julia is against the party in a different way than Winston, Julia breaks the little rules that allow her to follow the big ones while she still feels rebellious. Also, Julia isn't as worried about being caught because she sees it as that she is still alive and has not been caught so why worry about something that may not even happen.

A new found relationship

1) How does Winston's relationship with Julia begin to change his state of mind in the opening chapters of Book Two?

In the beginning chapters of book 2 Julia and Winston have a new relationship. After Julia gave Winston the note that says "I love you" in the begging of the book in Chapter one, Winston's life changes. Winston no longer resents her, and wants to find a way to be with her. Evidence of his new found liking toward her is when he trips a man about to sit at the vacant seat at her table in chapter 1.

Winston's outlook on life becomes less gloomy and repetative. Winston begins to enjoy his days by doing things he doesn't do every single day. Winston also begins to have hope that there are others like him. Since Julia seemed like a devout party member and was not, it gives a glimmer of hope to Winston.

Seen Through Another Pair of Eyes

Everybody living in Oceania has to live the same life; doing the same activities, eating the same foods, and working the same jobs. Although, the way you look at life decides whether or not your happy or not. Winston clearly hates life here in Oceania and wants to do anything to get out. He rebels by writing in his diary everyday and buying things he shouldn't have, even though he knows he could possibly get caught. In Chapter VI (Book 1) we can see that Winston can't wait to be disobedient, "Consorting with prostitutes was forbidden, of course, but it was one of those rules that you could occasionally nerve yourself to break" (Orwell 65). Winston has a love affair with an old ugly prostitute one night, and decides to go through with it because he knew it was rebellious. Winston thinks of this as the ultimate act of rebellion.

We learn later in the book, that Julia too, hates Oceania, but keeps it to herself and doesn't act out as much as Wintston. Winston's all for rebellion and outsmarting the Party, while Julia just wants to have fun and stay out of trouble. In Chapter III (Book 2) we clearly see Julia wanted nothing to do of the Party, " She hated the Party, and said so in the crudest words, but she made no general criticism of it. Except where it touched upon her own life she had no interest in Party doctrines" (Orwell 131). Julia is unhappy with her life, but she feels antagonizing the Party would just be a waste of her time. She only cares if it has something to do with her personal life, but other than that she really wants nothing to do with the Party. Finding eachother completed one another because being alone they were unhappy, but together they have something to live for.

You're invited to "The Party"

In the beginning of book two, Julia slips a note to Winston that says "I love you". This note starts a chain reaction all through-out the chapter. When Winston found this out, he immediately wanted to get in touch with her, and eventually did, but when he did talk to her, he found out her view of life and the Party where only vaguely similar to his. When Winston does start talking to Julia on his views of life, or the party, she falls asleep quite easily, like she is only concerned with what she thinks. One thing Julia talks about to Winston is how nearly stopping sex is helping the party control the lives of the people. She says "If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?", which shows to the reader that Julia believes in The Party controlling peoples lives, but she also out does herself doing anything involving the party.
Meanwhile, Winston believes in The Brotherhood, revolting, and that all hope lies in the proles. Julia on the other hand, wants to find a way to overthrow the Party, but doesn't want to be involved in it. Also, Winston just believes in doing the bare minimum for the party, and just pushing through each minute, hour, and day. Julia though, pushes herself to, and beyond the limit for helping the party, and does everything she can to get herself noticed, but in a positive way. I guess you can say "opposites attract".

Winstons change of mind

In the beginning chapters of Book 2 Winston's state of mind changes because of the relationship with Julia. On his way to the lavatory he saw the girl with the black hair coming towards him. She felled on her arm that was already in a sling. While he was helping her up, she gave Winston a little sheet of paper unnoticeable. After he had opened the sheet of paper at his desk and had realized that "I love you" was written on it, "His whole mind and body seemed to be afflicted with an unbearable sensitivity, a sort of transparency, which made every movement, every sound, every contact, every word that he had to speak or listen to , an agony.,", displaying his feeling that he really desires to speak and have contact to Julia (p.111). He wants to be close to her, but it almost is impossible to have contact because first of all you are not allowed to and second of all there is not a single room without a telescreen. His whole thinking of Julia has changed after this accident. Before he thought that she might be part of the thought police, but now he has a desire for her and wants to be close to her.
His state of mind changes because of the relationship with Julia. Before he was feared and anxious about BIG BROTHER, but it changed to the point that he wants to start a rebellion against BIG BROTHERS whole idea of people thinking the same, reducing the words in the dictionary etc. They arranged a time when they could meet far away from the city in a secret spot hidden by trees. There she is saying "As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them.", showing her attitude towards BIG BROTHER and INGSOC (p.122). It changes his state of mind that he is now getting more rebellious as he is later on going with Julia to the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and staying there for a while although it is forbidden. He does more and more things that are against the rules and thinks about having the proles helping him starting a rebellion because he think that proles are they only one being able to have a rebellion. She was a main factor that Winston is now thinking this way and might start a rebellion with the help of the proles.
4)Discuss the importance of the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and the coral paperweight as related to Winston's relationship with Julia.

The room above Mr. Charrington's shop and the coral paperweight are special factors in the relationship between Julia and Winston. The room above Mr. Charington's shop is a safe haven where Julia and Winston like to meet. This room is important in their relationship because this room is the only room they know of that does not have a telescreen in it. Without this room Julia and Winston would have to find another place to have their "meetings" with each other and have the risk of being caught. Where as having the room above the shop the two don't have to worry about being discovered from the police. A plus side to the room is that it is in the Proles district where Big Brother doesn't really care what the people do there. Winston thinks to himself, while waiting in the room for Julia "Of all the crimes a party member could commit, this one was the least possible to conceal."(Orwell 136) This passage shows that Winston thinks that his and Julia's relationship will be discovered. But this room says otherwise even though Winston has dought that him and Julia will be found the room is quietly protected and a safe haven for him and Julia too have their "meetings".

The paperweight is also connected to Julia's and Winston's relationship in that Julia first sees it and asks Winston what it is and in reply Winston says "It's a little chunk of history that they've forgot to alter." (Orwell 145) This is linked to both of them because both pf them are breaking the rules and the paperweight was something that Big Brother could never cover up which shows that there once was a time when Oceania didn't look like this. I think that the paperweight is a symbol of hope for both Winston and Julia and when ever they feel lost or hopeless like nothing will ever change for them they both can look and the paperweight and remind themselves of a better time when everything wasn't controlled by Big Brother.

The TIdes Have Turned

Winston's opinion on Julia has completely turned 180 degrees. In the opening chapters Winston's loathes Julia with a burning passion because he believes she is a spy who is trying to have him vaporized. He constantly catches her starring at him and even once he saw her following into prole territory. Winston hated her so much that he even admitted to her his burning hatred when they were in the clearing;"I hated the sight of you. I wanted to rape you then murder you afterwards(Orwell 101)" Although this is a very vivid and brutal description of WInston's hatred towards her, Julia finds it hilarious that he would suspect her of being a spy. She hated the Party just as much, if not more, that Winston. This mutual hatred against the Party is now what attracts these two to each other.

Once Winston and Julia confirmed that they both craved corruption and rebellion against the Party, they fell madly in love. Julia loved Winston's corrupt ways so much that she said she could care less about the "false teeth" or the "varicose veins". And Winston said that he wished she had been with countless men because it meant that she felt strongly against the ways of the Party. He shows his attractive to her sleezy ways when he said,"Listen. The more men you've had, the more I love you. Do you understand that?(104)." Most men would be disturbed if their woman had been with so many men, but Winston is so opposed to the Party that he is attracted to anything Julia does that doesn't obey the rule. Although they may not be the most generic couple to have walked the planet, Winston and Julia have become a loving couple despite the passionate hatred that Winston had once had for her.

A world suspended in glass.

In 1984 the room above the shop has a lot of significance."Dirty or clean, the room was paradise." This room symbolizes their own world, where they are free to think and speak and act and feel safe. The fact that they are going there is an act of rebellion and of love and it makes them feel powerful. The room also symbolized a window to the past where "extinct animals could walk" as winston says.

To winston the coral paperweight has a great significance. "The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own..." This quote shows a reflection of Winston's state of mind while he was in the room. Also he feels like his relationship with Julia, and the safety of the room its self can last forever while he is there. The paper weight also holds the moments of safety, and love between him and Julia in suspension from time in Winston's mind. Both the shop and the paperweight symbolize the openness and comfort of their relationship with each-other.

Loving Relationships

Discuss the importance of the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and the coral paperweight as related to Winston's relationship with Julia.
In the Insoc society there are only a few places that Winston and Julia can express themselves and be free, one of these places is the room above Mr. Charringtons's shop. Winston and Julia love each other, but they can not express their love in public due to issues with the parties. After not seeing Julia for a week or so, Winston rents out the room above the shop for them to be together. The reader learns Winston's thoughts about privacy when he says, "Privacy,he said, was a very valuable thing." This tells the reader that Winston is fortunate for having the room and wanted a place to do as he wished without anyone watching. Having privacy is something that is uncommon in their society and a rebellious thing to find or do. When Julia arrived at the room she brought many desirable goods such as sugar and coffee that only the inner party could obtain. The room ultimately strengthened there relationship and gave them something different and a change.
Having personal objects is forbidden in the Insoc society, Winston and Julia's relationship relates to rebelling against this law. This gives them a common thought and improves their relationship. One object that is very important and symbolic in the novel is the coral paperweight. Winston describes his love for Julia through the paperweight when he says, "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." This little object brought so much love into winston's life and made his life worth living. Whether or not it is mental or physical the paperweight brings Winston comfort. This comfort brings Julia and him closer together and almost a married couple

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Two Blog Post - due Wednesday, 2/23

Hi guys - let's take some time today for you to explore your thoughts on the opening chapters of Book Two.

Choose one of the topics below to explore in a new blog post. Your post should be 2 paragraphs in length and should include clear topic sentence claims, evidence, and commentary.

1) How does Winston's relationship with Julia begin to change his state of mind in the opening chapters of Book Two?

2) What is the significance of The Golden Country -- in Winston's dream and in reality in his encounter with Julia? What does this place symbolize for Winston?

3) Describe Julia's philosophy on life and the Party. How does it perhaps differ from Winston's?

4) Discuss the importance of the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and the coral paperweight as related to Winston's relationship with Julia.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A different type of protagonist

To me, one of the weirdest and creepiest parts of the book so far was when Winston has sex with the prostitute. I'm sure i'm not the only one who thought this and I bet I wasn't the only one who was a little shocked. I thought to myself that there is no way that Winston would have sex with this woman until he wrote in his journal "She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without any kind of preliminary, in the most coarse, horrible way you can imagine, pulled up her skirt". The main reason I was surprised with Winston's actions was that I thought Winston was suppose to be a typical protagonist, goodhearted and never doing anything wrong. Winston's actions with the prostitute make me question the thoughts I had about Winston at the beginning of the book.

In Class Work - Monday, February 21

Today in class, spend the first 20 minutes looking back at the writing done on our blog so far. I want you to comment on at least 3 different posts written by different classmates on this blog or on the A period's blog. To comment on a post, click on the comment button at the bottom of the post -- DO NOT CREATE A NEW POST. A comment might include :
  • a question to clarify the blogger's point in his/her post
  • a question of confusion to ask the class or Mrs. Holliday on the topic
  • a comment on the topic that the blogger did not address -- i.e. taking it in a different direction
  • a comment adding evidence or another example to support the blogger's claim
Commenting is a way of continuing the dialogue on the questions raised by this book. Look to be specific and original in your comments -- i.e. don't repeat! Please remember all rules of classroom conduct still apply in an online environment. Happy Blogging!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Covered Encounters

"Party Women never paint their faces. There was no one else in the street, and no tele-screens."

At this moment in the novel, all of my thoughts about Winston changed. From his rebellious thoughts to writing in a dairy to cheating on his wife, Winston is without a doubt now a rebellious man. The lady was hiding her age behind all of the makeup or paint and Winston was eager to follow the women to a basement. There he had a sexual encounter without tele-screens and had a moment away from the pain of Insoc society and Katharine, his wife. Winston later finds out her aged and while he is stunned his actions remain the same. I am not sure what to think about this passages in chapter six. At first it strange and something new, but also the thought that she is prostitute and has corrupted many man before Winston.

What Do We Really Know?

We all know that 2+2=4 but what if you were told otherwise, and you had no choice but to beileve that 2+2 actually equals 5? This qoute explains just how much the party is in control of everything. It also makes Winston start to think if 2 and 2 do actually make 4 or if he is just being told that to. He also questions gravity and the fact that the past is unchangable. The party tells you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears, so according to the party just because you can see and feel that water is wet and stones are hard doesnt mean they arent unless the party tells you they are. "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. I if that is granted, all else follows." Saying that what freedom means to them is being able to say things that ,factually, actually are.

Newspeak-the decreasing language

In the novel "1984" by George Orwell the whole society in London, Oceania has changed. Everybody is working for BIG BROTHER and the party INGSOC. Almost all people - except of the one's living in the slums - have telescreens in their apartments which you can't turn off and which are bringing all the news edited by the Ministry of Truth to you. It also functions like a supervisor camera because they are checking what your are doing because you are not allowed to do a lot of things like writing etc. In the forth chapter Winston is eating lunch with some guys, one called Syme. Syme is editing the dictionary but instead of what you would think they were doing adding words to it, they are actually reducing words, for example: "bad" is not a word anymore, you now have to use "ungood". This shows that INGSOC wants to reduce the amount of words so everybody will think the same, showing in the quote as Syme is saying to Winston, "Don't you see that whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?"(p.52, l. 10-11). It displays how they are going to make the people think the same. Just narrow the words and "delete" the old words so you have to use NEWSPEAK.
When I read this chapter I was surprised about their technique to change the people's minds. I would never have guessed that they would try to reduce the words so everybody thinks the same way and has the same kind of thoughts. That really shocked me because I thought they rather don't allow things than reducing the words.

Is Winston a sex addict?

One quote that i found very odd and surprising was in chapter VI when Winston describes his experience with the prostitute. "When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman. fifty years old at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same." I thought this was incredibly odd because Winston never appeared to me as anyone who would crave sex so much as to do it with a 50 year old woman. He vividly describes her disgusting features like "paint plastered on her face" and "no teeth at all" but disregards them and continues to have sex with her. After reading the first few chapters of Winston being very boring and quiet I assumed he was one of those men who lived his life with no intention or desire to have sex. But apparently I am very wrong.


Quote of significance in 1984.

This book revolves around the plot of a dystopia society where rules are unjust and government has full control of it's people. Examples are the thought police, the way everyone is similar, and how everyone is so brainwashed. This is really saddening because it is almost impossible to overthrow the government because of the lack of enemies and the many people being brainwashed. Winston quotes, "If there was hope, it would lie in the proles." In the quote, he is saying that if there is any chance that the government could be overthrown, it would lie in the hands of the lower class. Since the people don't pose such a threat to the government, they don't need to worry about something that Winston has to worry about such as telescreens. This gives the the lower class an advantage because they are not always being watched and monitored on what they are doing.

Quoting 1984

Winston is sketchy about everything that he knows ever since he has figured out Oceania has been lying to him Winston says, "Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain"(page 41) This quotes shows that Winston is finally figuring out that Oceania is lying to him. He is unsure what the date is even the year which makes Winston feel insecure and uneasy that Oceania is taking advantage of him and brainwashing all of its people. Winston wishes that he could gather all of the proles and get them to revolt , or at least see that Oceania is lying to them, they then could all take over Oceania and be free.

How important is the past?

An interesting moment in chapters 4-8 of "1984" is when he talks about how the past is being erased from society and how it's a crucial part of the way INGSOC can control the people. "It was curious that the fact of having held it in his fingers seemed to him to make a differences even now, when the photograph itself, as well as the event it recorded, was only memory. Was the party's hold upon the past less strong, he wondered because a piece of evidence which existed no longer had once existed?"(Orwell Page 79) At this point in the book Winston is suddenly beginning to realize some of the many undisclosed ways in which the party "INGSOC" has learned to control society. It's also possible that his ideas could lead him to uncover ways to expose how the totalitarian state created by Big Brother is corrupt and has led the people into extreme levels of oppression.

Who says age doesnt matter...

Who says age doesn't matter? Winston, thats who. Winston stumbled across what he thought was a beautiful, young lady. However, when he saw her in the light before having intercourse, he soon realized she was an old lady. This did not stop Winston though, he continued as though it was any other girl. "When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years old at least. But I went ahead and did it just the same." Winston payed for sex, which was strongly againsit the beliefs of those in the Inner Party. I found it extremely weird, and disturbing he had sex with a lady of that age. Winston knew it was wrong, thus why he went to the poor part of town where nobody would ever know what he was doing.


A significant quote from chapters 4-8 is "In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it," which is a thought of winston's. He thinks this while he is reading a children's book that is putting down the capitalists and the fashions of the past. This quote is important to him because he is realizing how much the party controlled the minds of the people. Winston says that no matter how untrue something might seem to him, anything the party said almost everyone would believe it instantly. This situation compares with the tele-screen cast the says that the ration of chocolate has been raised to 20, but he remembers that the day before it had been lowered to 20. He finds this annoying because he is the only one who is not excited about the "raise" in rations. I think this idea that the party has that much control over peoples minds is scary. Their control is total enough so that they can alter the principals that people had been believing in for such a long time, which I think is wrong and so does Winston.

Rags to Riches

"If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty- five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated" (Orwell 69).

Winston writes in his diary in Chapter VII this quote at the very beginning to show his strong hatred for the Party. Considering Winston's view on Oceania and how the citizens don't receive privacy from the government, he is looking for a way out of this messed up life. Winston looks for others who have a mutual feeling for the Party and who want to change, like O'Brien. Winston is jealous of the way the Proles live with their simple lives. Because they are the lower class of Oceania, they don't get as much attention and aren't patrolled nearly as much as the Parties are. He believes the only hope for turning around the way the people live lies within the proles. I think it's funny how the lowest part of Oceania who receives no attention at all, as the strength the take over the Party. The party doesn't think this is capable and would never suspect this from the proles.

Where hope lies

In the book on page 69 chapter 7 winston says " If there is hope, it lies in the proles." The quote means that the only way for Winston to find an army that can and is willing to overthrow the party is in the proles. The significance of the quote is that Winston knows that anyone inside the party will not and can not over throw it. In order for the party to fall it must come from the masses where the party is not watching as closely. I think Winston has a good point when he says that his only hope lies within the proles. In history the masses have been known to rebel against their government and succeed. The succes of a revolt by the masses is achieved because the masses are most of the time ignorant and easily persuaded.

Frustration In Many Forms

"He had written it down at last, but it made no difference. The therapy had not worked. The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever. (p. 69)"

being frustrated will not help you attract abundance

This quote symbolizes Winston's frustration with not only "big brother," but the sexual frustration that he feels. In the community that Winston lives in, its is frowned upon to be with a man or woman. It is seen as just a "duty" to make the Ministry happy and to re-populate the community. I believe that Winston is frustrated with the sexual aspect of his community, but he is also frustrated with the "big brother" figure that is always watching him and controlling him. Winston's frustration shows that he is different from the other people because he feels emotion and wants to be different, he wants to go against "big brother" but he is afraid to get caught.

Sex with a "wooden image"

In 1984, by George Orwell, Winston describes his life with Katharine, his ex-wife and says he could have lived with her, had it not been for one thing, the sex. Winston says "As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a jointed wooden image... It was extraordinarily embarassing and, after a while, horrible." He tells us how having sex with Katharine became a chore instead of a pleasure. How each night she would say it is time to do "our duty to the Party". Having to live through that and not having the ability to get divorced was a traumatical event for Winston. Going each night, dreading the event to come, should not have to be tolerated by a man. Just thinking about being a man, with a wife, and having to go through that pain every week is beyond thinkable. How Winston got through that time period with Katharine is unimaginable, and must have taken every single ounce of his strength, and for that I congratulate him. It seemed that his whole relationship with Katharine was nothing, she just wanted to have children to help the Party, all of this affecting his future moves and thoughts.

Online Reading Check - End of Book One

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's Done After Hours...

The word written on my index card is PRIVACY. This word relates to the opening chapters when Winston has to hide behind his alcove in order to write in his diary so the Thought Police won't catch him. This quote from the book clearly shows how secretive you have to be, "He had committed- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper- the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it" (Orwell 19). In Oceania, keeping a diary is forbidden and you will be punished for your actions. Winston has a telescreen in his room that helps Big Brother keep an eye on everyone. Whenever Winston has an idea or thought, he pulls out his diary and writes it down. Looking at this idea on privacy in Oceania, I think it's crazy compared to how we live now. We don't have massive screens in our room watching every move we make. In general, having privacy is usually a good thing because it allows you to have personal space where not everybody knows your business. Now on the other hand, if you do have something to hide, and the government is able to get into your information or emails, than you aren't so well of. Having technology now makes it easier for the government to get our personal information like on facebook or google mail.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Diary

The diary directly relates to Winston because he is writing in the diary. It is significant to Winston becuase in his world his government made it so that diaries are forbidden. The diary allows him to have his own personal identity. On page 6 in the book, the diary is first introduced. The diary according to the text is not a legal thing for him to have because he states that having it could get him killed or put in a labor camp. I think having a diary is a way for someone to express themselves. Since the government does not allow its people the right to have a diary, I think it shows the reader that the government is unpopular and that in order to control its people it must keep them from expression and keep them ignorant.


O-Brian was a perplexing character who does not agree with Big Brother so he had to keep his thoughts to himself in order to survive. O-Brian was strongly against Big Brother, yet he kept his thoughts to himself. However, this would change. Winston made momentarily eye contact with O-Brian. When this happened, Winston could see it in his eyes that he had the same opinions about Big Brother. Winston and O-Brian were not even friends, yet their relationship was about to become very unique. "It was as though their two minds had opened and the thoughts were flowing from one into the other through their eyes." Winston and O-Brian both disapproved of the idea of Big Brother. When I realized that there were now two characters that shared the same thoughts, I knew it was going to make for an interesting twist in the story. O-Brian and Winston both knew they were on the same team during a time where seperate opinions were not allowed.

The telescreen is a frightening idea personally. The feeling of always being watched and observed is a bit scary and out of the ordinary. In the opening chapters, there is a telescreen basically everywhere Winston is. For example, in the beginning, there is a big telescreen which everyone is watching it and chanting at it. Also, when Winston is in his room, there is a telescreen with a man watching him. I think this is a terrible idea and I could not stand going to sleep at night while two eyes lay upon me across the room. Winston describes the telescreen by saying, "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound made, above the level of a low whisper, would be picked up by it." This quote shows that no matter what Winston does or says, the telescreen is going to pick up on whats going on. This is very scary because if he does or says something against the government, it will be heard and he will be killed.

Link: Http://

Don't "Double-Think," about Me.

Double-Think is a complex idea that involves Winston in chapter III. It is when you think twice about something that you know for a fact that it is not true. Orwell explains it as, "To use logic against logic." My reaction towards Double-Think is that it is a totally plausible idea and it reminds me of the movie, Inception. I think that Double-Think is a bunch of lies and Big Brother uses the concept to control the people and extort their thoughts. It is significant because we can relate the ideas of Big Brother to the concept of Double-Think for an example, "Who controls the past, ran the party slogan, controls the future." This quote is a great example for the lies and twists that Big Brother can make. At first we are all confused about what Double-Think really is, but Orwell does a good job of explaining it in the following paragraphs He provides us with different definitions of Double-Think.


murdered for your thoughts

The idea of a thought police is completly absurd. How do you think somebody can actually know what your are thinking all the time 100% accurately. By observation? People do not have the ability to look into your mind. The book 1984 describes them as thought police. one can run and hide from the thought police but they will get you in due time. But for what? What they think that you think? Generally they come in the middle of the night and "vaporize" you. Wipe you away from records like you never existed. There is no trial and no report of arrest, just a disapperance. This idea is supposed to show how the government knows EVERYTHING but in my opinion that is impossible just by observation.

control of the past = control of the future and control of the present = control of the past

"Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." This quote is an important idea in the book because it relates to the reach of the party's control. The party, as Winston says "It was not true... that the party had invented aeroplanes," but he says that you cannot prove that because the party has destroyed evidence. This idea says that if you alter the beliefs and evidence of what happened in the past people will begin to believe that fact and it begins to influence their future actions. It also says that if you control what people think, screening what people learn about in the present, you can alter their perceptions of the past. I think that this shows how deep the party is in the roots of society, so much so that they can alter and control peoples thoughts and what has happened in the past. The fact that they can change the past to their benefit is scary and shows that they have total control of almost every aspect of every persons life. This shows that they are very thorough because, although people have memories of pasts different from what the party says, all evidence backs up the party's side.

Winston. The same as everyone else or different?

Winston is the main character in the novel 1984. Winston is a small man with a frail figure, he wore blue overalls that were the uniform of the party. Winston's hair is fair and his face is red but his skin is rough. Winston works in the Ministry of Truth and lives in London, which is the 3rd most populous of the providences of Oceania. Winston seems to be a man that keeps to himself and does not want to get into trouble. Winston seems different from the other people around him though, I am not really sure why though. Winston writes in a journal with his own thoughts, which is against the authority "Big Brother." Towards the end of the 3rd chapter, Winston does not seems so concerned with being in trouble with the Thought Ministry, because of the things that he is saying, rather he just wants to express what he feels. This, I believe is what makes Winston different than everyone else in the community. Also, in the first part of the novel we get to see a view of how Winston feels towards "Big brother" and the girl with the brown hair. Winston writes down in his journal "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" over and over again, which makes me think that Winston really doesn't like the thought of someone always watching him. Winston also explains his anger towards the girl with the brown hair. I believe that he is angry with her because he can't have her because of the red sash that is around her waist, symbolizing chastity. In these first chapters Winston seems like he is confused to me and he doesn't know what to do. He can't get his thoughts together because his thoughts keep jumping from thing to thing.

The Parsons

The Parsons are Winston's neighbors we are introduced to in the first few chapters of 1984. Winston decides to write a diary, which is highly illegal and is punishable by death. He buys himself a diary at a store run by the Proles. While Winston is writing in his diary, he hears a knock at the door and he thinks its the thought police, but when he answers, the door it's his neighbor Mrs. Parsons. She asks him to help her with her plumbing because her husband is out of town. When Winston goes to her apartment, he is automatically tormented by her children. Her children are part of the Junior Spies, which is an organization who monitor adults to make sure that they don't disobey the Party. The whole time Winston is helping Mrs. Parsons, her children accuse him of a thought crime. Mrs. Parsons is scared of her children, and Orwell shows this when he says, "Mrs. Parsons's eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the children, and back again." As a reader, it can be concluded that Mrs. Parsons is afraid of her children because they are part of an organization that deals with the Party which means if she does anything wrong at all she will be reported by her own kids. This shows that the "society" that they "live" in is not healthy or much of a life at all.

The Dark Haired Girl

The Dark-Haired girl represents an object of both attraction and hatred in Winston in the book 1984. Although the girl is young and beautiful she is an avid member of the "Junior Anti-Sex League" and also a follower of Big Brother. Winston first thinks when seeing her "I've disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry around with her."(Page 10) When thinking this he sees her as something formulated by Big Brother for the use of Big Brother and therefore not something he can ever have a chance at communicating with. Although an object of hatred she is also an object of attraction for Winston. On page 31 he dreams "The girl with dark hair was coming towards him across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside." This seems to represent the idea that the dark haired girl represents something that he desperately wants yet in reality can never have under the authoritarian rule of Big Brother.

Two Minute Hate

In the book 1984 by George Orwell a man by the name Winston in a part of the book Winston goes to a video that is shown by the leaders. The video is referred to as the Two Minute Hate. This video is a bunch of combined clips of video from the war. This video impacts Winston's life a lot because it makes him think of what is really outside and if that is truly what the world is outside of Oceania. The video makes Winston question if Oceania is truly in a war with Eastasia and Eurasia and more importantly if it really is 1984. He thinks "At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia." This proves the fact the Winston is starting to question the ways that the leaders of Oceania are trying to convey to the civilians (Pg 34). I thought, while I was reading this part of the book, was that it was very violent and that the leaders were trying to make the civilians think that leaving Oceania was bad and that the best is in here no matter how bad it may seem.

Hate everywhere in "1984"

Hate is the main topic of the first two chapters of the book "1984" by George Orwell. Therefore it is pretty significant for Winston. As he is sitting in the one corner starting to write a diary, he thinks about a lot of things and starts writing. After a while he is writing DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER over and over again what shows his hate on INGSOC and BIG BROTHER. He can't stop writing it and it is like an automatic action. Shortly after it says "His pen had slid volupuloously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals-" showing his confidence and real belief in DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER. It also displays that he is forced to act like he advocates BIG BROTHER although he actually doesn't.
There is another thing Winston hates-the girl with the black hair. Is says that "He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless..", showing that Winston would like to go to bed with her but knows he will never be able to and that is the reason of his hatred. She also is a little bit of the opposite of Winston as she is young and beautiful compared to him as old and not so pretty, showing him that there is no chance for him.
My personal opinion of the idea of hate is that I am surprised why they thought while writing the book in 1949 that the future would be filled with so much hate. I think that Winston's hatred of BIG BROTHER is justified because he acknowledged the bad purpose of the the whole idea of BIG BROTHER.

Newspeak's unique style

The newspeak is the language that the people spoke in Oceania. The basic idea behind Newspeak was to remove all shades of meaning from language. Winston has become a master at Newspeak because he works all day editing articles and receiving brief messages in the language. One example of Newspeak is when Winston receives the message :

"times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

In Oldspeak (or standard English) this might be rendered:

The reporting of Big Brother's Order for the Day in The Times of December 3rd 1983 is extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Rewrite it in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing."

This example of Newspeak shows it's unique style of abbreviation. When i first read it i thought it was a pretty smart idea especially for a publishing company such as the one that Winston is working in.

These are some examples of modern day abbreviations to compare with
those of Oceania

Thought Police - Realistic or futuristic?

The Thought Police in the book 1984 is part of the Ministry of Love, and will constantly be affecting Winston throughout the entire book. The Thought Police is very similar to the Waffen SS during World War 2 in the fact that they monitor each movement done by the people and basically control their lives through fear. When Winston writes in his diary, that act of writing could very well have him condemned by the Thought Police. When Winston writes, "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" repeatedly, he says to himself, "The Thought Police would get him just the same" which implies that even if he just thought about it, they could still trace it back to him. When I first read about the Thought Police, it made me wonder if they could really see into peoples thoughts. In the book it says the Thought Police can see what people are doing through the tele-screen, and can also see into people's thoughts. This became clear when Winston said that quote to himself, and it confused me at first.

The Golden Country

In chapter three, Winston has a dream of a place called the "Golden Country". In his dream, a dark haired girl takes off her clothes and runs towards him. This symbolizes freedom, something that the party doesn't give. This dream is an important piece in the book because it shows what Winston wants. Winston clearly wants to be free but has no idea how to make it happen. In the book Winston describes the girl as "careless", and "as though Big Brother and the party and the thought police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm". At first, when I read this piece I thought it was just a normal dream. But then I started to really think about the dark haired girl and what she represents, and I decided that this "Golden Country" is what Winston wants everywhere to look like this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Questions - Ch 1 and 2

Here are the student generated questions on Chapters 1 and 2.

Reading Check questions :
  1. What is the telescreen and what is its purpose?
  2. What did Winston write over and over again in his diary as if by "unconscious action"?
  3. Why do you think Winston hates the dark-haired girl?
  4. Name 2 specific details about Winston's apartment and/or the street he lives on.
  5. What ministry does Winston describe as the most frightening?
Level One :
  • What "crime" does Winston commit in Chapter 1?
  • Who does Winston think is watching him?
  • What is the national brand and why is it called that?
  • What are the 3 slogans of the party?
  • Why does it hurt when Winston walks?
  • What is the Ministry of Truth responsible for?
  • What is the name of the enemy of the people?
Level Two :
  • What is the people's reaction to not having any privacy?
  • How do the opening chapters of 1984 compare with the Apple 1984 commercial?
  • How does Winston feel with the government always watching?
  • Why is Winston nervous when he first writes in his diary?
  • What do we see through Winston's encounter with the Parsons? (HOLLIDAY addition)
  • What does Winston's diary symbolize and how does it effect his emotional state in Ch 2? (HOLLIDAY addition)

Welcome D period!

This collaborative space can enhance and record our exploration of the essential question : What should the individual's response be to oppression? You are all allowed to post and to comment here as well as add whatever visual elements that help to enhance this space. Your contributions on this blog might include :

- Questions created in class on a section of reading.
- Notes taken during a class discussion.
- Close reading of a passage in 1984
- Research on a topic related to 1984 and/or our essential question - i.e. fascism, socialism, oppression.
- Modern day connection to our essential question -- this might include news, personal experience, film, other reading, or music.
- Written exploration of an idea related to the text

I look forward to sharing this space with you. Happy blogging!