Mrs. Schuet's AP Literature Class of '16 discussion

This topic is about 1984
1984 by George Orwell

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Wenting (wenting1125) | 4 comments I chose this book because a lot of people have been reading it, so I wanted to read it myself and see why it is known to be such a good book.

I am currently on page 22. So far in this book, Winston Smith, an editor at the Ministry of Truth, goes to his apartment for lunch when Big Brother's face appears on the posters that are present everywhere in Oceania. The caption reads: Big Brother is watching you. There are many police in Oceania, such as the Thought Police and Police Patrol. The Party also has ironic slogans, such as "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength." My first impression of this book is that it reminded me of Fahrenheit 451, where the society is also restricted, and people are watched.

Rick Franc | 4 comments You will definitely see many similarities with Fahrenheit 451 all the way through the text. How does Winston seem to fit in the society? What can you predict will become future conflicts based of these characteristics and the characteristics of Big Brother?

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Romi Elyashar | 4 comments I thought the names of the characters in this book are really interesting. Each name represents a person or group in the WWII time period, when the book was written, which hints at the rest of the novel.

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Tricia | 4 comments This book also reminds me a lot of Anthem by Ayn Rand. How would this society be different if Big Brother was not around?

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Sydney Chan | 4 comments Winston seems to begin writing in the diary pretty early on in the book. What differentiates Winston from the society? What makes Winston's way of thinking and perception of the Party different than other members?

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Andres Morales | 4 comments I chose this book because I liked the author's other book called Animal Farm. I like the idea of a book that has deeper political and social significance. I enjoyed reading Animal Farm and I knew that 1984 is kind of like Animal Farm's "big brother." I am currently on page 10. The only thing that has happened is a description of the setting and an introduction to the main character Winston. The world that he lives in is all controlled by the government and there is a lot of propaganda all around him, telling him that "war is peace" or "ignorance is strength," all ideas to keep the public calm and not suspect anything of the government.

Anay Patel | 4 comments I chose 1984 because I saw some similarities between 1984, Anthem, and Fahreheit 451. I thought it would be interesting to see how these various views of society would vary, and compare.

I am currently on page 20, and so far, we have been introduced to the abstract way in which their society works. "Big Brother" is the leader of their society, and he enforces the ideas of socialism. The three main ideas of the party are "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength," which shows the limited freedoms that the members of society have.

Philip Cori | 4 comments I decided to read 1984 mainly because I've heard it's a very interesting book that takes place in an alternate society. The author wrote the book in 1949, so he wrote about a society he thought would exist in the future in 1984, which seems interesting to read about. I'm about half way through the first chapter, where the main character, Winston Smith, walks home to his apartment in a place called Airstrip One. Even though he works for the political party in power, he still lives under its harsh regime. He is surrounded by propaganda, and the nation he lives in seems to have an oppressive government. It already seems interesting reading about this other world that this character lives in. I'm interested to learn more about the world Winston lives in.

Leilani (leilaniloo) | 7 comments There are several really significant themes present in this book. One of the big ones and, in my opinion, one of the most important, is the theme of technology. Make sure you pay attention to the use of technology in the book and think about how it connects to modern day technology.

Alexis Lopez | 5 comments I chose to read this book because I have heard from many people that it was really good and because it is an idea of what the future was going to be like. I am currently on page 20. So far, I have read about Winston Smith and how Airstrip One is monitored by various Thought Police. The lines "Big Brother is Watching You" are well known throughout pop-culture, which is another reason as to why I was curious about reading this book.

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Romi Elyashar | 4 comments One of the themes I found the most significant is the theme of psychological manipulation. I thought that the way the way the Party almost brainwashes the people is really interesting and says a lot about Big Brother. An example of this brainwashing can be found in the Party's slogan: "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength". What do you think this slogan means exactly?

Philip Cori | 4 comments I've read to the end of chapter 3, and I'm starting to see some recurring themes. One is the theme of the Party twisting people's minds into believing things that are completely irrational, demonstrating its complete and oppressive power. For example, its slogan of "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" obviously presents several ideas as equals to their opposites. The fact that no one really seems to oppose or even think the ideas of the Party are wrong really shows how mindless the population has become. Another example is children being turned into "savages" because of these ideas, which is also a twist on what children normally represent: innocence. So, so far the Party is presented as an organization that completely twists everyone's minds into believing senseless ideas, to the point that people have lost any real sense of self.

Philip Cori | 4 comments Sydney wrote: "Winston seems to begin writing in the diary pretty early on in the book. What differentiates Winston from the society? What makes Winston's way of thinking and perception of the Party different tha..."

Winston wrote several times in his diary "Down with Big Brother", which he seems to have written without even noticing it. He then reveals that he really does have a hatred towards the Party and Big Brother, which is definitely different than the attitudes of other citizens who just blindly accept and praise the Party. This could foreshadow that he may rebel against the Party and break away from the traditional mindset of blindly following it.

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Justin Young | 5 comments If anyone here has read Animal Farm- what are some of the similarities you see between the two books so far? I always hear that the two books are "related. Can anyone provide some insight on this?

Wenting (wenting1125) | 4 comments Up through chapter 3, Winston mentions his desires for one of the woman in the ministry, his eye contact with O'Brien, and the thoughts that go through his head as he writes in his diary. These actions are prohibited by the Party and all seem to foreshadow that he may rebel against the organization of the society. Winston's diary has been talked about numerous times since the beginning of the novel, making it a recurring motif. What could the diary be a symbol of? Could the existence of the diary lead to potential consequences that would have been avoided if Winston kept his thoughts to himself, regardless of the Thought Police?

Andres Morales | 4 comments Justin wrote: "If anyone here has read Animal Farm- what are some of the similarities you see between the two books so far? I always hear that the two books are "related. Can anyone provide some insight on this?"

Both of the books deal with corrupt totalitarian governments. In 1984 the government manipulates everyone and tries to brainwash the public. There are even "Thought police" that take down people who may revolt against the government. All this is done so that the people in government can be better off than the rest, the proletariat. In Animal Farm, when Napoleon takes over the government after the animals revolt, he takes a similar approach and tries to control every other animal on the farm. Napoleon uses the dogs as his team though. Napoleon's government is based on Stalin's Soviet government. He even exiles Snowball how Stalin exiles Leon Trotsky. The governments in Animal Farm and 1984 are both manipulative and try to control all aspects of public and private life and are meant to be scary, which was George Orwell's way of criticizing the Russian government at the time. Both of his stories criticize that kind of government, so that is why they are similar.

Andres Morales | 4 comments Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, where he alters documents for the government, essentially changing history. He also is starting to show some signs of rebellion. It is strange that Winston would all of a sudden one day want to take down the government. Because he is the protagonist, he will probably try to rise up against the government. How do you think his job of changing history will affect his decision to maybe follow O'Brien, and could it have already affected him in other ways?

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Anay Patel | 4 comments I am currently at the end of Chapter 3, and it is clear that these types of societies all tend to emphasize collectivism, but at the same time they isolate individuals. In 1984, Winston's mother was taken away mysteriously at the age 10 or 11, and it is easy to infer that the society had something to do with that. Similarly, in Anthem, Ayn Rand talks a lot about how the individuals are often depressed and lonely. This is ironic, because their societies are supposed to all be about "togetherness" and having all people be one and the same, but that notion is actually what divides within themselves more than anything.

Alexis Lopez | 5 comments As Anay said, individuals are isolated from society. How can this be related to modern day society where everyone tries to follow the norm?

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Tomertheking | 7 comments Why is the title of the book 1984? If it is set in that year, why specifically 1984? Couldn't Orwell have chosen some time in the far off future instead? Was he perhaps trying to say this bad future isn't so far from the present?

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