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1984
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1984 by George Orwell

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message 1: by Haris (new)

Haris Khan | 11 comments In the book 1984, The author uses the main character Winston and his discoveries about the history of the World before the Revolution is used as a beacon to highlight the negative aspects of the dystopia. For example, Winston has already had some flashes of a sign that he isn't normal and will not be able to comply with the rules of the Dystopia. He has a memory and can actively tell if somebody is going to be in danger of being vaporized by the thought police
In the readers case, the names of the different buisness areas and the names of different nations and political parties influence how the future is set. There is the Ministry of Ideals, Truth and Appeal. There is a new language called newspeak in which words are shortened to one word for a specific purpose. For example, words like Duck language is shortened to duckspeak. One of Winston's friends Sam, talks about the new dictionary for newspeak on how they slowly get rid of words, from more complicated words to different synonyms and antonyms. Take the word good, any word like amazing great awesome be removed and just use good, and any antonym like bad or horrible is not needed because we could use the word ungood and it would mean the same thing


message 2: by Tashfiah (new) - added it

Tashfiah Zaman | 9 comments As we know the protagonist to be Winston Smith known as a member of the outer Party. This essentially portrays him being part of the middle class, an immediate sign of social heir achy coming into play. He works at Records Department in the Ministry of Truth. The book starts off with a dull cold day symbolizing the frail 39 year old man he is.
The book starts off to illustrate the intimidating and demanding appearance of Big Brother. Him being older than Winston, in this society (London) large posters state Big Brother watching all. Immediately this seems odd, but is portraying rankings with Big Brother at the top. With tele screens and policing constantly patrolling. With this, the city has limits to what it can do and their voice is now shut off.When discussing about the Ministries the "government" has set up the text states, "The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty. " It seems ironic with the names of the branches with its purpose. For example, Ministry of Peace, when someone thinks of it is to communicate and not engage in bloodshed. On the contrary, this branch is associated with warfare, making the name not fit to readers but right in this society and situation.
With surveillance form the government leads to fear of the middle and lower class. As the text states, "Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing. " The fact that Winston must hide his action of completing a simple task that is forbidden by the government provides an insight of what everyone experiences.
Additionally, Winston arrives to conclusion he never thought about in the past. As the author states, "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious. " This validates the significance of consciousness to be present. If the people who need their rights as it has been taken away from them. For them to fight back and rebel they need their conscience, which all lower class people lack.


message 3: by Farina (new)

Farina A. | 6 comments I would like to add on to Fariha's idea of the dystopian phrase:
"War is peace,
Freedom is slavery,
Ignorance is strength."
These words are the official trademarks of the Party, and are engraved in enormous letters on the white pyramid of the Ministry of Truth, as Winston sees in Book One, Chapter I. Since it is presented so early in time in the novel, this statement of faith fills in as the readers's first prologue to the possibility of doublethink.By debilitating the freedom and quality of people's brains and compelling them to live in a steady condition of purposeful publicity actuated dread, the Party can constrain its subjects to acknowledge anything it orders, regardless of the possibility that it is completely silly—for example, the Ministry of Peace is responsible for taking up arms, the Ministry of Love is accountable for political torment, and the Ministry of Truth is accountable for doctoring history books to mirror the Party's belief system.

That the national trademark of Oceania is similarly conflicting is a critical demonstration of the force of the Party's mass crusade of mental control. In principle, the Party can keep up that "War Is Peace" in light of the fact that having a typical adversary keeps the general population of Oceania joined together. "Opportunity Is Slavery" in light of the fact that, as per the Party, the man who is free is bound to fall flat. By a similar token, "Slavery Is Freedom," in light of the fact that the man subjected to the group will is free from threat and need. "Ignorance Is Strength" on the grounds that the powerlessness of the general population to perceive these inconsistencies bonds the force of the authoritarian regime.


message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Rahaman | 9 comments 1984
I agree with all the main points from Fariha's comment on the protagonist, Winston. However, there are some small details that she might be missing that are important or she is incorrect in some parts. She described how the Big Brother watches the character and all people from cameras in everyday objects, which is incorrect. The Big Brother is the person who rules over the hierarchy but he does not focus on spying on the people as he has his underlings or the other groups that he commands to do this job.

Also, I want to elaborate on the Big Brother's motto, "War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength," that Fariha introduced. This shows how the Big Brother's main focus is to dominate in all situations based on the phrase, war is freedom, and also how he wants to enforce his rule of how, people should not have the ability to think, based on how part of his motto is that ignorance is a strength. The part of his motto that says that freedom is slavery is meant to show how he does not want anyone to have freedom or a free will and that he wants to have everyone under his control.

I also want to add how Winston has the ability of thought, which is ironic as he is part of the government, specifically the Ministry of Truth. HIs ability also is causing him to contradict his past views on society and he is not sure if he wants to keep his ability and rebel against the Big Brother, as he will die as a result of going against the government. Or if he should act like a normal person (in their dystopian world) and try to avoid the fact that he has this ability and also to not let anyone else know that he has this ability. However, later on in the book, Winston is only left to one path as he did a rebellious act by writing in his diary, which is a proof of his ability to think. This now puts him in the situation that he is trying to escape the government's grasp and escape death from the government.


message 5: by Haris (new)

Haris Khan | 11 comments I would like to begin the conversation by talking about Winston's ideas of overthrowing the Party, the governmental system that controls Oceania from post revolution to the present. He never has any motivation or desire to do so until he meets Julia. Julia a twenty six year old woman who works hard as a party member with hours in the Junior Anti-Sex League and various other Party controlled events. Winston who uses his mind that sometimes can take over his consciousness like when he writes in his diary, also uses a large amount of logic. For example, he can tell when certain people will be vaporized or hanged soon by the thought police because of the way they act. It reminds me of another character the Delta A.I from Red Vs Blue where he uses his logic to describe certain situations and different probabilities of success.
Julia plays into Winston's character by influencing his motivation to go against the party. With her, despite them having an affair. He sees her desire to break free of the rules that the Party imposes. They learn to see each other without being caught. For example, they limit how many times they see each other, when they see each other in open crowds, they barely glance at each other and sometimes they get a few words in about the next task. Around every month or so they use an abandoned area to use as a hideout. Its like having a friend over where you sit in the room chatting about life and stuff. And its with her that Winston feels that there is a way that they can revolt against the Party and maybe life can be changed for the better


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Rahaman | 9 comments 1984
After reading about 60 more pages of the book, "1984," by George Orwell, it seems that not much has changed in the major parts of the story and plot. However, some new characters have been introduced and the main character is behaving differently due to the interactions between him and the new character.

The new character that has been introduced in the most recent pages of the book is, Julia. She is a young woman who is 13 years younger than the protagonist and she is a confusing character when she is introduced. The protagonist had mixed feelings on her and also had a "special" feeling about her that he could not describe her, that felt weird. This was due to the fact that he was not sure what Julia's motives were and if she was a threat to him sent by the Big Brother or if she was someone else that he could trust and be safe around.

After she was introduced it was revealed that she was someone who had intimate feelings for the protagonist and was trying to gain the protagonists trust by behaving indecently with the protagonist and to stimulate the same feeling from the protagonist. This "special" feeling that the protagonist was not able to describe was later on introduced to be the feeling of love and lust, which in today's society is a normal feeling. However, in the current dystopian setting of the book, the feeling of love and lust is irrelevant and is also something that is illegal and both of the people that have this feeling will be arrested as a result.

After the protagonist is completely introduced to Julia and her motives, he finds out that she is someone who also has the ability of thought and has also expressed this ability for quite some time. This was the evidence of how the protagonist can trust her. Later on they meet at a certain location to learn more about their current situation.

-That is where we left off.


message 7: by Tashfiah (new) - added it

Tashfiah Zaman | 9 comments I agree with Alex. I do feel like Julia will be a major part of this dystopian story that will give a sense to the protagonist, Winston a change of how unusual and unfair the society he lives in is. Discussing the book itself, the structure is extremely similar to how characters come across a certain event, object or person that provides a different perception of society. Thus, they speak out and fight back(as in most dystopias) because their mind has been changed to think for what is the actual truth. As of now, the story is quite similar to Fahrenheit 451 in how the firefighter meets this girl to realize the significance of books and that the job he is put to is of no use.

Additionally, as restricted by the Party, no one is allowed to fall in love. With the several emotions Winston is experiencing, it is a strong sign that he has fallen in love with Julia. Although with a wife, he never had feelings for her like he has for Julia.

Moreover, as Chapter 1 states, "Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about with her. He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones." Winston makes an attempt to be full of hatred and despise Julia in the beginning because he has no choice. The fact the Party restricts him from falling in love is what causes these moments before speaking with Julia. This transition from his hatred to falling in love signifies the great impact this 26-year-old had on him. He himself knows he is committing a wrongdoing but cannot hold back.


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Rahaman | 9 comments 1984
As our group has finally finished this intricate dystopian novel, we were astonished by the depressing yet realistic ending. From where we last left off, we have progressed greatly and have learned many things on the way, which we did not expect. Our last discussion was about Julia and how she seemed to be someone that was going to be a potent character in the story that the character was wary of at first, but has eased to after interaction and learning more about her. However, as discovered in the most recent pages leading up to the end of the novel, it is shown that Winston did not know much about Julia as he trusted her thinking he knew her but at the end, it was revealed how she was the person that he was afraid of and he was given to the Big Brother by Julia. This shows how sometimes you should never put your guard down, as people will always strike you at your weakest moment.

Now moving on to when Winston was being "interrogated," by O'Brian, after he was handed to the Big Brother by Julia. He was, in actuality being tortured to be forced to confess to his behavior and to also be shifted back to how he "should" be. It was shown that he was confused and he did not know where he was or what others wanted from him, he just hung on to his thoughts, the only thing that he believed he could trust. He was first actually interrogated to find out and reveal to Winston that his memories have been false and that what he believed was incorrect. Then, his fingers were being forcefully cut to torture him into going back to how he "should" be. He was forced to believe many things that he did not trust and believe. For example, he was forced to believe that he had five fingers even though he only had four fingers, so Winston persisted but after the constant torture, he had to give in.

At the end, after another gruesome event, it was shown that now Winston was completely brainwashed into loving the Big Brother and that all thought and the ability to think is wrong. This was depressing as it showed that he just gave up and after the constant torture methods that O'Brian has done to him, he could not go on longer. He has given up on all that he believed and all that he had done in the time before that was lost and useless. Even in the end, he was forced to believe that all he had done was wrong and that he had done the right thing to convert back to the way of following the Big Brother. This punishment was even worse than death.


message 9: by Haris (last edited Feb 14, 2017 03:04PM) (new)

Haris Khan | 11 comments I agree with Alex on how George Orwell creates that realistic ending, but I wanted to touch on how flat and static O'Brien's character is.
Him being the one to torture Winston is symbolic in the sense that he being a prominent figure in the Party, but that he was mentally inferior to him. O'Brien seemed to have some experience and somehow knew what Winston's mind was going through during the different parts of the torture. He also said many things about Winston especially during his experience in room one where he had to deal with the rats . Making an analogy to how we need to breathe after holding our breath in water to experiencing fear as an instinct. O'Brien seemed to also anticipate what Winston was gonna say by augmenting the meter to high levels like 80-90. It leads me to the conclusion that O'Brien had experienced this torture before.
It also alludes back to the mystery surrounding O'Brien from the very beginning of the book. It was one of the few people that Winston could not really decipher. It was like a jigsaw puzzle with one non existing piece Winston also viewed O'Brien as one of the most dangerous people if he ever got caught. O'Brien's torture experience changed Winston because it gave him a reason not to dislike Big Brother. With the motivation being his memories and sudden knowledge that he had an idea of out of the blue being considered false. What was there to dislike about Big Brother. Their rule was perfect.
So despite O'Brien being a flat and static character with no real conflict that he perseveres through. He adds the sense of mystery to the text because he was one of the few characters mentioned early in the book but had so few experiences. He also seemed wiser from the start because of his look and the type of work that he did


message 10: by Tashfiah (new) - added it

Tashfiah Zaman | 9 comments I agree with both Alex and Haris about the depressing and unexpected ending that the book had. Speaking about its structure, as we know many dystopian books do have this type of formatting. The devastating ending provided a moral that not the problem will have a solution. Sometimes it may be that the bad wins over the good even with efforts made to great extent.

Moreover, when comparing Goldstein’s text and Winston’s Diary their idea is very similar. When Winston reads aloud all that Goldstein, it pointed all the flaws the society had. Similarly, Winston wrote about what he experienced in his daily life and the lack of knowledge he has along with not living a proper life. When finding out about Goldstein it was almost as if it was a reflection of what could possibly happen to him, hinting him the aftermath, being severely punished with death.

There was a part in the book explaining how much Winston missed Julia and missed her even more because he was not with her. He wanted to spend all his lifetime with her but a sense of betrayal came upon realizing that Julia handed him over to Big Brother. This may have been a factor to why Winston decided to agree with Big Brother because at this point he had given up. The pain he experienced because someone who had thought he had loved had been unfaithful.

Additionally, when speaking about the people and relating to another text I’ve read, it is very different. The text I am talking about is, “The House of the Scorpion” has the lower class have their brains and humanity taken away for them to only follow orders and not speak. On the contrary, in this society, people don't have it taken away but because they belong to a lower class. They lack education, speaking and interacting which causes them to not feel emotional and not care. This results in everyone just abiding not really focusing on the flaws.


message 11: by Farina (new)

Farina A. | 6 comments To add on to Haris and Alex about the ironic ending, you would usually expect a good ending from the way Winston describes his dream, as if they actually will meet in a place where there is no more darkness. Readers may think by reading this phrase that its a hint of the ending of the book, but actually, its a technique the author used to prepare the ironic ending.

To explain, Winston's dream portends what will happen later on in the book. The utilization of the expression, "a place where there is no darkness," another repeating phrase in the novel, takes an amusing turn when this feeling of Winstons does not turn out as he anticipates. Winton credits this expression to O'Brien, an individual from the Inner Party, who, later in the novel, meets Winston "in a place where there is no darkness" — the Ministry of Love , a prision.

The impermanence of the past and the presence of existence through memory are noticeable topics all through 1984. In the beginning of the novel, Winston starts to make inquiries that will frequent him all through whatever is left of the book; among them; how can a thought survive if the past is not permitted to exist? Both Hitler and Stalin mutilated the past and revamped history to keep up the hallucination of preeminent power. In any case, Orwell's aim is not only to caution against the Hitlers (Fascists) and Stalins (Communists) of the world. Rather, his point is to caution against the sorts of speculation and political procedures that, despite the fact that not as evident as these two illustrations, at last make us responsive to increasingly control.


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