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UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA - ORWELL > 1984 Part Two

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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
The novel 1984 is divided into 3 parts. This thread is for discussion of Part 2.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
I just suddenly thought of a huge plothole in this book. Where on earth do they get all the manpower from to watch so many people 24/7? I know that Orwell partly got around this by not having the proles watched as closely as party members are, but still, i mean, Winston can hardly read a little note without it being picked up by the telescreen watchers.

Also, don't people mind being watched while they're on the toilet and in the bath or shower or you know, engaging in sex? In We you were allowed that much privacy at least.


Puddin Pointy-Toes (jkingweb) | 82 comments It would seem an intractable problem without artificial intelligence. Even if you have a small army of watchers observing key people in shifts, who watches the watchers?

I'm not sure Orwell could have been reasonably expected to have applied AI to the problem: while such works as R.U.R. and Metropolis predate Nineteen Eighty-four, it's clearly a stretch to integrate AI into a society which would still be relatable in 1949.

So, plot hole? I'd say that's a credible conclusion.


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Puddin Pointy-Toes wrote: "It would seem an intractable problem without artificial intelligence. Even if you have a small army of watchers observing key people in shifts, who watches the watchers?

I'm not sure Orwell could ..."


Sadly, yes. There was no way he could have anticipated the internet. He apparently based the telescreen thing on that fact that most people had radio's in their houses, so the telescreen is basically a two-way television set.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Poingu wrote: "I was startled by the stat somewhere in Part II that "the proles" are 85% of the population and that they can get away with pretty much anything. Wait a minute. 85% of people's actions are of no in..."

I'm still a bit behind... trying my best to catch up, but today is of course a week day again, so, less time for reading.


Derek (derek_broughton) Puddin Pointy-Toes wrote: "It would seem an intractable problem without artificial intelligence. Even if you have a small army of watchers observing key people in shifts, who watches the watchers?"

Once you have them to the point at which practically nobody talks to anybody, it wouldn't be terribly hard to have one person monitoring anywhere from ten to about a hundred screens. It's not the actual monitoring that I wonder about, it's the sheer volume of storage required. But I'm not expecting this to be a completely believable scenario. 1984 is not so much speculative fiction as it is a morality play or a fable. It's a message about the likely end results of authoritarianism.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Good point, Derek. Hmm, I'm going to quote little bits that stand out for me.
In chapter 2 of Part 2,

"His first feeling was relief, but as he watched the strong slender body moving in front of him, with the scarlet sash that was just tight enough to bring out the curve of her hips, the sense of his own inferiority was heavy upon him.


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Oh golly, is poor old Winston being set up for heartbreak? At least he's falling for Julia as hard as ... you know, I just can't remember the names of the protags in We...

Well, he's certainly not hating women anymore now that he has found a fellow rebel in one. ;)

But that could change again soon, since hate is the other side of the coin of love, isn't it?


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Actually, up to Chapter 3 of Part 2, I'm finding this quite feminist. The woman is the aggressor, and she is the one calling the tune and making her choice of man. In fact, you could pretty much say that Julia is acting in the role of the stereotype male. The roles of Winston and Julia are definitely reversed from the stereotypical roles of males and females. Except if you see her as a slightly offbeat femme fatale. But she is not traditionally beautiful - she has freckles and a few lines on her face. And she is most definitely in charge of the situation at this point in time. I'm finding myself secretly identifying with Julia the rebel. I love it!

But okay, this point is not even halfway through yet, so i won't comment -too- much yet.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "I just suddenly thought of a huge plothole in this book. Where on earth do they get all the manpower from to watch so many people 24/7? I know that Orwell partly got around this by not having the..."

I think I remember (but of course I can't find it now, maybe when he is exercising, early on in Part 1?) that Winston says that one never knew which telescreen might be monitored at any one time, so he at least knows that 'they' cannot be watching everyone all the time. It was the understanding that one could be being watched that controlled one's movements, words, facial expressions.


Derek (derek_broughton) Following up to my point about the Party members being emotionally stunted and sometimes acting like five-year-olds in Part I, this is actually where I started to think of that.

When Julia slips Winston a note that says "I LOVE YOU", though they've never exchanged a single word verbally and rarely even looked at each other, my first thought was "how can he not feel he's being set up?" I know he's hungry for intimacy, but it still screams entrapment. Then I thought, "but kids do that." If, sometime between 5 and 10, you didn't give or receive a message like that, out of the blue, I bet you know somebody who did. I know I do! And that changes everything. Intellectually, he should still think it's a trap, but he's five and he's lost his mother—how could he not swallow it hook, line, and sinker, even if he knows he'll be betrayed. And of course, his 39 year old self knows it's only a matter of time before the Thought Police come for him anyway, so it's rather moot.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Puddin Pointy-Toes wrote: "It's not the actual monitoring that I wonder about, it's the sheer volume of storage required."

I doubt they/Orwell had any thoughts about storage. 'They' just have to see it; 'they' don't have to prove it.


message 13: by Saski (last edited Jan 27, 2015 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Saski (sissah) | 399 comments This line made me laugh, and reminded me how long ago this book was written: "Look at the trees." They were small ashes, which at some time had been cut down and had sprouted up again into a forest of poles, none of them thicker than one's wrist. "There's nothing big enough to hide a mike in."


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Poingu wrote: "Traveller wrote: "Well, he's certainly not hating women anymore now that he has found a fellow rebel in one. ;)"

Are we reading the same book? The passages describing Julia as a shallow, not-smart..."


Not-smart? Can you quote from the text to show that she was not smart? There is nothing to indicate that up to where I have read- in fact, quite the opposite. :)

As for sex, may I ask you a question? If Julia had been a man, would you have called her a sexpot? I see Orwell defying the deeply ingrained sexism that says it is okay for men to sow their wild oats if a male does that - he's merely being a hot-blooded man; a REAL man; but when women do it, they are sluts, whores and sex-pots. Can you see the unfairness in that? I mean, sexual freedom is what second-wave feminism was all about.

I would refer you to some feminist reading, in this regard - maybe start with Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. Also, have a look at the hard fight women have had for sexual liberation and equality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-w...

I'll come back a bit later with more in-depth feminist reading, if you're interested in doing some feminist reading at all.

As to Mr Berlatsky's article, I'd say that part of the whole point of 1984 is that we should think things through for ourselves, and not just blindly accept something because it is in print. Hmm, and now that I wanted to go back and read the entirety of that article, it seems to suddenly have been removed. Does anybody still have a link to the text of that article?


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Following up to my point about the Party members being emotionally stunted and sometimes acting like five-year-olds in Part I, this is actually where I started to think of that.

When Julia slips W..."

I also thought: How can she really love him if she doesn't know him at all? But love comes in many guises. Many people call sexual attraction"love". Later on in the novel, in Part 2, she explains why she feels attracted to him; because he is also a rebel.

I would suspect the real reason that she might be having sex with men like him could be two-fold:
1) she is doing it to thumb her nose at the party (she only does it with party men)
and
2) It gives her a supreme sense of power.

Oh, and 3) it could be due to the very mundane reason that she is simply a normal human being with normal physical and emotional urges and that she enjoys intimacy and sex.

The fact that she she is using poor gullible men like Winston, might not make her a very nice person, in the sense that she seems pretty manipulative; but feminism isn't about saying that you should portray women only as "nice" people. Feminism is about not portraying women as submissive, non-human objects. I'm making the latter comment in general- not particularly addressing you there, Derek.


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Oh, and Julia is at least 25, if not 30 years old. I'm not sure what she is too young for? Heheheh, please never read Marguerite Duras' The Lover - you would want to burn Margeurite at the stake for sexism too.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "Oh, and Julia is at least 25, if not 30 years old. What is she too young for?"

And yet Winston thinks of Julia as being very young: "She was very young, he thought, she still expected something from life, she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing."


Puddin Pointy-Toes (jkingweb) | 82 comments Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Puddin Pointy-Toes wrote: "It would seem an intractable problem without artificial intelligence. Even if you have a small army of watchers observing key people in shifts, who watches the watchers?"..."

My post was not meant so much to point out the real infeasibility, but rather that if you dig too far, you lose the forest from the trees. It is indeed more of a morality play, and while you probably could explain everything (I disagree storage would be a problem: most data could be immediately deleted by dint of being irrelevant), it would turn the story into a technothriller rather than what it was meant to be.


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Ruth wrote: "Traveller wrote: "Oh, and Julia is at least 25, if not 30 years old. What is she too young for?"

And yet Winston thinks of Julia as being very young: "She was very young, he thought, she still ex..."


Well... let me quote:
"‘I’m thirty-nine years old. I’ve got a wife that I can’t get rid of. I’ve got varicose veins. I’ve got five false teeth.’
and
‘You are very young,’ he said. ‘You are ten or fifteen years younger than I am. What could you see to attract you in a man like me?’

If Winston is 39, let's say she is at most 15 years younger and at best 10 years younger. Then she would be between 24 and 29, if I do my math correctly? I know for a fact that my great great grandmother was already married and already had a child by the age of sixteen, a fact that was quite commonplace and "normal" amongst her contemporaries. So, I guess it's all relative...


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments I wasn't speaking of the math. Your math is fine :) I was speaking about how Winston feels about her. My wife and I are 13 years apart yet we each of ourselves as basically the same age (and then I mention something from the '60s and am treated to a blank look). Not so with Winston. He remembers 'before', she doesn't. Thus for him she is young.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
As for being not-smart:

She obviously had a practical cunning which Winston lacked, and she seemed also to have an exhaustive knowledge of the countryside round London, stored away from innumerable community hikes.

I wouldn't quite say that she wasn't smart, either.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Poingu wrote: "I don't want to get into proving anything about this book's 'correct' reading, really, or to debate that. We can all be grandly right.

For me only, and I always only speak for myself as a reader,..."


Sure, Poingu, but, if you're honest, Orwell describes every single male as grotesque and ugly too.

I must have missed the passages where he describes his mother and Julia as being not clever and not intelligent. I do know that he often calls people who toe the party line those things. Do you have references to the actual text for where he said that?

As to the "salacious" well, maybe I feel sensitive to your interpretation, because ...*cough* well... let's just say that I personally really feel sensitive to people being judgmental of "salacious" females, where they would never dream of even calling a male "salacious"...

In fact, the words salacious, slut, whore, etc, seem pretty much sexist and judgmental and hurtful to me. ...and you'll find that usually it will be men who bandy such epithets about who would only be too happy if their women had FGM performed, because they cannot handle their woman being a sexual being in her own right.

Oh yes, and I remember now why I declined to finish reading Mr Berlatsky's articles - they perform a huge no-no; - they completely give away the complete plot of the book! Geez, way to go with spoiling books for other people, my poor burning eyes...

I was planning to go back to them once I'd finished reading the book.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "In fact, the words salacious, slut, whore, etc, seem pretty much sexist and judgmental and hurtful to me."

Just something that struck me funny -- the armchair in the room above the 'junk' store...He keeps describing it as 'slatternly' and 'sluttish'. I realize that these words used to mean also dirty and untidy, but in conjunction with the words above.... Hee-hee


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
It's not about irritation. Of course you're going to read the book through your own lens. And I did find the bit about 'not clever' now, btw, it was just a bit on from where I was. Yes, i see he called her not clever, and I agree that that is very unfortunate. I think Zamyatin had given a different impression of his femme fatale in the other novel, so yes, that does disappoint me.

Still, on that same page, just before that, I also read a rather lovely passage describing their love story, which casts them as equals and friends:

They sat talking for hours on the dusty, twig-littered floor, one or other of them getting up from time to time to cast a glance through the arrow-slits and make sure that no one was coming.

In any case, I am at a disadvantage here re commentary because I have not read enough of the book yet, so I don't want to comment on the book as a whole yet. I am just commenting on the part that I have read so far, and I do like the fact that so far, Orwell has given Julia so much power. I think in a standard male fantasy, the male would be in charge. In this scenario, it is Julia that is in charge, (so far) clever or no.

Thing is, in a discussion like this there are going to be different points of view. From my side,I am trying to make others aware of things in our culture that is unfair towards one half of us. It's about equality. It's about that there should not be a double standard regarding the roles of women and men.

Therefore I am pleading: Let's not create a form of feminism that will merely serve to solidify women into the role of the "other". First and foremost I want to be seen and treated as a human being, and secondary to that comes the fact that I happen to be a woman. That is all that I've been asking for. :) (In other words, would Julia have worked as a man? I can definitely see Julia as the man and Winston as the woman, so that works for me).


Karin | 52 comments Traveller wrote: "Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Following up to my point about the Party members being emotionally stunted and sometimes acting like five-year-olds in Part I, this is actually where I starte..."

I also find Julia fascinating. Like Traveller, I don't think Orwell sees her as "dirty" or "slutty." She is more dynamic, in control, interesting, and confident than Winston. I may be completely off base here, but I was reminded of the book Lady Chatterley's Lover, where sex was a way to maintain human dignity and individuality in a de-humanizing society. Winston's love/lust of Julia is probably the only authentic feeling he has felt in a long time.

I'm behind in the reading, so I'll see if I still think this later on :)


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Perhaps just the latest of the cries of 'Big Brother': http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/...


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Ruth wrote: "Perhaps just the latest of the cries of 'Big Brother': http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/......"

To be quite honest, I don't really see the prob with that... (Surveillance of roads) What so different to the surveillance cameras in London and in most large cities over the world today?

Karin wrote: "Traveller wrote: "Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime) wrote: "Following up to my point about the Party members being emotionally stunted and sometimes acting like five-year-olds in Part I, this is actua..."

I'm going to comment a bit later. :)


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
... but in the meantime, I do want to mention that I find both Winston and Julia shockingly callous when they discuss his pushing Katherine over the cliff.

Regarding the condemnation of female sexuality that has been put forward by some here and by Mr Berlatsky in his article, it does sound as if Mr Berlatsky might be an admirer of Andrea Dworkin and Luce Irigaray, two individuals that I personally feel had done women and the feminist cause immense harm with their Victorian mindsets re the sexuality of women, and their undisguised hatred of heterosexual men.


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Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Regarding Julia having had a lot of lovers (I think the "hundreds" was a bit of overkill by Winston to emphasize that he was not like traditional men who preferred their women to be chaste and virginal); Julia and Winston are trying to show their contempt for the Party by whichever means possible. Therefore the sentiments about how sex was a political action - it was rebellion.

Far from portraying Julia as a dumb person, Orwell portrays her as being definitely more astute and perceptive than Winston is:
Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was: ‘When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don’t give a damn for anything. They can’t bear you to feel like that.

They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. 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?’

That was very true, he thought. There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account.



Saski (sissah) | 399 comments I wasn't defending or arguing against, just that the phrase is still in use.

Though,...I have to say I am not comfortable with all the cameras, and never have been. When I first heard about the situation in London it just made my skin crawl.

Here's the stats between London and some major America cities (which makes me suspect that I am not alone in my anti-surveillance feeling):
London - 422,000 - 500,000
Chicago - 10,000
Manhattan - 4,000


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
..and regarding Winston's feelings for Julia:

It struck him that when one lived with a woman this particular disappointment must be a normal, recurring event; and a deep tenderness, such as he had not felt for her before, suddenly took hold of him. He wished that they were a married couple of ten years’ standing. He wished that he were walking through the streets with her just as they were doing now, but openly and without fear, talking of trivialities and buying odds and ends for the household. He wished above all that they had some place where they could be alone together without feeling the obligation to make love every time they met.

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something, but to me that appears pretty normal?


Karin | 52 comments Traveller wrote: "... but in the meantime, I do want to mention that I find both Winston and Julia shockingly callous when they discuss his pushing Katherine over the cliff.

That was pretty disturbing, wasn't it? Another example of Julia's rather shocking slight regard for other people occurs when Winston was telling her about Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, and she says: "Then what was there to worry about? People are being killed off all the time, aren't they?"

While Julia reawakens a sense of hope and love in Winston, I can definitely see that she is a little selfish and short-sighted. For example, Winston muses to himself after her shocking remark about Katherine that Julia did not understand that "pushing an inconvenient person over the cliff solves nothing." I think Winston, even in his stunted emotional state, is more aware of long-term consequences than Julia is.

Still, even though she is shockingly callous at times, Julia awakens a sense of humanity in Winston. Here is a pretty hopeful passage in an otherwise depressing book that I think symbolizes their relationship: "[the bird] spread out its wing, fitted them carefully into place again, ducked its head for a moment, as though making a sort of obeisance to the sun, and then began to pour forth a torrent of song."

Traveller mentioned earlier in the thread that there seems to be some erotic undertones in the book between Winston and O'Brian. I completely agree. I wonder if by heightening Winston's ability to love and respond to his desires, Julia ironically made Winston more open to trust O'Brian?



Karin | 52 comments Oh, sorry for all the italics in my previous post. I usually type on my phone (which doesn't allow me to press "reply"), so I guess I'm still figuring out how to reply to a post on my computer :)


Karin | 52 comments Traveller wrote: "... but in the meantime, I do want to mention that I find both Winston and Julia shockingly callous when they discuss his pushing Katherine over the cliff.

Regarding the condemnation of female sex..."


Thanks for the links to Dworkin and Irigaray. I'm not as familiar with them as I should be. I think Dworkin was against pornography? And that she wore overalls :)

Would she disagree that sex could be a political weapon? Or that it helps Winston feel a sense of humanity?


Karin | 52 comments Ruth wrote: "I wasn't defending or arguing against, just that the phrase is still in use.

Though,...I have to say I am not comfortable with all the cameras, and never have been. When I first heard about the s..."


Ruth, I've never been too comfortable with all the cameras either. I think a loss of privacy is also a loss of security. Interesting statistics!


Karin | 52 comments Just a quick question before I'm off to work:

Traveller's comment about Dworkin made me think: why is visiting a prostitute and looking at porn not a crime in 1984, but Julia's and Winston's affair is?


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "Just a quick question before I'm off to work:

Traveller's comment about Dworkin made me think: why is visiting a prostitute and looking at porn not a crime in 1984, but Julia's and Winston's affai..."


They have a very puzzling differentiation in 1894 between the "proles" (proletariat, I presume) and the members of the Party. If you'll cast your mind back to when they mentioned distributing the porn, it was for prole consumption and completely forbidden for Party members to look at. Re prostitution, Party members are similarly forbidden to do that.

There seems to be a physical segregation, even, of the areas where the proles live, the buildings that they frequent, and they seem to be a lot less under surveillance by the Party.

I think it will take me to get to the end of the book before i attempt to figure that one out properly...


Karin | 52 comments Traveller wrote: "Karin wrote: "Just a quick question before I'm off to work:

Traveller's comment about Dworkin made me think: why is visiting a prostitute and looking at porn not a crime in 1984, but Julia's and W..."


Yes, you're right, Traveller. Thanks! I guess the government thinks that the proles would have no reason to revolt if they have all the porn, sex, drugs, and mindless entertainment they want. Yes, I will also have to finish the book before I have a complete picture :)


message 39: by Traveller (last edited Jan 31, 2015 03:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Okay, now it's really starting to go down the drain for me with the cosmetics she applied to her face.
Argh...

What the..??/ a real woman’s frock???????

Nononononono *cry*
I’ll wear silk stockings and high-heeled shoes! In this room I’m going to be a woman, not a Party comrade.’
*Sound of Traveller's heart breaking. *

PS, I'm going to try to catch up and maybe finish today. :)


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "Okay, now it's really starting to go down the drain for me with the cosmetics she applied to her face.
Argh...

What the..??/ a real woman’s frock???????

Nononononono *cry*
I’ll wear silk stoc..."


That was exactly my reaction!


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Ruth wrote: "That was exactly my reaction! ."

I thought afterwards that I had overreacted, so I'm very glad to hear that I was not alone....


Karin | 52 comments Traveller wrote: "Okay, now it's really starting to go down the drain for me with the cosmetics she applied to her face.
Argh...

What the..??/ a real woman’s frock???????

Nononononono *cry*
I’ll wear silk stoc..."


Haha! Yeah, that was a little surprising. Julia is embracing her "feminine" side. Orwell does seem to idealize the the "feminine." This was especially evident when Winston remembered the protective gesture of his mother and when he suddenly found the child-bearing prole outside his window as beautiful. Orwell sees the "mother-figure" in a positive, but not necessarily feminist light (does that make sense?). But while idealizing women is nice, it can also be a form on condemnation. But I'm still not sure I would label Orwell a misogynist... I'm waiting until the end of the book.

For now, O'Brian seems to be monologuing a bit too much in Room 101, you know when a character explains everything at the end?


message 43: by Traveller (last edited Jan 31, 2015 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "Haha! Yeah, that was a little surprising. Julia is embracing her "feminine" side. Orwell does seem to idealize the the "feminine." This was especially evident when Winston remembered the protective gesture of his mother and when he suddenly."

So far I'm honestly having trouble seeing him as a misogynist, definitely. I mean, i can't even see Winston as a misogynist, i must say. Quite the opposite, now that he has Julia.
And yeah, while i kind of hate that Orwell found it necessary for her to plaster on make-up, i suppose i can't blame Julia for wanting to be a bit 'feminine' (stereotypical as his idea of it might be) and wanting to wear a dress. What really rankled me was the wording there: a real woman’s frock ... oi, so, she is not a real woman, or did i read the emphasis wrong there? Is it supposed to be:
a real woman’s frock or, a real woman’s frock ?
I suppose it is quite possible that i read the emphasis wrong.

I have fallen behind again, not even on section 3 yet, (almost there) but will make the thread for it shortly.


Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Oh! I had completely forgotten that i had wanted to post this bit:

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ‘just to keep people frightened’.

I have had those thoughts myself, before. I wonder if Orwell insidiously planted the idea in the reader's mind before he comes out with Julia's theory?


message 45: by Traveller (last edited Jan 31, 2015 11:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
I must admit though, that one area in which i had found We a lot more feminist, shall we say, is that there the protagonist's love-object had been a real rebel; a real instigator of revolution, and far more politically astute and a political animal than even the protagonist of We was who was actually just a dumb cypher deep down, despite all his stirrings, whereas she was a fully aware human being. :(

..but Orwell is confusing and inconstant with this. In one breath Julia is so much more politically astute than Winston, and in the next breath politcs bore her to sleep. Sigh.

Oh, and I also found it strange that Socialist Party members have servants...


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "Oh! I had completely forgotten that i had wanted to post this bit:

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some co..."


I had thought so too, though I can't tell where it came from, maybe just my own paranoid brain...


message 47: by Traveller (last edited Feb 01, 2015 02:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
I'm not sure if this is part of the callousness that others had been talking about, but -that- I find too much. I would not do that. Not for anything or anybody, unless it was to save the entire world from destruction:
‘If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests to throw sulphuric acid in a child’s face – are you prepared to do that?’ ‘Yes.’

...in which case we go right back the utilitarian question in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, in which scenario I said I would have freed the child. Hoo boy.

I wonder if "need to know" was already a thing back then, or if Orwell invents it. I suspect it was already a thing in WW2.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Traveller wrote: "I wonder if "need to know" was already a thing back then, or if Orwell invents it. I suspect it was already a thing in WW2. "

Couldn't find anything on the origins but D-Day was listed as an example of 'need to know'.


message 49: by Traveller (last edited Feb 01, 2015 06:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 2455 comments Mod
Thanks Ruth! So we won't credit Orwell with that then. :)

Does this maybe sound just a little bit like Hitler? ;)

On a scarlet-draped platform an orator of the Inner Party [...] was haranguing the crowd. A little Rumpelstilt-skin figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by the wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats.


Saski (sissah) | 399 comments Just a bit, yes, it does.


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