Ling AP Lit. and Comp. 2010-11 discussion

What is Truth? > Class Distinctions-Harmful or Helpful?

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Hillary (new)

Hillary (hillaryschwartz) | 21 comments During part two of 1984, Winston receives a copy of the book to read through. In Goldstein's book, the nature of class distinctions is discussed. According to groups who were about to become powerful, "human equality was no longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted" (204). The cycle and aims of the class system is "a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again" (201-202). Do you think that class distinctions are detrimental to how a society functions, or are they something positive?

I think class distinctions are ultimately unavoidable and should be embraced. The Party manages to clearly differentiate the low, the middle, and the high classes within society. Striving for equality amongst classes may be desirable but it is definitely not pragmatic. Everyone will want the same privileges and rights, but the people cannot be granted whatever they wants. I do agree with Goldstein in that "inequality was the unalterable law of human life" (202). The proles will remain proles and the inner and outer party remembers will remain where they are. The low, middle, and high each have specific functions to fulfill within society, If each group is kept where they are and continues to carry out its respective duties, then society will continue to function efficiently.

message 2: by Ling (new)

Ling Zhang | 20 comments I agree. I think that the class system is definitely something positive. Because of the class system, because people from different classes have different lives, different rights, and different goals, people continue to fight for what they think is right. They keep looking for equality, although according to the book they are and never will be close to finding it. But this class struggle does move society forward and keeps each class in check.

message 3: by Arielle (new)

Arielle Weingast | 22 comments I agree with Ling and Hillary. I think class distinctions help society grow. In our society, the differences between social classes, help people push forward. Citizens of lower social classes strive for a better way of life and work harder at their jobs in order to move to the middle class. The same goes for the middle class towards the upper class. And lastly, people upper class work hard to maintain the lifestyle they enjoy. In the novel, although they will never change classes, the same sort of motivation occurs. Society functions effeciently as a result of each class' job and motivation. The search for more and will to attain a better life exists in a world where class distinctions are alive and recognized.

message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Disalvo | 21 comments I am in agreement with all of you, yet I must point out the lack of equality when it comes to social classes. In my opinion, a socialist society could never function. Social distinctions are unavoidable and we must accept them. Yet, while social classes allow people to strive for a better life, they also create many detrimental factors. For one, social distinction creates a barrier between people within different social levels. As previously stated, there is a lack of equality and therefore these social distinction can cause animosity. It is very difficult to change social classes, as shown with the inner and outer party members, and some people feel inferior if they are not part of a certain group. Throughout 1984, the government keeps each social class in the dark so as to avoid creating discontentment within the empire.

message 5: by Grace (new)

Grace | 11 comments Rachel expressed my sentiment about the discussion really well. I, too, think that social classes are an essential part of a functioning society. I do believe that socialist ideals are great--honestly, equality across the board would be totally ideal. Having said that, given human nature and our tendency towards greed and competition, it could never function.

Like Rachel said, changing social classes, both in the book and in the real world, is an incredibly hard thing to accomplish (I dare not bring Great Expectations into the conversation...). There are great gaps in between the different levels of 1984's society, so equality is definitely not present.

back to top