SEM2 Q4 #3: WHAT IS ORWELL TRYING TO SAY? — PER 1, 2, 3 ONLY

NOTES:

  • This entry is ONLY for periods 1, 2 and 3.
  • Do NOT do this if you are in period 4 or 7.  We will do this entry once you have started 1984.

NEW RULES for 4th QUARTER for ALL ENTRIES:

  • 1 entry for a “C”; 2 entries for a “B”; 3 entries for an “A”.
  • Length:  Each entry must be a minimum of 3 full paragraphs
  • Paragraphs:  Each paragraph must be 5+ sentences.
  • Any entry that is less than 3 paragraphs — and entries with paragraphs less than 5 sentences – are not guaranteed credit.

BACKGROUND: We’re soon going to be learning a bit about the historical creation of the ‘party’ and Big Brother’s government. In fact, we’re actually going to read one of the documents that helped create this world — Goldstein’s book for those reading ahead.

CHALLENGE: What is the one rule, Big Brother slogan, or piece of ‘party’ propaganda that you’d like to learn more about as we discuss this novel and Orwell’s ideas?

Orwell_manuscript

Image:  One of Orwell’s original hand-written manuscript pages.

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28 responses to “SEM2 Q4 #3: WHAT IS ORWELL TRYING TO SAY? — PER 1, 2, 3 ONLY

  1. Doublethink is still a confusing principle to me. It is mentioned briefly in Chapter 3 and described as a “labyrinthine world” (35). From this short description, doublethink seems to be a major tenet of what it is to be a Party member. You have to be able to forget what needs to be forgotten, yet be able to remember it when the Party needs you to remember it. You have to believe in the impossibility of democracy, yet believe that the Party is the guardian of democracy at the same time. However, how could the party be the guardian of democracy if their slogan is “Ingsoc”, English Socialism?

    Right now, it seems to me that doublethink is the ultimate method used by the Party to control people. Have people ignore what seems to be wrong the moment it is presented to them, but claim it to be wrong when the Party says that it is wrong, even though the Party used to say that it was right. Even the act of doublethink seems to be impossible. It implies that you thought in the first place, but if you thought, you would be dead. Once you think, you are dead, but the government wants you to think a certain way at certain times whatever is the most advantageous to the Party, so even the act of doublethink requires thought, but thinking equals death, so how does this work?

    Winston’s job seems to use some principles of doublethink also. He edits the past and what has been said in the past in order to make it accurate with the present. This implies doublethink because once upon a time a certain idea was right and universally followed and believed, but now the Party does not want people to know that idea, so they erase it. However, that idea could be revived as easily as it was destroyed. If the government does not want people to think, why would they give someone a job like Winston’s that requires thought? Winston has to think in order to apply doublethink and alter the past so people can think the way the Party wants them to in the present. In all levels of this process thinking is used, but thinking equals death. I would like to learn more about doublethink because at my current level of understanding, everyone must think in order for the Party to control them. They must think favorably of the Party, but any thought, no matter what, will lead to death because eventually, they will not think how the Party wants them to.

  2. Hate Week is an event that I feel is going to be a very interesting part of the book to read about. I’m not really sure what exactly its going to entail, but it seems as if the book has been building up to it, so I’m sure is going to be something big. After all, the Two Minutes Hate almost ends in a riot, so I can hardly imagine what an entire week of hate would bring about. Perhaps it will be something like a mass brainwashing coupled with violent demonstrations.

    I find the Two Minutes Hate to be very interesting because of the brainwashing that occurs during it. The subliminal messages that the Party sends to all of its members is fascinating. Equivocating Goldstein to a sheep and having him insult Big Brother seems like a very strange thing. Maybe the Party is trying to impose a common enemy upon them partly to unite them in their hatred and partly to distract them from their lack of freedom and rights. The intense anger that is evoked within only two minutes causes some anticipation for the several days worth of hate yet to come.

    I would like to express some appreciation for the genius behind Newspeak, though. I thought the idea of Newspeak was fascinating, and the thought of inventing such a language to trap the minds of the people into such a small box never occurred to me. Inventing a language that would limit the thought of those who spoke it to such a narrow view they wouldn’t be able to grasp the abstract thoughts and ideas of something as simple as freedom was just a piece of Machiavellian art.

    How can the people rebel when they can’t even comprehend the concept of rebellion?

  3. Orthodoxy seems to be an interesting concept and I was unsure about its meaning until chapter five, when Syme entered the story. Now I’m pretty sure that orthodoxy describes anything or anyone in Winston’s world that is anti-Goldstein or pro-Big Brother. Winston gives the impression that orthodoxy is idiocy because you are blindly submitting to the will of the Party. “Orthodoxy is unconsciousness” because no thought is needed to agree with what the Party says.(pg 53) Everyone that Winston sees, that he knows of, is a puppet of the Party and has no desire to think for themselves.

    Even if someone is orthodox, it doesn’t necessarily save them from vaporization. This idea was confusing to me at first until Orwell explained it with Syme. Syme is unquestionably orthodox; every second of his conversation with Winston is spent enthusiastically commending Big Brother or admiring the newest newspeak dictionary. But Syme lacks the “saving stupidity” that he needs to be saved from vaporization. (pg 55) I think that Syme goes along with the thoughts of the Party because he truly believes them, not because he is being tricked. He’s too smart to be left among those who blindly follow because he is a threat if his mind shifts toward rebellion.

    Duckspeak accurately describes what the ‘followers’ are doing. Instead of thinking on their own, they are allowing the ideas of the Party control their thoughts and therefore their actions. Duckspeak is not literally a “noise uttered in unconsciousness” but thoughtlessly working towards the goal of the Party.(pg 54) Everyone is coming closer to being exactly the same and does what they’re told without question. This could be perceived as unity and stability but it is also losing your ability to think for yourself.

  4. The concept of Doublethink is still something I don’t fully understand yet. To me, it seems like it’s the basic principle behind oxymorons being used every second of 1984. To be able to think, feel, and know something completely opposite at different times and not knowing how the opposite is like at the given time seems impossible. Yet, in the world of 1984, this governs how life should be lived. If Doublethink requires the use of Doublethink, how could one understand the true meaning behind Doublethink?

    Doublethink is the foundation of 1984. Even the Big Brother slogan requires Doublethink. Yet, I still don’t understand how it works. If someone experiences something at one time, and then experiences another experience opposite of the experience he/she experienced at the time, there is bound to be a connection between the experiences. How can someone know something and then not know it the next second? For example, how come people who work with Winston never realize the truth? They receive articles everyday to change to make Big Brother look almost divine, but don’t they realize that all of them are looking right at Big Brother’s inferiority? Big Brother wants to keep their mistakes secret, but they show the workers like Winston all the mistakes they want to change. Does that not spark something in the workers’ mind, like Winston, that Big Brother is really weak after all? I just don’t get how they can’t cross the bridge, especially when the bridge is only two feet long.

    Now, people might argue that fear and the feeling of responsibility to not oppose Big Brother prevents people from thinking. If that’s the case, why bother to change the past if people can’t even think that the past is wrong? I just don’t see why if the workers, being around these mistakes everyday, can’t see the truth, then the people reading the articles can. But somehow, with many loopholes floating around, the Big Brother system still keeps together, at least so far, in one piece. Doublethink seems impossible, yet it is possible, therefore believing, or knowing, I should say, that 2+2=4 and that 2+2=5 at the same time at different times is possible too.

    I really just don’t get how all that works.

  5. In 1984, everything has a bizarre twist. Words are shortened, no thoughts exist. People are unaware of the past and just accept the future. Thinking is a crime, allowing no freedom at all. The principle in the world of 1984 I am confused by is doublethink.If thinking is a crime, what is the term thinking considered. All sins have discrete lines to which they describe them. What truly is doublethink?

    In the book, the way doublethink is described so far is contradiction. You know what really is going on at the time but still make lies, confusing and controlling others’ minds. This translation of doublethink so far reminds me of Iago in Othello. Iago knew what was happening, the truth. However, he twisted the truth, saying incorrect facts in order to achieve his plan, for which his motives are still unsure. In 1984, B.B’s motives for restricting thought and language are only to (inherently) protect himself or prevent a revolution.But there are some other perks to doublethink.

    If thinking is illegal(not really, but can cause your death), why must use “doublethink in order to understand doublethink?”

    Winston always ponders on whether O Brien is an ally or how people totally forget recent things(chocolate ration). Is that considered thinking? Is writing and deciding what to write thinking? 1984 doesn’t really describe what the word “thinking” means; instead it is established that using your mind for anything is just not allowed. And why hasn’t the Thought Police right away come and kill Winston? So far, he has been thinking and imagining alot of radical things, why don’t they come and kill him? Why do they wait to kill him? This is included with all the other weird aspects in 1984.

  6. I’m really intrigued by the frequent betrayal that occurs in 1984. While all the people of Oceania are ‘united’ by the government, and against whoever they are fighting, they also seem to be greatly isolated from one another. In chapter 2, Winston realizes he is quite alone and barely knows anyone in his office by name. I find it interesting that this society is completely anti-Max Weber, who asserted that humans worked better when they were sociable (and ideally, had friends. But I guess that if someone has never had friends in their life, then they do not desire companions for they don’t know any better.

    Orwell seems to be saying that in his ‘utopian’ society, it is acceptable for betrayal to occur, even within the family. Winston observes it is quite frequent for the papers to report a child who turned in their parent to the thought police. The lack of relationship between a parent and their own child is mind-boggling. Although, now that I think about it, I guess the government planned this destruction of the family because the child would catch anything said or done by that parent that the telescreen would miss. But the relationship between a parent and child is intangible, something incapable of being seen or touched and therefore destroyed. How can the government take away an inherent characteristic in every human?

    Finally, I’m massively curious about what will happen to the human soul in its isolated shell. It cannot be a natural state for any human to be so completely alone, without any confidant or social companion. Humans are bred for social interaction but when there is none, the constant paranoia must have some affect on the mind. It’s kind of ironic that the citizens of Oceania are deprived of each other’s companionship because they fear the other discovering too much about them. I personally think that if I were as isolated as the citizens of Oceania, I would go completely insane from the strain.

  7. I just finished chapter 5, and a phrase they introduced was ‘facecrime’. I found that really interesting! The idea that your face could betray you. I understand the concept, but I didn’t quite understand how you could be implemented. Like, it’s their word against yours.

    Any display of emotion can be translated by anybody to mean anything! It’s a horrifying idea. Not only are your thoughts and actions scrutinized, but so is your body language. I can’t even imagine a world like that. It’s truly a scary thought that anyone could look at your face and find grounds for arresting you.

    I mean, my face could betray me so much! I express myself a LOT through my face. I make disgusted faces, excited faces, happy faces, angry faces, confused faces…any one of those could betray me! It’d take a lot to maintain the blank expression described in the book. I don’t think I could do it. Also, simply the idea of being killed for a facial reaction seems absolutely absurd and yet terrifying.

  8. To me this was propaganda but I could be totally wrong. One thing I did not get is why the party makes the comrades have to exercise early in the morning. I get that because ‘the soldiers’ are out on ‘the front’ working hard they want the citizens to work hard but I don’t think the soldiers are real so I don’t know what they are doing. Obviously exercise is important, but since when does the party actually care about their citizens? All they care about is control over the minds of their followers. I do have a few theories why they would have early morning workouts.

    My first thought was that maybe because they have control of the minds of their followers they also want control of the body. I mean it pretty much shows complete control when you can force people to be on a workout schedule. Perhaps the government wants such a utopia that they don’t want their followers to even be over weight? I have no idea but it makes sense to me. If everyone in Oceania did the same workout treatment and ate the same food it would distinguish everyone less because everyone would be the same exact size.

    Another theory of mine was that it was just another excuse to watch over their citizens and to spout out propaganda at them. While the followers are exercising the lady in charge of workout continuously used the hard working troops at the front for motivation. So my thought was it was just another excuse to remind the followers of the war going on so they could never forget. It is more subtle of a way to remind your followers of the war going on without just cramming it in their face. Perhaps, they do workouts in mornings so that the citizens can’t be doing illegal things. I personally don’t believe that every person can be monitered at all times and although the government knows the followers believe this, there is still a paranoia of not keeping everyone under full watch.

  9. Personally, what caught my interest was the destroying of words. The Newspeak dictionary that Syme is helping create presents an interesting dilemma to the expression of a society. Not only are there no new words, but the words that have overpopulated the English language are being reduced. After a group of people decide a word is important, they take out all other words that mean some version of this word.

    This watering down of speech and writing poses an difficulty to create. By taking out words, they remove possibility and renounce old ways. Even the name shows the goal, a new speech, a new way of living, a life with no thought. Without words to express the less favorable parts of life, they can slowly but effectively crush those behaviors, leaving citizens with no way to describe them. If an act is no longer describable, you can’t do it, can you?

    Chopping a language down to the bones makes it harder to express unwanted ideas. Or any ideas. The idea behind Newspeak is to eliminate the possibility of thoughtcrime by eliminating thought. A world without obscure words is one without obscure actions. This is only part of the effect of Newspeak, though. It throws out unusable words and phrases, just as the government throws out unusable people, cleansing the world of rebel thoughts and those who think them.

  10. LATE RESPONSE

    The book 1984 is a complex novel about a rule free society with a government that seems to still enforce the “rules.” This government also is made up of three unique parts called ministries. One is the ministry of peace, which actually is of war. This ministry is the one in charge of publishing news talking about a war, which I don’t even think there is one. It claims to be the peace keeping one but this is not that. In fact there is another ministry for that. This one is the mini of love; this mini is probably the most inverted of the minis. MiniLove is where the “law breakers” are taken for punishment. It has no windows and is heavily guarded. The third mini is the mini of Truth. MiniTruth is the part of the government that runs the lies the whole society’s lives are run by. In conjunction these are the government of super oppression.

    The three lines in the book, “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” are just political statements. In a way they are also the way to defeat the oppressive government. The line “WAR IS PEACE” is a way of saying we need to rebel and gain what should be ours in the first place, but being that the talk or thought of rebellion results in death they can’t just say VIVA LA REVOLUTION can they? The line “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY” is telling all the people that the world they live in and think is free isn’t. They are telling the ignorant that they are slaves to Big Brother, the supreme ruler of the party that leads them. The message continues with this slavery shouldn’t be tolerated so rebel. These few words are the summary of what would be an entire rally. Last but not least, “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” This one short and decisive statement is telling people to hide their actions of rebellion caused by hidden slavery from the government to keep it moving.

    This ‘perfect’ government has been so cruel and inhumane that the people have to resort to such methods of communication. They are not even able to keep a journal without fear of impending doom, in fact the use of one can even result in a sudden disappearance of a individual. In know way is this society have no rules, no laws, and no slavery. The people are forced to mindlessly work and not even think about much of anything without worrying about the ability to be seen in public like a normal human again. This rebellion like propaganda should be seen by one and all. The creator and originator of this should be hidden and protected by he people and soon they would be set free…

  11. Student Response #1

    I am responding to student number one.

    I was having some difficulty with the concept of double think as well. However, after reading your entry I understood it much better, so I think that you actually have a very good grip on the concept :). I see in your first paragraph reference to a quote on page 35, where Winston gives his own definition of Doublethink, but again I appreciate the way you have changed and twisted his words to make more sense of the idea. I wonder though with the enforcement of Newspeak if the concept of democracy would even need to be addressed. I do not think the people in this world would need to worry about the perception of democracy at all, I think even in the setting of the book hardly any know of it.

    I also agree with your belief that it is the government trying to control the people. I believe almost everything that Big Brother does is for mental manipulation of his people, until they are physically unable to revolt against the Party. I also believe that the Party is trying to make the people take anything given to them as truth. That literally as Winston puts it, if they said 2 and 2 make 5 people would only respond with cheers of how intelligent Big Brother was. The party does not want you to think about how changing reports or new calculations make sense they want you to take everything given to you as truth, whenever it is given to you. So in this way doublethink requires only instinctual reactions, no thinking at all.

    I also think that the concept of doublethink is only difficult to understand by people who can think. In fact any creature can constantly take what is given to it as truth. It is the people who think, who can remember that Big Brother said the exact opposite days ago that doublethink comes into play. It is then that a person must forget what they know and be an orthodox member of the party. But as your last paragraph states, that person must remember the thing they just swore to forget in their workplace, while in Winston’s place editing articles. I believe that the Party uses doublethink to confuse its members or at least frustrate them, into the point of complete submission.

  12. Student Response #2

    I am responding to student #8.

    I had never really thought about the ‘why’ to the Physical Jerks until I read your response. Now, I really am curious because I do agree with your points. The Party obviously doesn’t care about the individual well-being of its members because of the lodgings, food, and condition in which they live. Victory Mansions may have a great name in Big Brother’s world, but the conditions of the apartments are shoddy at best. The sludge that Winston received at work almost made me throw up when I read the description, that on top of Victory Gin and the members of the Party probably won’t have the best livers in the world. If the Party doesn’t care about the physical condition in which their members exist, then why would they care about the physical condition of their bodies?

    Your first idea seems very valid to me. I believe that in order to control the minds of Party members, Big Brother realizes that it is necessary to also control their bodies. This validates the use of telescreens because the Party wants its members to look like they conform outwardly as well as conform mentally. Maybe the Party has the hope that if they can control the actions of all of their members they will eventually completely gain control of every mind of every dissenter. Outward conformity of the Party could trick the mind into internal conformity which is exactly what the Party wants. I also think that being identical in size could be a possible goal of the Party. Everyone wears the same outfit, is called the same name, and is thought of as ‘equal’, so it is perfectly logical that the Party also wants everyone to be identical in shape. Erasing any chance of individuality, even in the one area that is almost impossible to control.

    To me, your second theory holds even more plausibility. Big Brother needs the war, their needs to always be an absolute enemy to Oceania like Goldstein or Eurasia. In order for there to be peace, there must be war also, according to the Party. The Physical Jerks could just be another way to constantly remind the Party members that there is a war, that they are gloriously winning of course, and that there is a reason why they are living in such horrid conditions and with strict rations. Also, external conflict keeps the people from focusing on the domestic problems that abound in Oceania. Big Brother hopes that by always having some “absolute evil”, the people will never realize what oppression they are enduring. Once there is no enemy, there is no need for Big Brother and the so called ‘peace’ that he delivers. The Physical Jerks constantly remind the people of that enemy, ensuring that they never forget that without Big Brother, they would be hopelessly lost.

  13. Student Response #3

    I’m responding to student 2’s response.

    I agree with what you say. You bring up an interesting point about the Two Minutes Hate. The point is about comparing Goldstein to a sheep. I too find it interesting that the Party actually can’t come to the realization that since Goldstein is a rebel he can’t be a sheep. More importantly, I find it strange that they don’t realize that they are sheep themselves.

    At the end you ask a question about how could people rebel if they didn’t know what rebellion was. Well you almost got close to the answer in what you were saying about the Two Minutes Hate. The kind of conditions people face in Winston’s world are very bleak. Several things that are natural and instinctive are prohibited. All basic rights are taken away. Most people would say that if people believed if older times were worse they wouldn’t rebel. However, eventually instinct will come in. People will know that something doesn’t feel right. Even the spies who weren’t born before the revolution will know something is wrong when they grow older.

    Some people might be thinking that if that is true, then why doesn’t everybody rebel? They don’t because of the Two Minutes Hate. They blames all of their misery on the enemies that the Party says is responsible. The Party redirects all of the anger and frustration that could be direct towards the Party and cause problems for the party. Also the Two Minutes Hate provides as a release for the anger and hopefully dissipates it. This way the Party not only redirects anger, but destroys it as well. With the misery out of the systems of the Party members they are not likely to rebel.

  14. Student Response #4

    I am responding to Student 2.

    I’m really curious about Hate Week too; there are a lot of references made about it, but we don’t really know what it is. It seems like while in many societies, like ours, we plan festivals based on the family and happiness, like the Fourth of July, Oceania’s biggest holiday of the year is based on hatred and isolation. For many nations, their success is directly proportional to their citizen’s happiness, while in Oceania, their victories are won as long as the people are oppressed and thoughtless. Furthermore, in our society, we recognize the achievements of those who are brilliant, like scientists, while in Oceania, any intellectual is vaporized. In the past, like in Germany, people are willing to give up certain freedoms in bad times if a ruler provides them with stability. Exactly how bad was England pre-Big Brother for the people to be willing to give up ALL their freedoms?

    I agree with you in regards to things not making sense with Goldstein. It says in the book that he used “more Newspeak words than any Party member would normally use in real life.” (13) If the current goal of Oceania is to completely remove Oldspeak and have the citizens speak Newspeak, isn’t it odd their sworn enemy is following the desires of the Party? If he is the arch-enemy of the Party and believes in democracy then why wouldn’t he speak the language of freedom– Oldspeak? I do think the government imposes the Two Minutes Hate in its people to keep them distracted. If the people are all unified in their scorn of an outside force, they will not look inward and realize how crappy their lives really are. In history, the majority of revolutions (like in 1848) occur when the nation is at a time of peace. If there is not external enemy, people look at their own government because there are no other distractions. If Oceania is constantly at war with Goldstein and Eurasia/Eastasia, then there is no way they could be at war with their own government.

    I really like your comment about how the people will react to Hate Week if they become animals in just two minutes. I think it’d be a slightly nerve-wracking time for the government because while the people are so emotional and aggressive for that week, their hatred could just as easily transfer from Goldstein to Big Brother. Although, if the Party does the proper brainwashing for the other fifty-one weeks of the year, the citizens should be completely loyal to Big Brother and there would be no cause for concern. The Two Minutes Hate is the time of the day in which the citizens of Oceania become the most emotional and human they ever do, but they do nothing with these emotions. They simply accept it as part of their daily routine and as soon the telescreen goes blank, they return to their jobs. How is this violent emotion able to be conjured from the shallow premises of their brains and then just as quickly is dissolved?

    Finally– love your last line “how can the people rebel when they can’t even comprehend the concept of rebellion?” Gorgeous…

  15. Student Response #5

    In Response to Student 2

    The Two Minutes of Hate was also an event that caught my attention from the beginning of the story. I completely agree with Student 2’s fears of how much worse it could get if there was an entire WEEK of hating. There would indeed be something much more catastrophic than shouting or throwing things at the screen. Also like Student 2, when I read about Big Brother’s concept of Newspeak I thought it was brilliant. All of the short abbreviations fascinated me, but after it was explained in the story I found it all the more intriguing.

    However, Newspeak is actually more of a political/psychological influence than we actually think it is. What I noticed straight away was the removal of any words that implied any sort of negative meaning. Why not just keep bad instead of good? It could be used in the exact same way, unbad could be used to mean something is good and doubleplusunbad represents something that is splendid. This is because the entire purpose of Newspeak is to eventually make it impossible for the people in 1984’s society to rebel against Big Brother. They won’t know how because the future generations to come will have no knowledge of any negative words so the only phrases that can be uttered are those related to praise and reverance.

    I also noticed the constant use of animal imagery throughout the story from the transformation of Goldstein’s face into a sheep to the subtle primal reference in the concept of Duckspeak. This shows how the people of Big Brother’s society are literally, slowly changing into animals. A great example I found of this is the scene when Winston walks through the proles’ neighborhoods. The people their seem to have an almost primal instinct as to when a bomb is going to be dropped, even though it was technically faster than the speed of sound. When some of the proles are killed by the bomb everyone else come out of hiding and carry on as if nothing had ever happened, just like a pack of animals. The bomb represents the eventual sacrifice that one of the proles are going to have to be killed; the rest of the “herd” automatically accepts this fact and keeps going, letting the entire cycle continue.

  16. Student Response #6

    Responding to Student #8

    I wouldn’t say that the leading members of the Party don’t care about the citizens. If they didn’t care then they wouldn’t go through the trouble of controlling everyone. I don’t believe that the Party leaders have the citizens’ best interests at heart because they lead a completely different lifestyle than the rest of the people, but they must care because the citizens’ are necessary to keep their power. If the citizens of Winston’s society were to revolt and think for themselves, it would be the end of Big Brother. As a result, everything that the citizens do is constantly monitored. Exercising is just another action that Big Brother is controlling.

    I think that the daily workout routine is a form of mental control, not physical control. Big Brother has convinced the citizens that everything that they do is constantly being watched and controlled by him, exercising can’t be an exception. However, when you said “utopia” I thought that was a fantastic word. I believe that Big Brother is striving to create the perfect society, but perfect for him. If he can control the schedules and activities of every Party member and even change the past, how is that not supreme power?

    I did not think about the possibility that the work out routine was merely a way to reinforce the propaganda that the Party members see every day. Big Brother could be using this morning ritual as a way to inform the Party members about the potentially nonexistent war. The fact that it is in the morning is also interesting. The Party members start their day with patriotism and hatred towards Goldstein. The same unity that comes from the Two Minutes Hate could also be created through a workout routine.

  17. Student Response #7

    In Response to Student #2

    I have to agree with student #2 that hate week is going to be a very interesting concept in the book. Although ‘brainwashing’ will happen during the week it will not be the main focus. Instead it will be a week where the people have a place to get their anger out. Big Brother knows that if they have a whole week to relieve themselves, many weeks of good behavior will follow. I do not think this entails brainwashing, but something very similar. Big Brother does not have a power over anybody but instead has power over their brain.

    Two minutes also grabbed my attention at first; I didn’t really understand why it was needed. But as you said it send subliminal messages to the people, and also gives a way for them to output their anger that they have. I believe Goldstein is someone very made up. Like student #2 said it is a person in which people can develop hate for and create loyalty to Big Brother. And the week of hate shall be very, very interesting.

    Newspeak is a very interesting concept also but entails much more thought. What grabs my attention is if people out there are deleting words in the dictionary why aren’t people interested in why that is happening. Winston can’t be the only one out there that is interested in the deleting of words and why it’s happening. But I def have to agree that limiting the words of a society allows a lot more power of the ruler. If a person does not know how to say something that means ‘bad’ then most likely wouldn’t know what that word even means .

  18. Student Response #8

    I am responding to Student #2

    Hate Week, and especially the Two Minutes Hate intrigues me greatly. In fact I wrote an entry last week, but it was deleted when I accidentally went back a page. I found your entry to be broad but interesting. Your anticipation of Hate Week reflects the question how can a society benefit from a week of hate, how extreme does it get, and is the point even hate? I found your points to be concise but intelligent and interesting.

    I have also extensively wondered about the Two Minutes Hate and Goldstein’s role in it. The fact that Goldstein is allowed to, daily, to attempt to convince the people into believing in freedom and liberty is extremely interesting and confusing to me. No government in the history of the world has had daily broadcasts on national television of an ideology counter to its own. Even the Soviet Union, upon which Orwell based 1984 was never that confident, or arrogant. That idea along with the fact that the constant in the Two Minutes Hate is not the external enemy but counterrevolutionaries and traitors, which suggests weak or nonexistent enemies, or an extremely paranoid government, is thought provoking and a fascinating glimpse into Orwell’s mind.

    Although I have not spent as much thinking about it, I must also praise the utter brilliance of Newspeak. Orwell’s ideas about language are perhaps the most innovative of his concepts of the methods of an oppressive Communist regime ruling over the Democratic world. Newspeak holds a chilling reality in an age of shrinking vocabularies. The idea is extremely interesting, and now that I think about it I would definitely like to know more about language as related to thought. Finally, I must agree the concept of limiting, trapping, and controlling thought through the destruction of words is certainly a prodigious work of Machiavellian art.

  19. Student Response #9

    Responding to Student 7

    ‘Face crime’ is so interesting because it really is about your face. This student makes a great point when they say your own face can betray you. So if you make a certain look you could get in big trouble. I think that is terrible that you can’t even express yourself through expressions. I think they can tell because what if a party member or the telescreen sees you, that’s how they find out.

    When they say how you act can be interpreted into anything is so true. So if a party member sees you do something they could just say that to them it means something bad. So now the party has control over what you think and how you physically act. This student is right that would be totally scary. I would probably like die just because that would be so hard to live like that. It’s unbelievable.

    I can definitely identify with myself making certain faces. I make faces at just about everything and I do it without thinking. I subconsciously roll my eyes when I hear something ridiculous without even thinking about it. Making faces as a reaction to something is totally natural. It’s not even right to expect someone to control that. People do it without thinking anyway there is no way you can expect someone to do that.

  20. Student Response #10

    I, too, am confused at the term “doublethink” so that is why I chose student number 5.

    They present basics of 1984 in the beginning, which is helpful to someone who hasn’t read yet. They intro is a little confusing to me. They mentioned words being shortened, which reminds me that I do not know why they are shortened also. They also say that no thoughts exist, which is sort of mis-said. Thoughts exist, however they are not aloud. And also, technically freedom is restricted, but everyone is under the impression that they are very free.

    I like how they define doublethink. Contradiction is a very important word in this novel. Although I have not read Othello, the connection is great. It is very important to realize connections like these when studying a novel. I am a little confused when they say “Perks to doublethink” Are they talking about perks towards Big Brother?

    In the third paragraph they ask if that is considered thinking. Yes I think that it is because first of all, pondering is thinking, and second of all, trying to remember recent things is thinking. Writing and deciding what to write IS considered thinking. Not only do you have to think about what to write, but you have to think about simple things, things we take for granite, things like picking up a pen and remembering how to use it. I think they haven’t came and killed Winston yet because either they do not know yet, or the are following him and seeing if he is in fact thinking or breaking the law that does not exist.

  21. Student Response #11

    I’m responding to Student Number Six.

    I love your first sentence. This is a topic that fascinates me as well. Everyone really is alone, if you stop and think about it. What kind of friendship could you possibly have? You can’t trust anyone, not even your own children. But the fact that they might not understand that they’re missing friendship is an excellent point. Perhaps they aren’t sad or depressed, because they don’t know what could have been.

    The relationship between child and parent is, in our society, mostly a beautiful thing. I agree; it’s mind-boggling that it could ever be a relationship filled with fear, more specifically fear on the parents’ side. I love my parents quite a bit! I could never imagine betraying them, much less vaporizing them. This is an obvious example of the government’s insane amount of power. I think the idea of a government having this much power is pretty creepy.

    Being alone is something I know I personally am afraid of. I talk way too much to enjoy being alone for very long. I mean, sometimes I want to be alone, but I don’t think I could be alone for YEARS! And being paranoid every second of every day that someone could get too close to you is just horrible. You want friends, but you can’t have them because you can trust literally no one. I definitely agree with you; I think I would go totally crazy from the lack of human contact.

  22. Student Response #12

    In response to student #2

    Hate week is something interesting no doubt. I too think there’s some kind of method to brainwashing the masses during this time. Although I’m not quite sure how it happens, I think you theory is very possible. By distracting the people, they forget about what they were thinking about before. They become zombies to propaganda and the distractions just keep them in that robotic mind set in some cases.

    Newspeak, when I read it was a language spoken or used in the Oceania, my first thoughts were ” Hey there’s a clue, it’s in the Oceania.” It still may be important that this takes place in the Oceania, maybe not. But all I know is that student #2 has helped me in the concept of Newspeak. I know this plays a vital role in the book. The thing is though, I’m still thinking if the name Newspeak itself has any kind of relevance at all.

    Again with Newspeak, I think it’s interesting how student #2 said it was a language used to trap people in a box. I too did not think of that. Another way of manipulation and controlling the masses. I never thought of this, but if Newspeak was limited to certain words, that would also limit thought right? Just like what student #2 said, if people couldn’t “grasp the abstract thoughts and ideas of something as simple as freedom.” I believe he/she is on to something with Newspeak.

  23. Student Response #13

    I am responding to student #4 .

    Doublethink is something I too do not get. It seems like a difficult concept to understand. I’m not sure if it is meant to symbolize thinking contradictory thoughts.It seems like it could have a whole slew of meanings. I think that I will understand as i get further into the story.

    Your ideas about doublethink are pretty interesting. I have wondered if you have to doublethink to understand it. It would be a very interesting trick that Orwell would have played on the readers. Orwell does seem to be trying to trick the readers into believing the wrong thing, such as the people of Airstrip 1. It is a very intriguing idea.

    Fear is one of the reasons people do not think. Also, I think it is because they do not know how to think. Their lives have been set up in a very simplistic manner so that they do not think. This way, the party has absolute control over its members. This is the key to their large scale manipulation.

  24. Student Response #14

    I am responding to student #6.

    I agree that there is a lot of betrayal and isolation in the world of “1984.” The people may be united but they don’t even know each other. This world is basically a negative utopia. Nobody interacts with each other, and everybody just lives the same life. If one person is caught doing something wrong then severe punishment is taken. Its like you’re not even human. You’re just a robot.

    The child-parent relationship is a good example of betrayal in “1984.” I mean kids are like sponges. They absorb whatever they hear and see. When they do it stays in their head. So being influenced by Big Brother has made these kids the way they are now. They will hear what their parents say and then repeat it. By then the authorities may know, and the consequences will be severe. Thats kind of how the government can take away the inherent characteristic in every human by easily manipulating the kid’s heads during school and on the telescreen. Like I said kids are like sponges.

    Lastly the idea that everybody is isolated is true and is part of Big Brother’s security. Connect it with betrayal, if I were to talk about somthing bad about Big Brother to another person, that person may turn me in. Why? So then he can come clean and innoncent, and act like a hero (Big Brother may favor him). So you can’t talk about anything to other people because it may get you in trouble. Thats why this is an isolated society because you don’t want other people snooping around and trying to get you in trouble.

  25. Student Response #15

    Response to Student #2:

    I hadn’t really thought what differences there would be between the Two Minutes Hate and Hate Week until you mentioned it in your opening paragraph. The idea that the Party members could react in a way more inflamed than they did in the Two Minutes Hate astounds me but it highly likely. They will only need someone to follow to influence their actions. In the Two Minutes Hate, Winston describes it as inevitable that everyone would be involved in shouting at the screen, so I expect they will have a much more amplified, but similar, reaction at Hate Week. However, Winston’s reaction may be different. At the beginning of the novel, he was only beginning to reach consciousness. Now, his mind is reaching freedom at a much faster rate, and now he may be able to react in a way he actually feels, not just like the rest of the herd.

    I also found it strange that they compared Goldstein to a sheep, because what herd was he following? He is probably the farthest thing from a sheep we have seen so far in the novel. I agree that the Party is giving the members a common enemy to hate, but in a world where conformity is ‘encouraged,’ why would they compare Goldstein to a sheep? If they had compared him to a wolf, where the members are the sheep, this would have been more fitting. This would have imposed fear towards Goldstein, but maybe Big Brother, as a movement, feels this will weaken the party. Fear makes them weak, but hatred can inspire more passion and the wish for violence.

    Even if you’re question had not been set in bold, it would have jumped out at me. I also thought this question when I was reading. I believe the reason Winston can rebel, or wish to, is because he has access to evidence and has something to rebel against. He is exposed to the extreme corruption of the party because he is partly responsible for it. So they can’t rebel unless they understand the concept of rebellion, but they can plant seeds of rebellion if they have a taste of something to rebel against, like Winston does.

  26. Student Response #16

    I am responding to student three.

    I think you bring up a good point about Syme not being stupid enough to survive. He is so smart, that if ever he would become unhappy, he could potentially bring the Party down. The Party not only wants people to follow like sheep, but they want no one to even be able to have the idea to leave the herd. If anything is even a vague possibility against the Party, it must be destroyed. If a person can reason for themselves, they are doomed. Only those who cannot make judgments are safe from vaporization.

    When you mentioned “Orthodoxy is unconsciousness” it reminded me of one of the other student’s responses in a different entry. They talked about uniforms and how they eliminated choice in the morning. This type of orthodoxy is not nearly so severe as it is in Winston’s world, but it stills robs us of thought. Since when has it been considered good to not need thought to do something? It just makes you think about how easily we could be taken in by something that lets us just be a little bit more lazy or mindless, and how much of a draw there is to the mindlessness day after day.

    I disagree with you about duckspeak. I think he means it to be that their voices are likened to a duck in meaning. It is just noise that lacks meaning. Duckspeakers are those who talk the most but say the least. It is the act of speaking nonsense, having nothing you say make a point. Winston uses the word to mean that if the person hadn’t spoken, they would have made just as much of an impact on his day.

  27. Student Response #17

    I am responding to student # 2:

    I like how you talk about the Two Minutes of Hate. This is a secession that can be taken in any direction pretty much. You talk about how it kind of starts a riot, then you move to how you wonder what the two weeks of hate will bring.

    I like your point of how two minutes is the brainwashing of brainwashing secession. I think that it is a very amazing control strategy that is one of the most simple cover on the book, but in detail it was a complex way to control everyones thoughts. Two minutes of hate is a perfect example of how human nature can convinced to hate something or someone in this case, Goldstein, with out having any direct connection to them. But the one bad thing about the two minutes of hate is that when you have a person like winston who is already starting to wake up again, it can be dangerous because you are placing the act of riot in peoples eyes. Which would eventually lead to the people starting to comprehend the concept riot which would lead to the question why then to a new understanding of rebellion.

    You then move on and start to talk about the fact of the new language created which acts as a front, but what it really does is that it actually controls -even more as if Big Brother doesn’t have enough control- what now the total factor of what now anyone can think. B.B. now has the other teams playbook in his hand and knows the order. The one thing I want to see through the book is if the PEOPLE break away from their play book.

    This is an example of how people in a socialistic society have no control on what they really can do, this brings fear to me because IT bring the question up would this ever happen in our future because it really does seem possible and in some ways many countries aren’t far from it……. So would WE ever get this far into a socialistic society that the people would lose control?………..?

  28. Student Response #18

    Note: This is NOT a complete response. Please do the minimum # of sentences in each paragraph to guarantee credit. — Mr. Long

    I am responding to student #6

    I actually really like how he/she thought about the concept of betrayal. The people of that world are told that they are free but on the other hand the party’s slogan is Freedom is Slavery.

    So, just like student 6 said, they are told that they are “united”, but still live in isolation form each other. But if they wanted to bond, or make friends, they’d have to think about it and would then commit a thoughtcrime.

    This is all part of this confusing world, in which there are no laws, but you are still convicted for thinking the wrong stuff or having the wrong facial expression. So since people know that, they dont even try to think. They probably dont even know how to think correctly because they’ve been brainwashed too much.

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