Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dearest Period 5 here is your blog post for pages 147-167...

So far, what has 1984 said about us as human beings? What part of us does Winston represent? Julia? How about The Party?

1984 was written from a futuristic point of view in 1949. What was Orwell correct in predicting? Where was he completely off the mark? What do you think his overall message is to us readers?

Tie 1984 back to Lord of the Flies. How is The Party like Jack? Do you think Winston is like Ralph? How? How are Golding's message from LOF and Orwell's message in 1984 alike? What do both these books say about the survival instincts of humans?

For those of you who don't know the story, what do you think will happen to Winston and Julia? Do you think O'Brien and Julia are good guys or bad guys? What do you think will be the result of Winston and Julia's secret relationship?

I'm interested to hear what you guys think. As always, please remember to reference back to others' comments.

Thanks guys!

27 Comments:

Blogger EmilyL said...

Maria: Is this question for after the fishbowl on Monday?

I will attempt to answer the first part now and save the rest until after the fishbowl.

What does 1984 say about us as human beings?
I think it says that we like to think we are better than everyone else is. All of the inner party members think they are better than the outer party and the outer party thinks they are better then the proles. It reinforces the idea of a class system.

Sun Apr 15, 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger erinl said...

In 1984, I think it has said that human beings are gullable. They will listen to whatever they are told and cannot think for themselves. I think that is huge because, I think, that before this year that I'm not sure that I could think for myself. It is something that has to be learned and if they are not let off a leash to explore the world then they cannot think on their own. They have to know to think on their own to rebel.

Mon Apr 16, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

As far as I can tell, Orwell was writing about what he thought the year 1984 AD would be like. Remember, 1949 was near the beginning of the fear of communisim and the age conformisim.

In history, my class discussed how so many of the activities of the late 1940's and the 1950's related to how everyone seemed to want to fit in, and to not sitck out as being "different." Often, companies had dress codes that would state that an employe could only wear certain types of shirts and suits. Essentially, they all looked alike. The same falls with the creation of the suburbs, and having every house look exactly like the one one either side of it. Isn't that like the Party, and how everyone wears basically the same clothing, and tries their best NOT to stand out?

Now for Lord of the Flies. Both Golding and Orwell give the impression that people generally want to stay in a single group and be better than other groups. As well, they both say that there WILL be people like Ralph and Winston who know what's going on is wrong, and that they need to change things. We have yet to see if Winston will sucseed, unlike Ralph from Golding's Lord of the Flies.

Mon Apr 16, 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger TomR said...

1984 shows that humans are weak, weak, weak, and easily controlled by your everyday web of lies.

As Erin said, regarding thinking for ourselves, I am under the personal opinion that school and society in general (such as Michelle explained with the suburban lifestyle of the 1950s) were designed to crush that instinct. Even so-called "individuals" tend to conform to one group or another, be it a clique or a bingo club. The society of 1984 could easily be the product of students of nearly any school in the United States. Today.

In Lord of the Flies, humans' sheeplike instinct was exposed, how people will blindly play "follow the leader" because they're conformists without a single individual thought in their wee little heads. 1984, similarly, shows how people will believe anything that's spoon-fed to them instead of being skeptical. Being a skeptical cynic is the only way to go, take it from me. This may sound strange, but I find being paranoid and questioning every ideal allows you to not become a sheep and to think outside the box--a trait which the characters of 1984, Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451 and beyond all seem to lack.

Mon Apr 16, 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

I think Winston and Julia represent two different types of challenging the system. Winston represents challenging the system for the sake of everyone while Julia represents challenging the system for personal gain.

I agree with Michelle's idea of what the party stood for. They are the unwritten social codes of 50's. They make sure everyone acts, talks, and thinks the same way.

Now, on to Orwell’s predictions. Orwell correctly predicted that the world would be at war between two powers. 1949 was in the midst of the Cold War and Orwell correctly predicted that some sort of war between tow major powers would be going on in 1984. However, he incorrectly predicted that the world was going to be dictated by three major powers. I think he was off the mark here because he was predicting for China to rise up and join Oceania (U.S. and Great Britain) and Eurasia (USSR) as a third power, Eastasia. I think through the three major powers Orwell was trying to tell the readers that all of the Cold War nations fell under three basic groups and that there was little national identity.

To me Jack is not so much like the party as he is like Big Brother. Big Brother handpicks members of his group, the party, as does Jack. Both of them also can be allies but will stab their allies in the back.

No, I do not see Winston as Ralph. Ralph’s main goal was just to survive and get off the island, but Winston wants to not only leave the party but also change it for good.

Both Golding and Orwell have at the core of their books, the theme that one group of humans will always be oppressed. In Golding, it is Piggy and his friends, in Orwell it is the Proles. They both say that when you are in the oppressed group your survival instincts are reduced to the point where you do not care whether you live or die.

Mon Apr 16, 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

I agree that 1984 shows most of the things tomr said. However, I would say that the books purpose is something else. (I am not disagreeing with him. he never said it was something else.)

I think that all of 1984 is really about one thing. What everything represents and such, as well as his meaning, is all the same thing: communism=bad. The entire thing is Orwell warning us about totalitarianism in general, and more specifically communism that Stalin created.

Because of this, the things are very literal representations. The party is the party (Stalin's party), the proles are the proles (Russian Proletariat), and the thought police is just a scary name for the russian secret police.

In light of my previous statements, I would say that Orwell did not predict a lot of things, because 1984 as a warning of what not to let happen.

There are some things he did predict. Due to the consolidation of companies, product quality has plummeted, and news variety has shrunk.

In 1984, electronic surveillance was becoming more common. But today, it is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. I have the feeling most of you would be terrified if you realized how much you were surveyed.

Another thing he came close to in 1984 was consolidated power. There are three super-states in Oceania. In 1984, there were two: the USSR and the US. One difference was that in 1984, there were still tiny free countries in the Southern hemisphere, but very few were free of soviet and us control.

But now, that prediction would be dead wrong. During the cold war, the world was known as bi-polar. But now, I would say that it is youtube polar. The soviet union collapsed, and US hegemony is waning. Small organizations that cannot rival others in military power, such as Hezbollah, have been very popular by spreading their message. It is easier to do so with the internet.

And, an even scarier thought, nuclear proliferation. How much longer will countries be the only ones with nukes? Pakistani A.Q. is doing his best to put nukes in private hands, mostly those we don't like.

Wow. That was long. Sorry for rambling.

Mon Apr 16, 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Aylar said...

It is my true belief that Winston is quite blindly trusting both O' Brian, as well as Julia. Julia is just interested in getting some anyway, how much does she really care FOR WINSTON and not just her own desires. Winston got lucky with Julia, so he is banking on that with O' Brian..... RISKY, I think that he is testing his luck to far. He knows that he will end up dead at some point, however that only seems to make him bolder.
I'm scared to see what risks he takes next.

Mon Apr 16, 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger TyC said...

Ben, I agree with your link from the Party to Stahlin's Party and Communism. When Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948, World War II had recently ended. At this point in time, the Cold War was starting. I think that Orwell connects the constant bombing of Oceana to the race for nuclear supremacy between the United States and the Soviet Union. If you look at Orwell's Map according to the world in 1984, you can see that Oceana is made up of what is the United States, while Eurasia is where the Soviet Union was located. This shows some indication that Orwell was giving insight to what he thought the Cold War would do to the world.

Mon Apr 16, 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger karib said...

I think it was interesting how he predicted a cultural revolution in the 50s and 60s, which especially in the case of the 60s, ended up being an era of extreme change.

I think he was completely wrong in his assumption that people would let an oppressive government get to the stage of the Party. In reality, I think people would rebel and realize what was happening long before it got to the stage of complete thoughtlessnes.

Rather than the Party, I think Big Brother is very similar to Ralph. They are both more of figure heads than actual leaders. People obey them because they fear the consequesces if they don't, but they don't have any actual power. I think Winston and Ralph are very similar in the respect that they both feel somewhat helpless as to the state of their worlds, and are nearly alone in their opinions.

On the issue of human nature, I tend to agree more with Orwell's interpertation that a large number of people can lead to believe almost anything rather than Golding's theory that humans are pretty much greedy.

Mon Apr 16, 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger emilya said...

Orwell was definitley correct in predicting that we will still have a government in some way, shape, or form. He was correct that we have a leader who governs the whole society. Orwell was also correct that the citizens are separated into seperate societys... meaning Proles and the party members in 1984.
Orwell was wrong in the idea that the people were totally corrupt in their thinking and their actions. They have no freedom of thought and no freedom of speech. They have to have a good image as a loyal party member as opposed to a rebeller. The whole society is brought out to be image and making sure to have the right one (image).

Mon Apr 16, 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby B. said...

Orwell was pretty right on, because back then we would just listen to what we were supposed to do and do it and go along with it, but it did not last that long. Everyone eventually breaks off and goes thier own way.

I think that Winston and Julia in the end will not end up how they like, because they are going against the Party and everyone seems to get caught and I think they have just been lucky so far, but I think they will get caught. Also, O'Brien and Julia I think have proven themselves to be good guys.

Mon Apr 16, 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger lauraf said...

In response to who Winston and Julia represent--I think Winston represents those in society or the personality in each of us that wants to rebel, but is unsure in ourselves that we have to rely on others to support us in difficulities. Also, he represents how the part that cares and acts with the interest of future generations in mind. Not, that Winston is completely weak in his rebellion, but instead he's afraid of consequences. Julia, on the other hand, is the daring side of society that has a completely different appearance to surrounding people, but instead acts in opposite ways. She also represents the side in society that is not afraid to rebel and live for the day instead of for the future.

Mon Apr 16, 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

My group's semester project is all about emotions and how they are man's downfall (yes Ben is in my group). 1984 is an awesome example of this just because of mob physchology. We have people conforming because "everyone else is." We also have random sexual relationships because they don't know how to work emotion in the first place so they take and opportunity to...er...use it. There is also Winston's trust of most people. This seems to be a theme in most people's comments and I think it is the biggest revalation of mankind. When we're desparate we will trust anyone.

Mon Apr 16, 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger sarahc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mon Apr 16, 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger sarahc said...

Along with everyone else's comments, I would like to add that the government Orwell created was what the USSR and the Communist followers were saying would happen to the U.S.: Marxism (the end result of Capitalism). The government in 1984 seems to have been set up by the lower class. This belief of Winston's that the Proles (the lower class) will be the end of BB could stem from the fact that maybe they were the last ones to rise up. They hate capitalism so much because the people in charge are the ones who were at the bottom, or near it, when capitalism ruled. I think Orwell was going off of the past, as well as the present (his present, that is). On this note, Orwell was TOTALLY wrong, obviously, because we don't live in a Marxist society.

Mon Apr 16, 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger zachf said...

1984 says that humans always have a sense of rebellion on their mind. No matter what, people are going to want to change the current system to benefit themselves. WInston represents the smarter and more mellow side of us, while Julia represents the fast paced, exciting lifestyle.

Orwell was correct in predicting that 1984 would contain conflict, like the ending part of the Cold War in the '80's. His prediction that people would have a supreme ruler and party was obviously wrong.

Tue Apr 17, 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger maddyg said...

I think it is interestring that the post asks how Jack compares to the Party because I never thought of it that way. Now I am seeing how Jack's taking these sruggling boys and giving them food is like what we talked about in the fishbowl yesterday about the party. After they give the people food and shelter, they now are obligated to be loyal the Party (or Jack's group) and deicate their service to them. This is also like the Gihad (excuse my spelling)that Ms. Smith talked about yesterday.

Tue Apr 17, 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger danh said...

1984 says that we are easily controlled by totalitarian governments. Winston represents the logical side of us that tries to rebel but has no success. Julia, on the other hand, represents those that are partially brainwashed that only care about fun and entertainment because they believe there is no hope.

What if we do know the story?

BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD!

O'Brien, I "think" will turn bad and betray them. I also "think" that Julia and Winston will be heartbroken when they are separated (hint, hint).

Tue Apr 17, 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger AnnaD said...

I believe that 1984 says that as humans we are fickle and too easily controlled by our government. I disagree with this, however. We, as Americans, will never let our freedoms be taken away to such a degree as in 1984. We have tasted too much freedom to let it be taken away from us as much as it was here, and we have the ability to fight for our rights.

O'Brien, to me, is not a man to be trusted. He seems too smart and shrewd to not have been “eliminated” by this point, as Syme was. If I were Winston, I would not trust him. No one can be trusted in 1984.

Tue Apr 17, 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Madisonm said...

In response to the second question: I do think that George Orwell was correct in predicting the future in many ways, but not neccessarily as literally as we might think. I think that the way he shows how much power the government has is accurate in displaying how the government has gained so much power over the people. While the people feel that they have control over the government, it does not always happen that way. The government has a large say in most everthing that affects our lives. Just as the government, or Big Brother, controlls what Winston and the other citizens in Oceania do. In addition, just as Big Brother tries to eliminate most opinion throughout Oceania, people in today's society also are subconciously singleminded towards others opinions; they feel that their opinion is the right one, and should be the only one. Our society is not as strict on the idea as Oceania, but it is still a concept that is relevant in our society and that was predicted, in a way, by Orwell.

Tue Apr 17, 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger kenna_d said...

I feel that no one in 1984 can truly be trusted. I think that O'Brien and Julia are good people, but it is human nature to want to save your own neck. I wonder, if it really came down to, what all of the characters would do tos save themselves. As to Winston's and Julia's secret relationship, I feel that it is dangersous, and that there is no way for it to turn out right. There is too much room for fault and failure. The whole point of this relationship for me is that human nature is loving, but people are naturally out for themselves, which can create a downfall factor when it comes to relationships.

Tue Apr 17, 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

Kenna_d:

You have a really good point about how very few people can be good people, but when faced with "them or me," they can betray the deepest trusts, even friendship and love.

Tue Apr 17, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger maria k said...

Kenna--Great point! You're right, I think that one of the main things that 1984 is saying about us as human beings is that it is our nature to be selfish. This ties back to LOF, Jack wanted control. Romeo and Juliet wanted control, to change their destiny to what THEY wanted. They didn't think about who else it may affect or how they might change. It relates to 1984 because Winston and Julia (especially Julia) are trying to change their reality. Julia wants control over her destiny to satisfy her selfish desires.

Great discussion guys! You made some awesome points.

Tue Apr 17, 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger lindsey c said...

I think that Winston represents strong rebellion, the people who want to have an organized rebellion but cannot get together. I think that Julia represents the more light rebellion, which has only personal satisfaction. THis book is really just showing how totalitarion governments can easily "brainwash" whoever is unfortunate enough to be under the "regime"

Thu Apr 19, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger rsinn_butnotfire said...

I think that Winston and Julia will eventually become seperated by the thought police, Julia will give up easily while Winston will struggle against the party still.

Also, i think that human beings are depicted as controllable stagnating beings. That eventually we will stop being innovative and just stagnate.

Thu Apr 19, 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger hannahs said...

Ok so I finally found this post. I think Julia represents that rebelious side that we all have. Even though we are conditioned to behave well, there is sometimes a part of us that wants to act out and act thoughtlessly. Winston however, represents the rational side of rebellion. Although he may not have thought through his actions, Winston had a reason to rebel, instead of just rebelling for the sake of rebelling.

Sun Apr 22, 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Laurab said...

I think that there two kinds of people in 1984. There are the kind of people who aren't necessarily content with their life, but don't want to change it, because they know what the consequences will be. Winston falls into that category. Julia is the second kind of person who isn't content, and wants to do something about it, no matter the consequences.

I posted this the day the post was put up, but it didn't save. Sorry!

Wed Apr 25, 09:54:00 AM  

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