Friday, April 20, 2007

Discussion Continues

Well my internet was down at five, so I ate dinner, and now here I am posting the discussion continuer. (spell check)

It seems as if Winston is still able to think for himself on the subconscious level, even if what he thinks is what O'Brien is telling him. What could this mean, and could it have any significance?

Thanks guys, and sorry Ms. Smith for the late post.

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20 Comments:

Blogger paigen said...

Well, I am a little confused on the wording of the question, but I agree that he can still think freely on the subconscious level. Even though he wants to see that 2+2=5, he can not make himself see it. It is like trying to make your heart stop beating, it is impossible. So I think that Winston will not be able to be fully cured, even if his conscious mind thinks that 2+2=5, he won't believe it and therefore won't be betraying anybody.

Fri Apr 20, 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger alexd said...

I think is means that at the subconscious level, Winston is still human with a pinch of human emotions. I know he will be cured because I have read some more. But I think that he will retain some of his subconscious hate towards big brother, like parsons did, without even knowing it.

Sat Apr 21, 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger christas said...

I think that although Winston is weakening because of the tortures inflicted upon him by the Party, he still subconsciously believes in rebellion. Although O’Brien tells Winston that 2+2 can equal 5, 3, or anything the Party wants it to equal and Winston manages to convince himself that this is true, in his heart he knows that the only thing that 2+2 can ever equal is 4. Although O’Brien tells Winston that Oceania is the world and that the Party can blot the rest of the universe out of existence if it wants to, Winston sees the stars and knows inside that there has to be something else out there. Winston may be able to convince his mind that the lies of the Party are unalterable truths, but I think that in his heart he will always be rebellious. The significance of this is that the Party can conquer Winston's body and even his mind, but they cannot completely extinguish the truth or Winston's inner beliefs.

Sat Apr 21, 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger adrianag said...

I think that the first step to making Winston "better" is to torture him until he wants to see 5. Then they sort of put his mind in to shock with that machine so he would believe that there were five fingers. Even though Winston went back to seeing four once the effect wore off. He realized it was possible to see five. He couldn't see five because he knew it was physically impossible, but then he was shown that it could be true. I think that brought him closer. Although Winston is capableof his own thoughts, O'Brien knows what they will be. I think that demonstrates how weak Winston really is. He isn't so unique after all. He's predictable and maybe just like many other traitors to the Party. As for not being able to alter his heart and inner beliefs, I'm not sure what the Inner Party is capable of. Like Winston, most people want to believe that the human spirit will always prevail, and that we will eventually rebel when freedom is taken away. Maybe Winston will become an example where this ideal isn't true. O'Brien is capable of manipulating the way people think about him. Winston feels like it is someone else torturing him, and O'Brien is there to help. It kind of reminds me of the way people see BB as a protector and someone they can trust. Who knows what else they can change. Maybe it has something to do with room 101. The whole idea of rebuilding traitors reminds me of occupation after WWII. Realizing the mistakes made after the first world war, we helped the former enemies. This aid was partially an attempt to rebuild the countries in our own image to prevent more dictators and wars.

Sat Apr 21, 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger SarahEChurchill said...

I think that it is only a matter of time until Winston is broken down. Like O'Brien says, they tear people down and them fill their shells with the Party. Even though Winston can still think for himself in the subconcious as of now, he won't last much longer. People can only stand so much torture, eventually it becomes overwhelming. I predict that Winston will hand himself over to the Party eventually, although not all of him. Winston truly believes the Party is bad. Even if on the surface he believes the Party, deep down he will always resent them. His feelings have gone on for too long to be completely erased. So I think he might surrender his mind and the subconcious, but he won't surrender himself, his deep beliefs.

Sat Apr 21, 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger tanal said...

I am not sure if I fully understand the question, but I think that Winston can think for himself on some level. I think he is beginning to be brainwahsed by O'Brien and falling to what he is saying and at this point is not sure what to believe. Although, he knows the answers to the questions that O'Brien is aking him, but he is saying the wrong thing on purpose because that is all O'Brien wants to hear, and it is how he is going to stop being tortured. I think after all the torturing and Winston's time is done, O'Brien is going to have Winston Brainwashed completely and he is not going to know what to believe or what is true anyore. I think that this is the party's main goal; to let the people believe what they tell them and for them not to be able to think for themselves or have knowledge of the past.

Sat Apr 21, 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kjerstinl said...

Yes, I do agree with the things that have been said about the 2+2 theory. I'm going to go back to our discussion on Friday though when we were talking about how some people subconciously don't agree with the Party, like Parsons who said, "Down with Big Brother," continuously in his sleep. Although Winston's condition is dissimilar, it kind of connects. He realizes his dislike for the Party. Now he's trying to be brainwashed back. He might be brainwashed, but still, those beliefs will still be with him, and whatever O'Brien tries to do, he can do nothing to stop that. I think that this will make Winston's stuggle a lot harder then because he knows what he told contradicts with what he thinks. I think the hardest thing though is th e physical pain that he receives for thinking what he thinks. It's hard for him to decide between the his fight and his life, "Should I save myself, or should I try to do what I know is right while accepting that I might not live, see Julia, or have any success. I could still live in this pain or die." What makes this worse is his crazy state of mind. He's unable to think straight as being confined in the cells. Now that he's in a new cell, I imagine that he will try to followe what O'Brien wants him to do, even though it contradicts with what he thinks, and just do the best to get out of there.
I think the significance of the subconcious fight represents a constant fight in people nowadays and back in the book (hm... maybe this could be something to consider for end of the semester project, just a thought). I think that this also shows the weakness in the Party, people's subconcious desires to get out. This could help the people in the long run to destroy the government. Also, it could let the Party members go to the proles for help to help destroy the Party.

Sat Apr 21, 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger briang said...

I agree with what has been said so far. I think that although Obrien has taken over Winston's body, he can never truly take over his entire mind. When Winston is tortured, it is only natural and almost spontaneous that he would agree with whatever Obrien says for the soul purpose of stopping the torture. Any human might react in a similar way. After so many times of this occurring, Obrien will literally demoralize Winston to the point where Winston is nothing more than a body, and maybe then he will truly believe 2+2=5. But still, it is hard for me to believe that Winston will ever completely lose his rebellious mindset. I believe that Obrien can take over Winston's body and scratch the surface of his mind, but will never be able to touch the true deeper feelings and thoughts Winston holds.

Also I wanted to comment on what kj said about "Should I save myself, or should I try to do what I know is right while accepting that I might not live, see Julia, or have any success. I could still live in this pain or die." I agree with what you’re saying and it goes back to what I said earlier. Winston is obviously losing his mind, literally, in the Ministry of Love. He will do whatever it takes to escape, even if that means going to the absurd point of saying 2+2=5. He will do what Obrien says to save himself from true insanity. It is strange that Obrien always tells Winston he is insane. It just seems strange that in their society, you are insane if you have your own thoughts.

I think the significance of this is that it illustrates a flaw in the Party. The Party tries to control the thoughts of the people and keep everyone loyal yet the people still on the inside are against them. Just shows a weakness in the Party.

Sun Apr 22, 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger kimmy c. said...

Well I think that Winston can still think for himself, but he is slowly wearing down. His eyes are permanently open to the truths of the Party, but he is beginning to believe O'Brien just because he wants to be back to normal and he is in so much pain. I think the significance might be that he trained his mind not to let him practice doublethink, and this the result. He will never be completely "cured" because he has trained himself to resist till the end. He can't let himself become mindless again.

Sun Apr 22, 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger _annaw_ said...

I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis the other day, and I got to the one called The Silver Chair. In this one, the evil woman (for those of you who have not read it) uses a slow song and some backwards psychology to confuse our heroes. They are underground, and so they cannot see the sun. Here is the excerpt:

“’You see? When you try to think clearly what this sun must be, you cannot tell me. You can only tell me it is like the lamp. Your sun is a dream; and there is nothing in that dream that was not copied from the lamp. The lamp is a real thing; the sun is but a tale, a children’s story.’ ‘Yes, I see now,’ said Jill in a heavy, hopeless tone. ‘It must be so.’ And while she said this, it seemed to her to be very good sense” (Lewis 187).

This excerpt is so much like what Winston is going through. Although Winston is being tortured and not put under a dreamlike state, he is still being told many things like this. In both instances, it is so much easier to do what the character is being told. Jill in the story just says the sun is not real, while Winston says that two and two make five. However, for both characters, their minds and subconscious are still there. Jill and Winston have both given up to their oppressors, though they know that they are right.

I think that no matter what the government/Party does, every individual will hav their own mind. It is just making it so that everyone in the Party will want to put their minds together that is the trick.

Sun Apr 22, 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger shaunam said...

I agree with what has been said so far. I think that O'Brien can dematerialize and torture Winston to the brink of death, but I think that Winston can still control his own mind. My question is how can O'Brien know what Winston is thinking? Is is through the machines?
I think that Winston still has a rebellious mind but I also think that maybe is has stopped trying to challenge the system. This is because he is telling O'Brien that he wants to believe that 2 and 2 is 5.

Sun Apr 22, 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger DeclanH said...

i think the only real purpose it serves is to be there so it can be taken away. it seems like winston has a lot of knowledge, he just doesn't put it to good use. or any use for that matter. either way, his subconscious thought is mostly not put to any use. bummer.

Sun Apr 22, 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Phillips said...

I don't believe it has or will have any significance. Winston will break eventually and he will absolutely believe that 2+2=5, throughout all his levels of thinking. He will break and there is nothing he can do about it, it is only a matter of time until he accepts that and breaks.

On a lighter note, once he breaks, he will be looking at a possibly better future, or death...

Sun Apr 22, 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger elyseh said...

O'Brien does say at one part in the book that Winston is more difficult than the others, it almost seems as if he is the only thing left of humanity because even through all the brainwashing and torture he goes through, he is still able to think. This could have major significance because it seems like noone but him is able to keep his mind that sane (or insane considering his society). Winston is a very different character and even his partner in rebellion, Julia, wasn't able to hold on to her own mind. Even though it seems like O'Brien is reading Winston's mind, Winston still has some control.

Sun Apr 22, 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger KathrynT said...

I think that Winston is just so worn down and out that he is just willing to do anything and accept anything that is told to him, even if he doesn't totally agree with it. You know how when you are very tired and not paying very much attention and someone asks you a question, such as "Have you already done your homework?" you automatically respond with, "Yes" because it is the right answer, but not necessarily the correct one; this seems to be the state that Winston is in, only increased by a ton. He is conscious enough to know when something is being asked of him, but not conscious enough to formulate well thought out responses out of his own accord. This could mean that the party almost has complete control over his mind, but maybe they can never gain complete control of his thoughts.
I hope this is what the question was asking; it was a little confusing.

Sun Apr 22, 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger adamb said...

I don't think that it has any importance. It will either be crushed by O'Brien or stay hidden and possibly resurface later, repeating these event again, which makes one wonder if Winston had rebelled before and forgot abput it.

Sun Apr 22, 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger chelseah said...

I agree with everything that has been said so far. I think that Winston has gotten to the point of rebellion, where he is so much against the Party, that it will take a lot to get him back to the level that everyone else is at. (if that makes any sense) But i also think that its kind of creepy how O'Brien knows and can tell what Winston is thinking. This is unfortunate for Winston, because he will have to force himself to think what they want him to think. The fact that Winston thinks on his own is probably very bad for him, because he is basically just setting himself up for more torture and work to change that.

After reading on (I hope this is ok to say on the blog) Winston is now thinking just like the "normal" Pary member, and has no more or very few thoughts about rebellion anymore. So, therefore, O'Brien got through to him, and he is able to obey the way they want him to now.

Sun Apr 22, 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Hannah J said...

I don't really think this has any significance. Winston seems as though he will just be "cured" of his rebellious thoughts and then they will shoot him.

Sun Apr 22, 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger saram said...

I like the point that adam brought up. I don't think there is any significane, but who knows? Maybe many have tried the same thing as Winston but have just forgotten about them as the past is changed. Or, Winston could be pretending that his thoughts are fixed so that he can survive and either be able to go back to his normal life, or try another way of rebelling against the party in the future.

Mon Apr 23, 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger joshb said...

At the subconcious, I believe, is every memory of everything that we have gone through. So I think that WInston is digging deep to find the strength and courage that is hidden inside himself and he is using his subconcious to think for what his concious cannot.

Mon Apr 23, 07:09:00 AM  

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