Thoughts, observations, comments, and concerns regarding our readings and classroom discussions.
posted by annes @ 9:01 AM
Okay guys, here's your question. What is the main theme, or message, of the section we just read?
I think they might be trying to show the reader the power of numbers.
I think the main theme of the section we just read is that the government has the control to change the past, and if the peple who still remember the past do not act now then there will never be hope to overthrow the Party.
What do you mean Paige??
Well, I think that the main theme was all about challenging the government. This is proved in several ways. For instance, Winston talks about the proles and how they are the only hope for overthrowing the Party. Second, he remebers having information proving the government was corrupt with information. Lastly, he goes into a shop and buys something that the government would not really aprove of.
I mean, all stories have a moral and an idea that the author is trying to portray to the reader, I think that the message in this section is that there is power in numbers.
I think the main point is the start of the change of Winston starting to rebel. Like with the fiction section girl, she gave him a message, they secretly met with her, and he's having thoughts about her that wouldn't be allowed. Also, planning with her might not really be allowed either. Plus, he has more thoughts that are starting to build up against the Party too.
I think we need a new question because this one is starting to where out. How about, what do you think drew Winston to the coral paper weight in the first place? Do you think that the fact that it is 'coral' is significant?
I know I'm getting off topic already, but I have a question I would like to ask: Winston remembers seeing Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford in the Chesnut Tree Cafe. Suddenly, the telescreen spits out a new song-"Under the spreading Chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me: there lie they, and here lie we, under the spreading chestnut tree."-When Winston looks at Rutherford, he sees he is crying. Why?
How do we know that the paper weight is something that the party doesn't approve of. It seems to me that if they didn't, then Winston would never have found it.
I think that the coral paper weight was just interesting, maybe he had the thought that it reminded him of the government. Plus it was from a long time ago and he had never seen anything like it which might have caused him to want it.
Good question Sarah. Maybe he is crying because when the song refers to "selling people" that might remind him of what Big Brother told the people that capitalists could do. So it reminded him of how good life was before the revolution and how Big Brother is lying to everyone.
I think that Rutherford was crying because of the line "I sold you and you sold me". This sort of describes the relationship between Big Brother and Rutherford. Perhaps this sparked some emotion.
I think we know the paperweight isn't approved of by the party because it is sold in that shop, and mostly everything in those shops including going into the shops alone is not approved of by the government.
With the coral--connor was saying that Winston is trapped. If he is the coral instead of the whole paperweight, you could say that he is trapped in the glass. He can see through the glass, but cannot get out. He understands what the Inner Party is doing, but he is helpless. On a related note, he wrote that he understands how but not why.
It is possible Rutherford is crying over the irony of the situation. I agree with Paige, otherwise.
Why would a paperweight not be allowed by the Party? What does that show about the Party's power?
Alex- what would be ironic about it?
VERY GOOD ADRIANA.I think thats really a good interperetation
I think he chose the paperwieght for its beauty not because it reminded him of the government. Winston sees the paperwieght as a paperweight...however Orwell uses the paperweight as a symbol of the government.
I think that he wanted the glass paperweight because Winston says, "What appealed to him about it what not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite different from the present one. The soft, rainwatery glass was not like any glass he had ever seen. the thing was doubly attracing because of its apparent uselessness..." (Orwell 96).
AlexmI agree with you. I dont think the paper weight has anything against the party. But why would Winston be so afraid to carry it home that he had to hide it in this pocket?
I agree with Brian about the fact that he was crying over the quote" I sold you and you sold me", which relates to the nazis and Russians in WW2.
WOW Adriana! I really like your comment. It does show how Winston is the coral and he is trapped inside the party! But why do you think he bought the diary? Was he actually thinking about writing in it or was he just subconsciously drawn to it?
The fact that they're in a cafe named after a chestnut tree. I don't really know what I'm talking about. I just thought that.
adrianna-that is such a great point. It is like hes sort of in a snow globe or something. He knows what is wrong but he can't do anything about it. That goes back to paige's power by numbers.
The government is so intimidating that anything that could possibly be illegal would be carried caution so not to be caught.
I think Winston would be afraid because the paperweight is beautiful. The Party doesn't want the people to have anything truly beautiful because they don't want the people to find out what they are missing that that they don;t actually possess anything beautiful because of the Party's restrictions.
Elyse- I think that it's just Winston's paranoia. Nothing else. Brian- I think that's true of all of these. The main character never has enough sense to notice a motif in the situation, but a clever author will make it seem so.
Hope Lies in the proles but the proles do not know that. The history books said that the only people that could live well were the Capitalists.
I think its interesting that the government is so strict. Personally, I would rebel against it in a second if it was holding me back from doing what I want to do. It's like our parents trying to keep us locked up in the house of keep us from going out and doing stuff. But, I think that they finally realize that by holding us back and out of danger it's just making us want to be around it more.
alexd:where did that come from?
I don't think that the party has anything against the paperweight itself, I think that they don't want people to be different (buying something unusual) because being different is a sign that you might challenge the system.
What Ms. Smith is talking about is just normal human nature. I think that the feelings of passion and death are two things that the gov wants. Both can lead to death and the destruction of people.
Winston immagened that Julia was foolish like all the rest. I think Julia could been part of the thought police by geting him attracted enough that he would tell her.
I thought it was strange how the old prole that Winston was trying to talk to about the past didn;t remember anything of importance. He was so oblivious to what Winston was trying to ask, and he didn't realize the power he had because he actually remembered the past, unlike the younger generations.
The coral is something different. It was in a small store that he wasn't supposed to go into, he bought somethinng beautiful, like Christa said, while the government tries to hide beauty, and plus, this coral is a part of his. It lived, and it shows how the history can be beautiful too.
Would you really Jess? How many people would see you doing the right thing? I would wait until I knew I had backing in my revolution. It is waayyyy too sketchy to try and do that immediately.
I think that the paperweight is insignificant and that Winston just liked it. That's all.
christas, I agree with your comment. However, I think it is more than that. The paperweight is not only a symbol of beauty, but a symbol of the past, something the Party wants to eliminate. Anything from the past, that the Party cannot change, shows that the government's interpretation of history might not be exactly correct. For example, if the Party said there was never real glass, but only the type now, Winston would have proof otherwise. Like Winston said, it is a symbol of a different time.
I thought it was interesting how Winston was so sure that the girl in the fiction department was a good non-thinking Party member. I am going to ask a question, even though I actually know the answer b/c I've read it. Winston was sure of a lot of things in the beginning of the book. Does his big mistake about Julia mean anything? Is that foreshadowing or is it the only mistake he will make?
Jessb:I know that right now I would think that yeah I would rebel too. But it is hard to imagine that you would be put into a situation where it was if you rebeled you would be tortured and killed, I don't think I could rebel.
Josh-I think the government only wants passion about BB though, because they definitely don't want anyone to have passion about another person.
Jess, they have been dumbed down so that they do not know how to rebel. Also, they do not really think that the people feel that the gov is strict. They are strict compared to our gov but they have never experienced anything else.
AlexD:please pay attention to what the discussion is about on the outside. you're not really adding anything, and we would like you to!
Yea Elyse, you are right. I meant passionate feelings in general because they can eventually become destructive.
Adriana-I think that you are right, partly because I've already read the book, but also just because of the nature of the book. Orwell was making a statement about dystopian societies, so i think that Winston will make a mistake about someone like he did about Julia, and that will be his downfall because he can trust no one.
I agree with Josh. The people won't rebel because they don't know anything different. That is like us rebelling against democracy, we don't know anything else so we don't know if it is bad or good.
Alex--But, if your stuck in something that you don't agree with and something that is completely overtaking your life and basically suffocating you; why wait to get out of it?I think that I would rather be dead than live the way that these people live. It's boring and dull and dark. I'm more of a person who likes to have fun and probably has never been described as boring... so... it would be veryyyy difficutl for me to live in this.
adrianag,I think that maybe after meeting with Julia all the things that he thought was certain might become foggy. Im not so sure though.
Well Paige, if they don't know anything better, than why is Winston rebeling (only in a small way though)?
Christa why dont you just give away the whole book, the rest of us still have to read 200 pages.
Adriana- you made a really good point. I haven't read the ending yet, but he was wrong about Julia being part of the thought police. What if he is wrong about O'Brien being against the party?
The gov might want to inspect all of the people who work for them. Julia could just be a spy and not care about Winston at all.
paige--read my comment to alex.That's what I think.I really don't think that I would have a problem with being tortured if I knew that what I was doing it for is what I want and need.
joshb: good point. When people start speaking only Newspeak, it will be even worse. They will get rid of all the words that involve freedom and rebellion so the only thing they can express towards BB is passion like elyse said.
I'm not saying I would enjoy it Jess- I just think I wouldn't be rash and do something counter productive to my cause.
KJ, I think he is rebeling because he can remember the past and knows that the government lies. If you found out that Bush lied about absolutely everything, then even if you didn't know any better, you still wouldn't want him as a leader.
Jess, wouldn't fear become a component of your decision? What if you have no idea because knowledge is continuously stripped from you? What if you don't know how to think differently. It's just like personalitlies, like some people know how to be outgoing, while others might have trouble doing that too.
It reminds me of the Civil Rights movement and MLK. He didn't want wait to get his freedom. He had already waited about 50 years for their culture to be accepted.
Paige- he was okay with the lies the years before, why now?
I think that Paige has a point, but I also think that it is more than that... Everyone is scared. ridiculously scared of being caught and killed, and these people don't know that if they all rise up together they can't be stopped, all they see is the people disappearing and the seemingly endless power of the government.
In the inner circle, they're talking about how Julia sad she loves Winston. I think she's doing this partly for rebellion. She's loving him because she knows the government wouldn't like it.
I know this is kind of off topic but it came up in the inner circle. Its so strange that Julia gave Winston the note and it said I Love You. I thought it was strange that of all the things she could have written on the note she wrote that. She has seen him a couple times but never talked to him. Is that love or somthing else?
True Jess, I think you have way more will power than I do!
yeah, Jess. He had a large backing in the black and white population. And he knew it. And then he got shot. Hmmm. Winston doesn't know of anybody who for sure wants to revolt. He needs to wait.
What are the characteristics of the Thought Police? If we know some of these, then we could probably predict who may be a Thought Police.
Brian- I thought that was weird too. Maybe the society is so distant from love that they have forgotten what it really means. But why would someone tell somebody else they love them if they've never even met them?
I think that maybe Julia's love for Winston is more lust and rebellion, just like Juliet and Romeo really only loved each other for their physical appearance.
Brian, it could be like Romeo and Juliet, love at first site. I think it is interesting that she would risk being killed if Winston was the thought police just to tell him that she loves him. Maybe you have to love someone to challenge the system? (I know that is connecting back to last semester but I thought it kind of fit)
Brian-I think that she said those words because it would make the most impact on him. In this world, love is essentially a forbidden emotion and by saying that to him it would shock him and tell him that she is on his side
Alex & kjerstin--But if I was the one to start that thought process of "hey this gvt may be corrupting us and we should do something about it" then that would be worth it.Winston is havinig thoughts about his past and he even says that he hates the gvt... so he is having more in-depth thoughts about things. No one can strip things that are really important to you totally away from you, they can probably hide it, but thats it. You forget things that don't matter to you--- but the things that do are the things that would never want to forget
How do they know love? The love that the people know if their love for BB. That's not the same though. Is there something that Julia has heard or knows to make her realize what love is?
Paige that's a good connection. We all know that Romeo and Juliet results in downfall. What will happen to Winston and Julias relationship? Will they get caught?
paige--I seriously doubt it was love at first sight. We know that Julia is a.... very active woman and like i said above, it would make a huge impact on him to tell him right of the bat 'i love you'
Brian-good question. I think it is partly b/c she hates the party and wants to do something rebellious like love. She also loves Winston because she sees that he hates the Party too.I think it was sara who said that system challengers fall in love w/something. All the tragic hero or system challenging books seem to have either love or a lack of love where it should be. (mostly the kind of love between two people)
The thought police comes and get you at night.
MLK was a main reason that people stuckc with the revolts and the protests. when he was shot people were really mad and wanted to get revenge. People need that extra step to get things going and in effect.
The inner circle burning things at night also relates to the civil rights movement. When blacks were lynched, it happened at night. Medgar Evers was killed at night by a sniper.
Yeah Elyse! That is true, they might succeed in challenging the system, but they also could both give up on challenging the system to save the other. So is it really beneficial to challenge the system with a partner, or by yourself?
I think that love in the book is more like The Giver than Romeo and Juliet. Love does not exist in the Giver, and in Romeo and Juliet, there is love. It isn't frowned upon.
So, are you saying that love doesn't exist at all in 1984?
I think it is beneficial to challenge the system with a partner, because there is strength in numbers. although, two is not a very large number...
Good question Paige, if you challenge the system by yourself you may not have enough backing to succeed. But if you challenge the system with a partner it may be easier to get caught because someone might screw up or leak information.
paige-I think it that it depends. sometimes it is beneficial to have an accomplice in challenging the system, like in The Chosen, but in some cases, I think that having an accomplice could ruin things, kind of like in Macbeth when everything kind of went wrong when Lady Macbeth was trying to help him.
Alexm i agree. There is much more real love in Romeo and Juliet because there is not the gov that forces you to hate. Love is just what is normal in society like Romeo and Juliet.
Yeah Emily, there are strength in numbers, but people who are involved with eachother can also forget the cause of challenging the system with eachother. Not that I am disagreeing with you.
For all they know, Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford could control the party, while every one thinks they are dead. They use hate to unite the party.
I think it is better to challenge the system with a parterner. Then you have someone to back you up. However, they could always betray you in the end.
Hey Guys! Sorry I couldn't come and talk during the fischbowl time... I was fast asleep. Anyways some things that I wanted to contribute was building on the ideas of others.Adriana-- I really liked your comparison of the coral paperweight, to Winston being trapped within the party. To me it really makes sense because, Wintson has so much knowledge of the dispicable things that the party does, but no matter how hard he tries he can't get out of it.Paige-- I think you were the one who made the comment about power in numbers. To some degree that is truth, but when you have a bunch of non-educated people who really don't understand what is going on, it is foolish to say that its no matter what a sure victory against The Inner Party, the masterminds that hold up the powerful, and the control and power that they hold against the proles and the outer party.Whoever made the comment about MLK-- I don't really agree with what you said about something major that would spark the people to react. The people have been brainwashed to forget the big things that happened. They will just forget these major actions.sarahechurchill-- I have something to add to your last sentiment about having a partner. I think that In 1984 it really is a vital thing to have a partner in crime. However, it really puts you at risk. You have someone who you are relying on, and they are relying on. At some point there may be a time where you want to expose them to save yourself. Also, you could fear that the same thing could happen to you. 1984 is a book of deep physcology. It really is all about mind games, and who really is thinking what.
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