Weapons of mass destruction
There are some words that are just not the same when translated, I have struggled with that my entire life. Saudade is an example of that saudade cannot be translated because it is so pure and it stands for a single feeling that the expression “miss you” is just not as powerful. The idea of a language that limits the ideas and vocabulary is rather smart and intriguing, if the words did not exist to express certain feeling would they just seize to exist? That is what is questioned in the fifth chapter of 1984: “Don’t you see that the whole aim of the Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” (G.Orwell, 52) Language changes as time goes by, Shakespeare’s expressions are no longer colloquial but somehow we can still draw conclusions and understand. Every time I read a dystopian novel I tend to compare it to current society, what if there are feelings that words cannot address, what if they existed before and now they don’t because people just forgot about them or chose to forget? In the spirit of MUN, forget about machine guns, peacekeeping troops, and weapons, the world’s greatest nuclear deterrence is not the nuclear bomb itself but the words inside an agreement or a UN resolution. When the world was faced with the crisis in Rwanda it took the United Nations a long time to start using the word genocide for the event for the word carries with it a responsibility. In this year’s security council we all spent about one entire hour discussing weather the word terrorist should are should not be used. Why is that? Because words stir feelings and reactions. “In your heart you’d prefer to stick with Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning.” (G.Orwell, 52) The shades of meanings are abstract they evoke different images and sentiments, and that is exactly the beauty of language, it openness to interpretations, the art that is language is extinct in Oceania. Beauty is extinct from Oceania. Thoughts are extinct from Oceania. "Has it ever occurred to you, Ms.B, that by the year 2050, at very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?"(G.Orwell)
Yes, Liz, YES. I find it horrifying in EVERY respect that language might be evolving at such a rate that a sensation so intimate and so untranslatable as "saudade" might be extinct by 2050. What if? What if emotion, thought, and even self-definition depend entirely on language? "Words, words, words," Hamlet muses. If we do not have the words to articulate it, does "it" still exist? Consider: we have the luxury of sitting around selecting words like "genocide" and "terrorist." Are mere semantics the antidote to 21st century conflict? Does language wield a power more potent than the sword, the atomic bomb, and the world wide web? Or do we only endow it with such a power? Is language the force that dictates not only national disaster or historical tragedy, but also individual identity and national character?
A weapon of mass destruction, indeed, one which hovers, omnipotent and omnipresent, a heaving silhouette, worthy of fateful veneration-- and of fear.
"If I'm wrong do not panic, I' improvising the truth" (Rodrigo Gonsalves)
In chapter 4, Winston shows to the reader part of his job, and I wasn't really surprised with his job of "correcting" the past, but I was kind of shocked with the normality that he would do it. "Even the written instructions which Winston received, and which he invariably got rid as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or implied that and act of forgery was to be committed; always the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the interests of accuracy. But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another." (Orwell, 40) This quote shows us that Winston had an idea of what he was doing, that he was changing history, but he would still do it in a mechanical way.
Another point that I realized was how the government was trying to reduce happiness. It's scientifically proven that while eating chocolate, a part of our brain called hypothalamus releases endorphin, which makes people slightly happy, and sex releases several hormones such as norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide (NO), and the hormone prolactin. By reducing the ration and prohibiting sex, they are effectively making people less happy, consequently, making them have more hate in their hearts, in order to make them unite against Goldenstein and ally to BB
Another important issue, was the language. Newspeak was a "designed" language, different from the way that languages normally are born. As Syme told to Winston, words that would lead people to think things as rebellion, revolt and others are extinct from the vocabulary, leading people to conform and never get to be able to think against BB
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell 81).
In 1984 the citizens of Oceania believe that they are free, because the Big Brother wants them to think so. As in Brave New World the illusion of freedom is kept through happiness, it is a common bond between all the citizens of the World State. In 1984 hate is the glue that keeps it all together. Big Brother Channels that hatred towards multiple things, such as, Goldstein, and sex. That way Big Brother is able to sustain the illusion of freedom, but in reality people know that they are not free, they just will not admit it because they are afraid of the consequences that comes with this epiphany. Thus doublethinking allows people to go into a voluntary state of denial were they lie to themselves, or are lied to, a thousand times until they believe they are truly free, despite their very fiber told them otherwise, “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears” (Orwell 81). No matter what happened a person was told to ignore everything they believed and do as commanded. Does that sound like freedom? When the obvious becomes untrue, and the outrageous lie becomes true what do we do then? If people are allowed to say 2+2=4 despite of the Party saying otherwise, than, and only than, will the first steps towards true freedom, not the illusion, be taken.
Truth? I know of no such thing...
"It struck him as curious that you could create dead men but not living ones. Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present, now exists." (Orwell 112)
There has never been more “truth” in Winston’s statement. The “reality” is rather disturbing. Official records are vaporized and substituted with completely different works. Interestingly enough, as Winston showed, the news, even Big Brother’s words can be completely altered, from talking about the Three-year-plan’s success to praising a nonexistent hero in the war with Eurasia. I’d like to point out how Orwell even shows this in his writing, making us feel confused about what is true and what isn’t.
“Big Brother added a few remarks on the purity and singlemindedness of Comrade Ogilvy's life” (Orwell 112)
In the above example Big Brother “added” a few remarks. In reality, Big Brother has not said anything, but that is what the people will hear. That is what they will understand, and through Orwell’s writing, Winston’s thoughts gain shape in the form of what the Party would like everyone to think.
Taking both examples into account, what can be certainly seen is that, as Winston stated before, whoever controls the present, controls the past, and whoever controls the past, controls the future. Winston’s job is a perfect example of this as he literally changes the past, but at the same time he creates it.
It is at this point when doublethink can be shown as Winston must both know the “truth” and THE “truth” because there is no truth; he changed it.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
What if everything we learned is a lie? What if history is just a great fallacy? What if all that we see on TV does not exist? At the very beginning of the reading, Winston’s job really struck my attention. It is clear to me that the entire society in 1984 is being fooled at every second. Even Winston’s alteration of articles “never stated or implied that an act of forgery was to be committed; always the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or misquotations which was necessary to put right in the interests of accuracy” (Orwell, 40). It is really hard for me to understand how these people were able to agree, or not see what was in front of them. However, the principle of doublethinking and the imposing fear of the government may explain it all. So far, I believe the society sees everything, but chooses to agree because they fear their lives. Distorting the past is just another way of imposing a fake reality on the minds of the people.
When Orwell mentioned that the press released a note saying that millions of boots were produced while half of the population went barefoot, I related it to the government of my own country. Recently, the price of energy went down, which of course, caused great satisfaction for the population. What they didn’t notice however, was that on the previous months, there was an error on the energy department, and the price was above the normal for months. So, the bottom line is that it almost impossible to really know what is true or not. It frightens me that information can be so easily distorted nowadays, and after all, we don’t really have full control of it.
I am happy not to live in China, where you can’t even google the word “democracy”. But, what if Brazil is wrong? How was information filtered to me to think that way?
Coming to think of it, Facebook and other social media within the dark and vast corners of the Internet, have much alike with the limited form of expression of 1984. It may seem quite paradoxical, ironic and maybe hypocritical but Facebook and Twitter give people the uttermost freedom to express themselves and yet they choose to abbreviate or "acronynize". I think this is the death of language rather than Newspeak because as Orwell put it, “the whole aim of the Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” (Orwell 52) But on Facebook or Twitter your thoughts aren't being controlled, and yet with all the words in the world you chose to express yourself through "OMG" as opposed to "my goodness gracious, I am quite flabbergasted at this given moment provided such momentary surprise" People in 1984 literally CANNOT find the words to express themselves, similarly like those of "Brave New World", except for John who knew Shakespeare, and yet they try to fight thoughtcrime like Winston certainly is, but this generation is lost. Lost in its own language of acronyms, abbreviations, literary abominations and yet is considered to be free. The moment you choose to dumb yourself down to that level is the moment you loose your freedom to be a respectable person of society who appreciates the civil liberties given to you. That is why, from now on, inspired by 1984, I will contain my hash tags. My lingo. My form of expression. All in solidarity to those who cannot speak at all, and if they could would speak properly.
I think that Ale brought an interesting point over here. Facebook, I believe, is a tool where one can keep touch with someone far away, can debate ideas at certain extent, share thoughts -- it’s a global agora. The misuse of this tool and that is what is being done by most users, leads to this “dehumanization” of expression.
I agree that abbreviations, hash tags or acronyms diminish men’s capability of uttering feelings, exposing thoughts; however it is a two way road. Words itself already diminish thinking; already blur the truth that was once in one’s mindset. Thus, the words being shorter or larger do not make a huge difference. The only problem over here is how the interceptor will conceive what is being shown, is if they are going to be misled from the minimal gap of righteousness that remains in the border of materialism and thought.
Nevertheless, there is also the irreversible idea of being something.
Nothing can unbe. We might not be able to say it or see it or but it is, definitely. Even dead, you are something. And I believe that the issue resembles to the fact that when we try to define the abstractness surrounding us, like a chair or happiness for example, we fall into the oblivion of concretizing something that does not, in fact, exist. We make stuff be, when they actually are not. Talking about it differently does not make it unbe, just makes us incapable of making more stuff. That being said, “truth” is nothing but grilled steak – not original, altered and inflexible: we would never eat crude steak directly from the cow into our plate and no matter how many sauces we put it will always be cow’s meat, not fish, not chicken, just cow.
Somehow diminishing our way of expressing ourselves might put us closer to our own Truth. I believe life’s sound is silence, and when we get to a point that we do not need to express ourselves – just because everything is already there and not just because we are incapable of doing so – we are finally reaching Truth. So Ale, please do not restrain from using your hash tags. When used correctly they are the nerve of a truthful reality trying to ‘fit in’ a material and distorted world. There is no "proper" or "correct": Truth, in reality, is your taste of the meat you have on your plate and no one can change that.
I know that you feel me. I can read your eyes. Don't get me wrong, you are not committing facecrime, its that I heard your voice in my dreams. I know I can trust you and you have the same thoughts as I do. I feel like I am the only one who can remembers certain facts about the past. Why can't people realize that their lives are not improving? Can't they remember their supplies are decreasing and not increasing as Big Brother says? You remember, right? I know you do. Did you hear about the new dictionary for Newspeak? Where people will forget about the words of our time and will have no ability to commit thoughtcrime, for they won't have the concepts and ideas to do so. The Party is brain washing us, but I seem to be the only one to understand. I needed to created a new character at work, a Comrade Ogilvy. I can't quite grasp why. The present turns into reality but has no evidence from the past. And the happening-truth from the past suddenly can't make it to the present. They try to fake reality and in little time we can say that "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows" (Orwell 81). What is true becomes untrue if it goes against Big Brother. Why are we destined to believe that?
Prompt #2 - The Rebellion Paradox
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” (Orwell 81).
Throughout chapter seven Winston reflects upon a great paradox. What the proles need in order to rebel is consciousness, but they won’t acquire this state of mind until they have rebelled. They consist of 85% of the population of Oceania. The Party underestimates the proles capacity. Together, they have the power to do everything they want to. However, not even they know such. Despite their “freedom”, they are not able of looking at the big picture; they can’t see that they are being manipulated, oppressed, that their misfortunes are due to the totalitarian government imposed in the society. As Winston sees it, there isn’t much that can happen. The Party controls everything, including education. They created a society, on purpose, that is incapable of rebelling.
It is interesting that the book now begins to show another perspective of society. At first the novel would only show how society was doomed to live in a certain manner, where they were constantly being watched and controlled. However, this quote presents a clear gap, the proles, the ones they don’t care about, may become aware of what is happening and decide to rebel. What would happen if a rebellion was instated in Oceania? Would they be capable of gaining power and restoring democracy or even anarchy? If the proles have always thought that the manner they live is good, what would make them believe they could live better? Would they be able to organize themselves? If so, how?
I see the proles much like slaves. Both are controlled by fear. Both are a majority. Both are underestimated. Both have a hidden power. The settlers, the minority but the ones that possessed more wealth, owned the slaves that worked for them and had to accept their situation. The institution, in this case, is the minority but can control everything, they have the proles in their hands, which accept what they have and live their lives. The slaves were the ones that made the settlers wealthy, if they stopped working or rebelled, then eventually the ones that owned all of the land and all of the agriculture, would not be as valuable. The proles enable the Party to have so much power, if they rebelled, eventually the ones that had power would become a minority. Slaves didn’t have education, were there because they had to survive one way or another, and most importantly, were dominated by fear. The proles have a manipulated education, live to survive and nothing else, and are also dominated by fear. Both have the capability to overcome this subjugation; however they don’t know what freedom is, and how it can be reached.
So, after all, what is freedom? According to Winston “freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell 93). In Oceania, everyone is brainwashed, the only thing considered right is what is said by the Party. It doesn’t matter if an individual remembers of a fact that doesn’t match with what Big Brother says, or can clearly see something happening, if the Party says it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen. Thus, the chance of being able to think by themselves, and believe it is right, without being oppressed, is considered a form of freedom.
Just a Unit of Language?
A word is a single distinct conceptual unit of language. Someone’s word is a person’s account of the truth, a promise or assurance. “ “The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,” he said, “We’re getting the language into its final shape-the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. (…) We’re destroying words- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone.” (Orwell 51). When there are no words to use, are you able to express yourself? How do you feel when you forget a word during a certain moment and can’t express the message you hope? What if the word you want to use do not exist? Due to his job of narrowing down the language, which in Oceania is Newspeak, Syme is able to demonstrate to Winston the real goal behind this: diminishing the possibility of thoughcrime. The power that the Party had to control the present and the words make them able to do what they do to maintain the population under control, which propaganda and alteration of history in order to fit and transmit the message that is necessary to the next generations. We believe in what people day. We do not believe in what people say. The concept of doublethinking is stimulated by the words. The power of believing in to contradictory believes is a form in which the Party uses the word as a form to control. Not only of the idea of being constantly manipulated by history and by words, the fact of being watched and possibly even your idea heard and analyzed messes up with Winston’s nervous system.
"FREEDOM IS SLAVERY"
Winston Smith is a peculiar character, and has thus far been the protagonist in the novel. His fears and memories are described in depth by the omnipresent narrator who relates on how the Party's means to control society are damaging Winston's mind. Winston is unique in the way that he is able to recall some short events in his past which confirm that there have existed better days when there was dignity of emotion and deep or complex sorrows. At the time the book unfolds, "there were fear, hatred, and pain" (Orwell 30). It is never clear in the novel whether other characters also have the ability to "doublethink" like Winston does, but it is very probable that the men and women aged 30 and older remember some parts of their childhood when Big Brother was not yet the leader, and when individuality and pleasure were not expunged.
One specific detail that caught my attention was the way Winston's workplace and job consist of. The main purpose of the Ministry of Truth is to lie. "Day by day, and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date" (Orwell 40). There is a constant upgrade in the content of newspapers, books, cartoons, and other writ tens texts which are favourable to the Party's consolidation of power. Winston is the best character who represents the effects that the reconstruction of the past since he is unable to remember events that happened just a few yeas ago because there is no textual, or proven evidence. It is crucial that Winston is able to doublethink because that way, it is possible to see what it is like to contradict the Party and not be caught. However, he lives in a constant fear of being caught for the most minuscule facecrime. Throughout the chapters, Winston's struggle to believe in his own version of truth and past is evident.
Winston's effort to contradict the principles of the Party apparent in his longing to have a pleasurable sexual relationship with a woman. The narrator tells "the aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. It's real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act" (Orwell 65). The Party has a hidden agenda. It wishes to cut all forms of pleasure from its citizens and maintain its control through the form of a hatred towards the "enemy" : Goldstein and all other Parties that contradict Big Brother. Winston stands as a victim of such suppressed enjoyment; nevertheless, he strives to create his own ideology and go stealthily against the Party.
“The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you−something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it” (Orwell 80).
According to O’Brien there is happening-truth and story-truth, however in 1984, these truths are intertwined. Whatever the Party decides as a story-truth becomes the unquestionable happening-truth. Nonetheless, throughout the year we have had various discussion in AP Lit lessons; what is truth? We have come to conclusions that the truth is subjective and depending on each one’s perspective or emotions, the truths may alter. However, that idea of a versatile truth is intolerable in the IngSoc society, because allowing such also means recognizing one’s individuality. The Party can’t allow its citizens to think and become individuals, they have to accept whatever they are told without questioning even though it may go against their common sense, because as Winston states, “the heresy of heresies was common sense” (Orwell 80). Even though many citizens may know from experience and common sense that 2 + 2 = 4, Big Brother’s psychological manipulations and the idea of “doublethink” cause them to believe that “two and two made five”. Doublethinking means “to know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, two hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic” (Orwell 35). We may think of doublethink as an incomprehensible idea, however how many times have we not known something, but chosen to believe it in another? Sometimes not knowing the complete truth is best and saves us from sadness or even disappointment. So now I ask, how truly antagonistic are the notions of lie and truth? At what point does one become the other?
Reading the first part of the book while trying to understand the world around is quite a strange, not to say scary, experience.
First, let’s take a minute to observe how the life we are living nowadays is. Us, teenagers-almost-adults, high school seniors, are face to face to a very decisive point on our lives where we find ourselves in a position of “needing to be something”. We need to be lawyers, doctors, engineers. Society is coercing us to become something useful for progress. This pressure comes from school, parents and reflects onto ourselves as something even more chaotic as the appearances shows. Thus inside us we build a sense of conformity, a sense that “if we have the right answer” – in other words, a place to go – we are in good shape. The chaotic pressure inside us fades away when it’s responded with “I passed at a college” or “I will major at business”, nevertheless. Though we forget – I wish that not consciously – that life is not a mere mass production factory. I say a “mass production factory” for the following: as mediocre as it can get, we are being manufactured. We get borne, then educated – exclusively by education institutions, then we go to college – to learn how to deal with the adult life, we then get a job – probably in the meantime we find someone similar to you and marry, work exhaustively with things we probably will be disgusted by at the time we are 40 or less, then we retire and wait for death. Luckily enough you can have children or marry someone supportive to accompany you in the lonesome and boring remaining days. That’s how useful you were to society.
Who reads this can argue that this is a generalization, a kind of pessimistic view of life regarding the future or even a foolish joke by a lunatic. And all of these arguments are correct at some sort. This life we are having is being numbly lived and are currently leading people to unhappiness or, as sick as it can be, leading people to be pleased in having only sporadic feelings of joy, which now is called happiness. It is not a coincidence that not thinking deeply on our actions and not understanding what we believe in is happening altogether with the highest records of depression and suicides.
Today we are at the highest peak of the hill – information is at its fastest and its poorest, governments are at its largest and as influential as it can be. We are at full speed. The next step will be us going right pass the cliff and eventually crashing to the ground unless we push the break a little.
Now, let’s understand 1984 and its first pages. Isn’t this book the materialization of this crashed future that waits us? Totalitarianism, manipulation, sadness, thought avoidance, lack of principles and morals, lack of feelings, frivolity. At the novel we are presented to an obscure reality where thinking is a crime (people today are caring less on reflecting on their actions), where dialogue and expression is reduced to the most simple techniques (Facebook-talk as an example), sex is abolished as an intimate relation and yes as mere reproduction act (pornography and indiscriminate sex without intimacy nowadays is even more accepted, and given our biological necessity to maintain humanity alive, it’s just a case of time for it to be for reproduction only).
The scariest goes to the following: we certainly don’t want to live in this type of society, we don’t want to be oppressed and that is unanimous. We want to be free. However what do we do today to avoid that reality from 1984? We are carrying knowledge but not wisdom and I believe that it takes knowledge to go fast and wisdom to go far. We are going aimlessly fast, nervously somewhere we don’t want to be afraid of being nowhere, however we are going in such way that it is leading us elsewhere from what we want, that is everlasting, nourishing and being limitless. Once and for all, not turning into something and yes someone.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” –Socrates
What if all your role models ceased to exist, or even worse they never existed at all? What if all these people were simply made up, fantasies in which you believe so dearly that you base yourself on them? What if you ceased to exist and was forgotten, all your actions faded away and your life was in vain? These are some questions that got me thinking while reading about the idea of deleting someone from history or simply making them up. In chapter four Winston works on erasing a certain man called Comrade Withers from one of Big Brother’s speeches published on the Times. This man is an unperson, “he did not exist; he had never existed” (Orwell 46). This idea that you can simply vaporize someone and they become an unperson because the party wants them gone is insane, and deeply disturbing. What if Gandhi and his nonviolent movement had been erased from history, how would that affect the world we live in? There wouldn’t be a precedent of nonviolent protesting and perhaps that would encourage people to take part in such violence that could have unleashed so many wars. You can’t just delete someone from history like that, speak in the “speakwrite” some new truth and throw away the previous into the “memory hole”, erasing it forever. How can we even know if the previous truth was true or if it was also just made up? That not knowing and doublethinking that makes this possible only assists in confusing the population into perceiving the world as the party wants them to and furthermore distancing them form their individuality and certainty. Not only did Winston delete Comrade Withers from the speech but he also made someone up to fill in that space, a man named Comrade Ogilvy, “What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready-made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances […] It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple faked photographs would soon bring him into existence” (Orwell 46). Like the idea that Gandhi could be deleted from history another role model could have been made up. What if Martin Luther King was a fantasy? If there had never been a civil rights movement and it all had been made up for us to think that African Americans had battle their way into equality for some obscure reason. What if that had been created to fill a spot in history where something used to be, but that was no longer part of the party’s beliefs? It struck me like it struck Winston, “It struck him as curious that you could create dead men but not living ones. Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar” (Orwell 48). In 1984 you can never trust history, you never know what is true and what is made up, there has to be a constant questioning of the veracity of events and this torments the psyche and makes you go crazy. Can you really believe in anything anymore? Are we controlled like this is our current society? What is and what isn’t true?
While starting to read Chapter 4 I got stricken with the ability of such great manipulation, how a group of people could've get to that point of ignorance, where they are part of the manipulation that actually manipulates them. An example of that is Winston which is working in the Ministry of Truth (The ministry that changes or destroys facts of the history to maintain internal control). That type of manipulation is really frustrating for me, not for the fact that it is too insane to happen, but for the fact that it is possible. My reaction to that manipulation in the book was an internal conflict where I kept questioning things I was "forced" to learn during my life.
Winston is an example of ignorance at first, but as the reading of the chapters continues we can see that the reflections he starts making while writing in the diary are showing an evolution in that of his ignorance. He starts realizing what is actually freedom, and even starts planning a revolution by bringing consciousness into the head of the proles.
Winston's development from the first chapters was really impacting since he started as an ignorant slave which changes the history that he is ordered to, and gets to a point where he even thinks on becoming a prole and starting the revolution.
As most books we read this year the main character has a plan but gets caught or reveals his plan to someone causing in a bad situation, for me the thought police will get Winston and torture him for telling his plans for someone.
Title: 2+2=4? What If Math Was Manipulated?
1984 - BLOG POST 2
"All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half of the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small."
In the world of 1984 the dilation of the government and the omnipresence of Big Brother are inherent aspects of society. In this society, the ultimate and absolute truth is the one provided by the government RIGHT NOW. The quotation above exemplifies the reality control that the government exerts.
This manipulation represents a main difference between the utopias of 1984 and Brave New World. While in 1984 the actual truth has to be contained and modified in order to prevent the population from realizing it, in Brave New World the people would not care even if the truth was unmasked. In the latter, society auto-regulates itself against ideological change, while in the former there is a centralizing force that separates the information from the individuals.
In a sense, both are different manners of upholding facts and thoughts. In our own lives, both apply. Especially today, an era where information is at the tip of our fingers, we are manipulated by politicians and the media not to explore the entirety of data available. This is done by subtly removing the truth and replacing it with a myriad of half-truths or by introducing sensationalism and mindless entertainment in the lives of the population so that they do not care about the rest. It is a concerning turn of events, but we can't say we haven't been warned. Both Orwell and Huxley have done so, decades ago.
Prompt #2- Entrapped
“If there is hope, it must lie in the proles” (Orwell 69), though until they are not conscious of the control the Party has over them they will never try to rebel and break away. If they only knew their power... They are conditioned to remain in their primitive lives. They hold the past without the capacity to remember it, while the Ministry of Truth modifies it to the Party’s desire. Truth is lost in our world. I don’t know what to think. The Party has gotten into my mind and has modified my memories. With their control over the present, they alter the past and create the future. My job makes me part of the system! I alter the truth for the party. I am a rebellious only on the inside, but on the outside I feel trapped. The words of Newspeak entrap me in my own body and are the source of my loneliness. My sexual desire also impressions me, I feel the urge of shouting, all these feeling bottled inside. The black-haired girl I desire, I am scared is an agent that has been spying on me. I believe I have been discovered. The pressure of the Party has brought me to the conclusion that it might be time to end my life. Just like Comrade Withers I will become an “unperson”(Owell 46). What if I have never existed? Is this only my personal truth? Maybe it won’t matter, since I might be the only one to feel this way...
it's actually prompt #4
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.