“Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!” (Orwell, 286)
BINGO! The Party has just completed its final goal with Winston. It wasn’t enough for Oceania that Winston agreed to their demands, but that he surrendered to the power of the party. What he says there was the result of his higher desperation, the result of an immense internal pain. Thorough the torture seen in the preview chapters, Winston never exposed Julia that way, and the fact that he “turns Julia in”, shows that he reached his limit. Winston even says horrible things like “tear her face off, strip her to the bones”, which is really not expected to hear from him if he really loves her. But does he? Even though he thinks about her later on, I don’t believe he is able to love her anymore. For all he the psychological manipulation and torture he has gone through, getting back to her will be just as hard and devastating as the torture was. This is all the Party wanted! One way or another, it had to eliminate the women from his life because she was the source of dissent, she was what made him break the rules. Without love, Winston will be just another citizen of Oceania: shallow, without anything to hold on, therefore obedient.
We're all alone, TOGETHER
How strong is the human mind? Until what lengths must a totalitarian government go to successfully brainwash and control its citizens? The ending of 1984, proves that the human mind isn’t unbreakable and that physical pain controls psyche. The proof of such was shown right at the beginning of Part 3, when after continuous torture and shock therapies, Winston started to accept the “truths” O’Brien told him. However, O’Brien knew Winston was just saying whatever to get out of torture and that wasn’t enough for him. So Winston was sent to the dreadful Room 101. Even though, Winston had been able to maintain his rationality throughout the whole process, when he was left to face his greatest fear, he collapsed. Winston did what O’Brien expected him too, he betrayed his loved one when he exclaimed, “do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me” (Orwell 286)! At this point, the Party was able to prove to Winston that no emotional loyalty is able to withstand the control of the Party. It is the ultimate proof of government’s power. Just like in Brave New World, it became impossible for one person or a few to fight against a whole system.
After Winston’s betrayal he is released of the Miniluv. He no longer matters to the Party because they have already achieved their ultimate goal in him, which is to control his mind. When Winston meets Julia again, she tells him that she also betrayed him. Julia says, “sometimes they threaten you with something – something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. […] You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself” (Orwell 292). These lines prove exactly the discussion we had in class about being alone in the world. Julia and Winston proved that when it came to an ultimatum, people will put themselves in first place, they’ll do whatever is necessary to free them of their agony. Physical pain will cause people to betray their convictions if doing so will end their suffering. Through the control of the body, the Party also controls their minds.
A park with a decadent concrete tile pathway that zigzags in between the bushes and some trees. Outside, there are surrounding chimneys pumping soot into the air. The early March winter makes it hard for Winston to see where he is going. There is a lot of snow on the ground, which makes it hard for him to discern between the tight, broken pathway and the dying grass. His trench coat was barely enough to protect him from the strong buffets of the wind. Squinting through his glasses to see through the snow, he finds a familiar red sash in sight. It was Julia, wearing a black coat which heavily contrasted with the snow. As they pass each other, he slowly turns around and picks up his pace to catch up to her unworried of any eyes. They turn a corner and find themselves in a walled off alleyway. A sewage pipe released its contents into a ditch little over 5 feet to Winston’s left. Moss and vines cover the walls surrounding them. There is no more wind or snow and the air becomes unusually warmer. They both halt walking and Winston grabs her around her waist. She does not look at him in the eyes, and Winston attempts to understand how much she changed over time since they last saw each other. She didn’t feel like a human being anymore, but instead a statue made of the roughest granite. As they walk past through the park, Winston feels as if the surrounding walls became much closer, now there is barely any space to maneuver in between the trees; he can only walk beside Julia. They exchange glances, and Winston feels as if he had just been impaled an icicle through his chest. They both sat down in rusty Iron chairs that were bolted down into the ground, far away from the rest of the park and near the surrounding walls, invisible from behind the bushes and hard to be seen from between the evergreens. He notices that Julia is about to tell him something and slowly begins to tap his foot on the ground in anticipation. He wants to speak first, but is unsure if he should wait. His feet begin to tap frenetically on the ground, he feels his trench coat weigh on him. A twig breaks.
“I betrayed you”, they both say.
"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with something - something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it" (Orwell 292).
With this quote Julia confirms what we repeatedly discussed about last class. Our debate on company and compassion for others connects perfectly to the final chapters of the book. Winston and Julia betray each other simultaneously as a way to protect their own self. This is the question raised in our class debate: Will people risk their lives for others? O'Brien seems to give us the answer for this question: "If you are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not cowardly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which cannot be disobeyed" (Orwell 284). According to him, what Winston did is absolutely natural and comprehensive. The utopian world where people care for each other and will risk their lives for the one they love seems to be a distant and unachievable one.
The ending of this cautionary tale reveals how physical pain controls one's mind. It is through torture and pain that Winston betrays his own truth by saying things he doesn't truly believes, betrays Julia and finally, betrays himself by changing from a Party hater to an admirer and lover. With a pessimistic ending, Orwell shows how the world's inclination to totalitarianism has no turning back and no salvation.
“Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!” (Orwell, 286).
Words cannot express how disappointed I am at Winston. He putted on the appearance of a rebel who was willing to do everything for his cause, but when it came down to test his endurance and find out what he was made of, he crumbled. He gave up on Julia, on the person he claimed he loved, but apparently his rebellious personality was to frail. It is like Julia said, “And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it" (Orwell 292). He cannot go back and say he pretended to be a coward, at that room Winston showed his true colors and how far he was truly committed to his cause. It was easy to make a stand and look like a tough rebel when all O`Brien was only asking questions on how much he would do for The Brotherhood. He is in my eyes now nothing but a “wanna-be”. He is like a kid who puts on his big boy pants but he is still a kid independently of what he wears. Winston was never prepared for the task of being a rebel. I now but wonder: would I be able to sustain the same torture he went through? The only thing I can answer in my head is that, if it is to protect someone I care than yes I would sustain it until my last breath. Unfortunately the only way for someone to know if I am speaking the truth it is if they torture me too.
Prompt 6- I love Big Brother
We don't know who we are. We are nothing. After being manipulated by the Party into a new state of mind, in my opinion, Winston would say that who we are doesn't matter, since we shall always be molded by the Party. The control maintained over him through aspects such as sex, language, history and death, ultimately, causes his down fall. The usage of the rats by O'Brien to crack Winston, shows not only the physical, but mind control which the Party holds. Orwell’s choice of rats as Winston’s weakness, in my view, also serves as a way to demoralize this courageous rebel, which the readers deposit confidence in, to defeat or resist the control. As Winston admits in the final chapter when thinking about his mother, “It was a false memory”(Orwell 296), demonstrating how he is accepting the Party’s impositions and denying his own memory, tolerating their goal of erasing a person’s individuality. His final adoration of Big Brother shows the lack of identity that Orwell shows as being the fatal ending of all human beings. The final phrase of the novel, “He loved Big Brother”(Orwell 298), emphasizes the fact that who we are doesn't matter, since we are simply a puppet of the Party. Memories, desires and feelings, which makes us who we are, are shown in the book to be, despite revolt, under the Party's ultimate control.
Ps. I am deeply disappointed with Winston and I wonder if anyone would resist the Party's control, even if it wouldn't change anything...
END OF LIBERTY
“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (Orwell 284).
Nineteen Eighty-Four concludes with Winston’s final surrender to Big Brother’s authority. The significance of the bleak ending of the novel is that it emphasizes the urgency of the matters of censorship and authoritarianism discussed. It raises the question of whether our own society is striding towards a future where individual liberties are disregarded.
It is shocking to see how Winston is ultimately controlled by a trivial fear of rats. As O’Brien reveals that “the thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world” (Orwell 260), there is an expectation of terror. However, the fact that Winston fears rodents reveals that, despite his heroic effort to resist torture, he is a powerless individual. The act that defines complete surrender is when Winston wishes it were Julia instead of him that should suffer a rat attack.
The conclusion of the novel reminds me of Brave New World. Both societies are suffocating, and both Winston and John end up dead for not understanding them. Beyond that, both Orwell and Huxley set up a climate of uneasiness and uncertainty about society’s future. John’s suicide is similar to Winston’s conversion, representing the complete oppression of individual liberties.
Body Over Mind
In the beginning of Chapter VI in Part I, Winston reflects upon the idea that possibility of physical pain can override any trace of human rationality, “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system." (Orwell 52). This idea is brought back when O'Brien threatens to unleash a cage of rats to chew and essentially eat Winston's face, it's in that moment that in face of physical pain that he lets go of his hatred of Big Brother, his love for Julia and disables all sense of emotional connections and thought process, putting his own survival ahead of everything and everyone else. Betraying Julia acts as an instinctive lunge for survival. The Party not only exercises psychological torture but a combination of both physical and psychological torture which ends up being the breaking point, clearly putting the body of mind. Winston sees that he is limited by his own body and gives up all efforts against Big Brother. Indeed it is body over mind, because your ideas may be immortal but the beholder of such is not. The question then lies essentially as: In Winston's case, would it really be worth dying for his ideals or did he make the right decision in accepting Big Brother's ways but being "dead" individually?
We chose to be monitored
Everything we do, nowadays, seems to have one simple purpose: post it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, etc. Generalizing, people do not live for the experience or for the emotions; everything is directed towards social networks where a “like” or a “follow” is more important than a discussion with a friend or family member.
The society we live on is not much different from a world where everything you do, even what you think is exposed to the Party. In 1984, the Party has control over everything, the telescreens keep an eye on everything you are doing, there are secret microphones hidden to listen to private conversations, and there is even a thoughpolice that can know everything that you are thinking about. Facebook, Twitter, etc, are not very different. The question Facebook asks you in the newsfeed is, “What´s on your mind?” Instagram posts right at the home page, “Follow friends and interesting people to see their photos”, or better, paraphrasing: announce to the entire world where you are and what you do. Then, Twitter before you log in puts as a header, “Find out what´s happening, right now, with the people”. What are you, the thoughtpolice now? The society in 1984 is scary, but what freaks me out the most is that we do it voluntarily, they have no choice, we can escape from this manipulation, they can’t.
Besides that, Internet in our society is Big Brother. Internet has the power, just like Big Brother, to be the loved one, to manipulate everyone. What if Google, the greatest search engine of all times, alters the results so that you will never find menacing data? No one goes beyond the third page of results…What if YouTube is just like the bulletin of the Party in 1984? Where is the use of “technology to build community” after all?
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." —William A. Ward. In the end of the day we are all just cowards. We are all alone together. We are doomed. We are hopeless.
“Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!” (Orwell, 286) Winston is a coward, he is weak, he is untrustworthy he is a huge disappointment. When comparing my initial feeling s about the main character to my feeling know they couldn’t be more diverging. But at the same time I try to put myself in his shoes. What makes humans different from other animals is our ability to rationalize and control instincts our difference is mental. "If you are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not cowardly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which cannot be disobeyed" (Orwell 284) our instinct is to flinch when in pain what Winston did can be interpreted as nothing but a natural response that anyone would have had for physical pain is unbearable. In the end of this novel I am left hopeless with the feeling that the strength of mind is not enough.
"I betrayed you" (Orwell 292)
I feel betrayed by Winston. I had grown fond of the Brotherhood, the light at the end of the tunnel, the spark of hope that relied in humanity, in "the last man" (Orwell 272). The deceptive ending of the novel is made to disgust and disturb the reader, and eventually remind him of the consequences of totalitarian regimes. This cautionary tale made me feel uncomfortable at times, for instance, when the "foul musty door of the brutes struck his nostrils" (Orwell 286), I felt as if I was in his place, strapped to a chair, and tormented with my biggest fear.
Winston's ultimate betrayal to Julia disappointed me, and proved how powerful the coercion of torture is. The means by which the Party "re-integrates" the prisoners is so repulsive and inhumane that one would rather die than endure the pain. The Party has proved to be able to control every aspect of human thought, and not be opposed by anyone.
Winston and Julia's coincidental encounter in the Park made it clear that all sort of hope was lost. Julia had been, to this point, the character who seemed to be an expert at opposing the Party. She discloses that "all you care about is yourself" (Orwell 292) when you are "threatened with something you can't stand up to, can't even think about" (Orwell 292). The will to survive prevails all affections and will get a person to surrender to the most sadistic things ever imagined.
United we stand, divided we fall (blog referring to the book as a whole)
After reading the book, after understanding Winston’s thoughts, emotions and beliefs, after watching Winston discovering a new felling called love, after we see Winston finding a reason to fight against Big Brother and its evil party, after all his journey against hate and in pro of a free world, he simply kneels before O’Brien, consequently Big Brother. That was so disappointing to me, I believe that I would be happier if he Winston died, because it would at least show that he was loyal to himself and to his ideas and that he would not just buy an idea if they force him to.
However, I liked the impact that the torture section had, it tortured reader as well, it made us part of the Brotherhood, and it just made a smooth transition to the end of the book, making us disconnect from Winston, because, I guess that most of the readers were not satisfied with Winston’s decision to accept everything that it was imposed to him in room 101, the unconditional love to Big Brother.
I believe that after all, the book has two main messages to give to us, the readers, which are the following: EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO AVOID MANIPULATION and INDIVIDUALS CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD, UNLESS THEY REALLY WANT TO. The first idea is given to us when the “Ministry of the Truth” is acting, the change on information all the time and no one complaining about it, no one remembers and no one cares, but one scene was alarming to me, during the HATE WEEK, when the information changed, when now Oceania was at war against Eurasia and Eastasia was an ally, when it was the other way around, and people only changed the outdoors and other things. The second message is clear to me when Winston first says that the “power is in the proles”, he didn’t ever mention that he believes that Julia or him, could be the change, and after all, the book never gave us a clear moment that Winston could have saved Oceania.
What it is left to me to question was what the actual message of the book was? Was it that if you are not a Che Gue Vara the world won’t change? Was it a message adverting us from acting alone against the “Big Brothers” of our time and uniting to do it, or simply don’t fight him because he will eventually win? Lots of question were raised on my mind, and I’m not sure if I can answer those.
"We're all alone together
Once we know
That we are
And we see it
We're all alone together
And they show
We can't stand
Since our dreams won't ensue."
(created by me changed the words of the High School Musical Song All in this Together.)
So finally we get to the end of the book, we can see that our expactations have failed again. Winston simply let the fear take control and gave up, but he didn't give up on his own life he betrayed Julia. “Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!” (Orwell, 286). He simply became a normal person, a fake friend or fake lover, like in real life when the guy betrays his friends when money is involved. Winston is now seen as a regular guy, one who gave up to follow the conspiracy without oposing it, and without criticizing it.
In the last chapter we can see that manipulation had taken over Winston's head again. When he starts crying about a memory he had of his mother and sister, which he thinks is a fake memory, he suddenly glances on Big Brothers' image on the telescreen and starts feeling safe and happy, showing how manipulation had taken control of the book's last hope against this society.
P.S: Try reading the song created in the same melody of the one in High School Musical.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.