“ Nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws, but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a force labor camp” (Orwell 6). This quote shows since the first pages of the book how it is paradox. This quote makes the reader think about how is it possible to have nothing being illegal, but at the same time consider the fact of punishing someone who committed any illegal acts. Based on what principles will they judge what is prohibited or not if there are no laws in Oceania? How will they control a continent with no laws? Laws are what organize, protect, punishes, stabilize, and give rights to the population, consequently, a place with no laws will surely be totally out of order and probably have one single power rule uncontrollably the whole population based on what they believe is right or not; manipulating, controlling, and even torturing, since they will be the ones dictating the regulations. This quote leaves the reader curious to see how this book can be more paradox and how will it all work, or not, in Oceania.
Winston Smith is 39 years old, has short auburn hair and is clean shaven. He is wearing cargo pants and a plain white shirt. The lacking facial hair and plain clothes demonstrate how there is little expression or individuality.
In scene 1 of my 1984 movie, he is walking along a very quiet street with no noise except for the wind. No music obviously. The street is paved but is covered in dust and dirt. The sky is very blue and has a few cirrus clouds way up high. The cameras are shooting from above like security cameras but they are in color and high resolution. As he walks, the camera that is filming him switches to one that can capture him better. Sometimes a camera will switch before he appears in its field of view, so the audience waits a few seconds for him to get in the shot. This gives an impression of solitude and tranquility, but simultaneous surveillance.
Cut to inside the mansion: A still shot captures a wooden staircase and glass doors. The street outside is visible through the doors. Winston walks in and starts climbing the stairs. The camera doesn’t follow him, and like outside, camera switches are made giving an impression that cameras are each fixed in their places. He breathes heavily through his nose and makes a few pauses along the way, but doesn’t grunt or squirm.
In the apartment, we see him sitting on the floor against a wall with a bottle of gin and a book beside him. All walls are white. The room is empty apart from a bed, a small coffee table, the telescreen and a mirror on the same wall as the telescreen. There is constant chatter from the telecreen and it mostly sounds like a news broadcast interrupted by quick bits of what sounds like a national anthem. I took the liberty to add a mirror to show him what the people at the control rooms see through the telescreen. The room is very dusty and he is sitting against the same wall as the telescreen, so he is out of it’s shot. He turns his head and looks at the gin, which is in a clean glass bottle with a tiny label on the cap saying “Victory Gin”.
The place looks like its just been moved into because of the emptiness and the dust but no, it is just old and simple. It seems like a good place to take cover in a warzone and shoot outside from the window.
For the second part, I would like to discuss the initial description of O’Brien.
“In spite of his formidable appearance he had a certain charm of manner. He had a trick of resettling his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming—in some indefinable way, curiously civilized. It was a gesture which, if anyone had still thought in such terms, might have recalled an eighteenth-century nobleman offering his snuffbox. Winston had seen O’Brien perhaps a dozen times in almost as many years. He felt deeply drawn to him, and not solely because he was intrigued by the contrast between O’Brien’s urbane manner and his prize-fighter’s physique. Much more it was because of a secretly held belief—or perhaps not even a belief, merely a hope—that O’Brien’s political orthodoxy was not perfect. Something in his face suggested it irresistibly.” (Orwell 11)
This is an interesting quote because the narrator had said that even the wrong facial expression could give someone away to the patrol, yet, in the workplace, Winston notices O’Brien being as unique and expressive as possible. Winston hints that it’s not his face’s physical appearance but the expression that suggests he also has an active mind with way more thought than the Party would like. Orwell uses diction to emphasize how rarely Winston Saw O’Brien and yet how much O’Brien fascinated him, by using terms such as “dozen” and “disarming. The fact that Orwell also makes a comparison between O’Brien and an 18th century nobleman also reveals how Winston is probably the only one who can identify O’Brien’s mysterious look because no one else is reminded of olden times, therefore they cannot make anything out of such as subtle demeanor.
Title: Scene 1 and O'Brien.
Response types: 5 and 2.
Question/Connection: How do the methods of control in the World State differ from those of BNW? Is the state successfully convincing people of their happiness?
While analyzing the primary episodes of the novel, bewilderment arise in my mind. The narrative appears to be incredibly captivating; however what makes me crave to comprehend it the most is the way it perplexed and mystified me with the paradoxes. Paradoxes are present in almost all of the lines in this book, including the slogan of the society, which states: “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” (Orwell, 4). These chapters made me reflect about manipulation, life, self-control, and humanity. Innumerous inquiries enlighten my thoughts, making me questions the real essence of life. Are we being manipulated and controlled and we are not aware of that? Can society reach this segment one day? Winston doesn’t comprehend and doesn’t remember how he got there, because the government made everyone one disregard this information. They manipulate the citizens, making them believe that they are free; nevertheless Winston knows his limits of liberty and autonomy, but he cannot control his impulses. He pursues a diary, where he inscribes his reflections, but he frightens that the Thought Police could find it. If people are free, then why should they be afraid? Writing in a diary was not illegal, “nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws, but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death or at least by twenty-five years in a forced labor camp” (Orwell, 6). The paradox is explicit in this quote. If people are free and there are no laws, they couldn’t be expelled. The thought Police controlled people’s mind, and thinking was considered a crime. Winston knew it, but one day, after making an eye contact with O’Brien, he knew that something was about to happen. He knew he was going to die because of his thoughts. He sat and wrote, “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” several time of his diary. His impulses were louder than his will, and this scene, foreshadows a big event that is about to come.
Those sudden impulses also made me question what made them occur. People prayed for the Big Brother because of a sudden impulse that they could not follow. Winston touched his toes for the first time in several years and he didn’t know why, it was just an impulse. Does someone control them? What happens to these people that have no self-control? Winston did not control himself either in the Two minutes hate. It is something savage, like an instinct. Will this happen furthermore in the novel? I am very intrigued to know what will happen.
Fear to disappear
''People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, and your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word'' (Orwell 11).
This quote demosntrates how paranoid the main character Winston is on being discover by the ¨Thought Police¨ his secret diary where he writes his thoughts against ´Big Brother´ and keeps it for the future generation. Going against the party is a punishment in this dystopian society. Nowdays death penalty only gets put into action if someone does something extremely wrong. Everybody in the dystopian society is being watch by ¨Big Brother¨ and there is no escape from this oppression. Similar to Brave New World, in 1984 society doesn’t have freedom neither individuality to choose what they want to do. Each person does what Big Brother or the World Controllers wants them to do, and if someone talks bad about the government laws they will be ¨vaporized¨ in such a bad punishment. In 1984 nobody can do anything without the authorization of Big Brother and ‘’Thought Crime’’ is not allowed in the Oceanic world. Everything about society is tightly controlled. I find it very interesting how Big Brother controls society way of life. It even manipulates my beliefs. What if everything I think is being monitored? Is that person reading my mind? This manipulation created fear in myself. Fear to think, fear to show, fear to revolt and fear to defy.
“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone – to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink – greetings!” (Orwell 28)
From the three first chapters the quote that called most of my attention was the one above. It is a quote written by Winston in his prohibited diary. While he writes, he knows that if someone discovers it, he is immediately dead. As he said that there is nothing illegal in Oceania, irony once again hits the novel when he says, “but if detected [the diary] it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp” (Orwell 6), so he is saying something that sacrifices him, what calls the reader’s attention. The quote about the readers, sums up the whole situation in London in 1984 (supposedly 1984). It is incredible how the author touches the reader as Winston describes to whom his writing is directed. Ironically, and done in purpose by the author, the future or the past readers, are the readers of the novel, when thought is free, men are different, truth exists and is evidenced, therefore it cannot be undone. Looking at today’s social aspects, all these principles do happen! The Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights); hence, today all readers of this novel have freedom within their thoughts. It also states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). All humans are supposed to be different from one another, today, it is original to be different, and indeed people who are different are much more accepted than decades ago, including homosexuals, different cultures and other diversifications. The quote that also proves that in this era humans do not have the obligation to live alone is once again in the declaration, where it says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Following the quote chronologically, technology is also proof that “what is done cannot be undone” (Orwell 28), today, the media has the freedom to say whatever they want, and register crimes such as corruption, so that society as a whole cannot forget it. The quote is directly pointed to the reader, so that he can read the message as for himself and so that he or she has bigger impact in relationship totalitarianism in Oceania.
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to 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)
This quote was interesting to me because it shows the concept of “doublethink”. Doublethink is a paradox in the dystopian society where people say one thing, which is true, however believe another, which is also true; it is to accept two contradictory truths. The idea of doublethink is a part of the newspeak culture. This quote is when Winston has just woken up, and is beginning the morning exercise that everyone in their thirties and forties are obligated to do. As he begins the exercise, he finds himself getting lost in the “labyrinthine world of doublethink”. Winston does this because he begins to doubt whether or not the history that Big Brother shows him is true or not. He remembers few things from his past, however the things that he remembers he is told are false; therefore he is not sure what to believe. After dreaming with his mother and baby sister sacrificing there life for him, Winston begins to question the fact that Big Brother has changed the history in order to manipulate the people. If Big Brother states that something did not happen, no one will question their authority, making the lie become the truth.
“He had committed- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper-the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you”(Orwell 19).
This quote brought to me a feeling of fear, fear towards power. A theme of fear generates power has occurred during most of the books that has been read during this school year. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the fear that all of the patients had towards Big Nurse made her have even more power due to the fact that no one would ever attempt to “break the system”. In Brave New world, this theme plays out as being conditioning in this utopian society where “everyone belongs to everyone” a society that denies the past, rejects individuality, rejects emotions to achieve social stability. In the current novel that is being read in the class called 1984 by George Orwell makes me wonder if the theme is going to occur in any circumstances in this novel. As all the novels that has been previously mentioned, they all had a member of the society that denied the current method of living such as: Luke in (Cool Hand Luke), Mc Murphy and Chief Bromden (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest) and John the savage (Brave New World). There characters were all the ones that denied living in their current standard, and desired to change his oppression, that being said it brings two questions to my mind: Will there someone similar to them in 1984? Are they going to end up dead?
“It was curious that he seemed not merely to have lost the power of expressing himself, but even to have forgotten what it was that he had originally intended to say. For weeks past he had been making ready for this moment, and it had never crossed his mind that anything would be needed, except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years. At this moment, however, even the monologue had dried up. ..He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.” (Orwell 8)
The quote above, called my attention while reading the novel’s first pages. It called my full attention because of the detailed and sentimental expression felt by Winston. Readers are able to feel the character´s fear and understand that what he was about to write on his diary, would reveal the entire secret that society´s system kept safe. The author emphasizes the scene, by placing Winston in a position of powerless when trying to express himself and being incapable to “say” what he had been thinking for years. He knew that he was doing something wrong, that was prohibited in the system he belonged to and being the reason why he knew he needed courage. Winston fear was that the Thought Police would discover his hidden writings, since he knew that it would result in death. Winston after comes to believe, that he is already dead, for having the thoughts he is having against Big Brother, the Ministry and O´Brien. The moment where he grabs the diary and the pen, he realizes that he was in absolute panic, especially since he was unaware of what he was writing down. The quote calls readers attention because it is detailed and mysterious, it made me want to continue reading to know what Winston was about to write in his diary.
The whole section is filled with contradictions in the totalitarian Oceania, just like the World State in Brave New World. First the Victory Mansion where Winston lives suggests a place of glory and prestige; however, the setting describes the opposite, a dirty place. All of the ministers that control the state are also all paradox, because its name suggest something good, but what they are doing is the opposite like the Ministry of Peace was concerned with war, Ministry of Plenty concerned with economic shortages. Then there is the diary in which Winston wishes to write, but has to have courage to do so, despite not having laws in the state it is paradoxical because it is crime to write as he was doing. As Orwell explained Winston opening the diary he explained, “This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp” (Orwell 6). Despite the political Party being oppressive the were no laws to determine what was possible to do with the population. How is will not having laws affect the Party’s police and its behavior towards citizens? How does this relate to the constant change of laws in Animal Farm controlled by the pigs?
“It was a bright cold Day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile Wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of the Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.”(Orwell 01)
The first passage of the novel generates an overall understanding of the scenario of Oceania. The paradox between the characteristic of the place and its name is very impacting. The area is described as a cold a dirty place while the name of the building he just arrived was Victory Mansions. Later on we are introduced to manipulation of language and information by the totalitarian government of Oceania controlled by Big Brother, which can be connected to Stalin. This manipulation was made throughout doublethink and newspeak that is the act of holding and believing utterly on two opposite ideas concurrently. Examples for these are the slogans of the party, “War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and Freedom is Slavery”(Orwell 04) The first passage of the novel have connections with all these factors and was a perfect was of beginning this particular novel. The fact that the “clocks were striking thirteen” is also very interesting, since normal clocks spike until number 12. The negative vocabulary word of this passage prepares the reader to the next paragraph that transmits the setting in more detail, showing an society in corrosion due to the fact that elevators were not working and the electrical current was turned of for the daylight. Are the citizens aware of the terrible place they live in, or they are conditioned to enjoy and give value to it? Can Winston Smith be compared with Bernard of “Brave New World”?
“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORENCE IS STRENGTH”, this quote explains the true ideology of the party and how they brain wash the population. If we diluted the slogan in three different parts we can understand the foolishness of such passage. “War is peace”, is published as a slogan of the party for the proles and smaller party member, so they can waste time and forget about revolutions. War only brings destruction, death, money loss for the state and family losses, but in 1984, George Orwell brings a distorted overview that only tries to bring stability for the party. Also these wars are fictional, Winston himself creates history in the Ministry of Truth. He manipulated the information that Oceania is in war with Eurasia and in peace with Eastasia. Not only the essence and ideology are corrupt, but also the physical judgments are unreliable. “Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” are also mind blowing because how can a manipulated person be truly happy if they never felt freedom. The essential moral for a human being to be considered happy is freedom. A human living in Oceania thinks they are happy, but in fact they are only manipulated and used as a consuming puppy. I would compare the slogan “Ignorance is Strength” with the quote, “Ignorance is Bliss”, but still disagreeing. If we don’t have the exact perspective of an issue, our decisions are going to be unjust and we might be manipulated. Politicians in Brazil, maintain the population ignorance (without schools, quality teachers and proper classrooms), because ignorant people vote without critical thinking, and are easily brain washed.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.