“Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as erotism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages between party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and –though the principle was never clearly stated –permission was always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having and enema.” (Orwell 65).
This quote is important because is shows the meaning of sex in the dystopian society presented by Orwell. Winston explains how sex is not something enjoyable, instead it is something that people are obligated to do, for the mere purpose of reproduction. The party controls everything in the people’s lives, even their intimacy. People do not look at sex as something pleasurable, instead they look at it as an obligation. Since Winston was alive before the party came into power, he feels the need to have a real relationship with someone; to love and to feel attraction, instead of only superficial feelings. His repressed sexuality is something that causes anger in him, as can be noticed after he feels hate toward the black haired woman simply because he wants to have sex with her and is unable to do so. Later on, he talks about Katherine, his wife of a few months, which he has not seen for 11 years. He describes how sexual intercourse was something that he dreaded doing with her, because she was so ignorant and so cold. After few months of trying to have a child with no success, each went their separate ways, once again showing the readers that in the dystopian society marriage and sex are only for reproduction, and nothing else. This shows a similarity with Christianity, which view sexual intercourse as something only done in order to reproduce, therefore banning any sort of contraceptive.
Winston’s Job (Prompt 3)
In the very beginning of this section one was the main themes (“controlling” time) came up. There is a description of Winston’s job. He receives directions to change previously published editions of the newspaper, namely “The Times” so that past records show the populace that the Party has an impeccable history of predicting events and keeping promises of progress. That is proof from the text that “who controls the present, controls the past”. Since the party is in power, they can tamper with records, allowing them to create and illusion of progress by depicting the past as worse than the present. The people then believe that they should trust the Party to lead Oceania to a better future as they have been doing already. This proves that “who controls the past, controls the future”. Winston gives examples of previous party promises by the Ministry of Plenty not being kept. The party then alters the records of the promises so that the present shows that they are being kept. The party works no harder and the people become more satisfied.
Winston then reflects on how there is no evidence of such alterations being made. “In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.” (Orwell 40)
A) His instructions are written in Newspeak, a very simple language in which the words describing his job are have much milder connotations than in English. Since no word such as “fraud” or “forgery” exists, the only options available describe his job as making minor corrections or rectifications. These words generate a much more pleasant sensation and if Winston’s job was discovered, the person would feel thankful rather than deceived.
B) Both his instructions and the old versions to which he made corrections are incinerated forever. There is only evidence in favor of the party, making it impossible to argue.
Finally, Winston concluded that the past is so constantly altered that the versions he was modifying were probably already made up, making it useless and impossible to seek an absolute truth. “it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another.” (Orwell 40)
Question: If the past is only memories and cannot be reenacted, are there any rules that determine what it is? In The Things They Carried, can even the "happening truth" be trusted? After all, it is also accounted by humans.
“Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?” (Orwell 52).
This passage in the novel is very contradictory regarding current world. There are usually words being added, because as society changes also new words become part of the dictionary. However in Newspeak the main intention is to decrease as much as possible the amount of words, to be able only have only one meaning without any ambiguous definition. The reason that the amount of words are decreasing gets explained by Orwell saying “every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten”(Orwell 52). The authorial intent in this passage is to portray the manipulated, mechanical society that is being shown in the novel 1984, a society that is conditioned to deny all emotions, forget the past, and portray only the emotion of satisfaction in living in this “perfect society” where ambiguity is destroyed and only objectivity in words and feelings are the only ones that are socially acceptable. In my personal opinion, the only way that a person can survive in this society is by having a poker face, because even facial expressions are seen as wrong, that being said the best survival tool is to have a poker face.
"By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness" (Orwell 53).
This quotes shows how the Party is controlling and manipulating society. As Syme communicates to Witson how they are getting language into a final shape and are destroying the Oldspeak vocabulary for more logistic words, Witson has the idea that the government is destroying traditions and history in order to have society even more in control. " The whole literature of the past will disappear" according to Syme. In my opinion, it would be utterly horrible not being able to read literature of the past, which is what makes Shakespeare interesting is his language, though now-days is difficult, it is delicate, richly varied and eloquent.Not having that old literature words is like having no history neither words to express true feelings. Yet, by avoiding words the Party avoids feelings of the citizens that might reach rebellious of the community against the government. The Party in Oceania orders to make thoughtcrime impossible, so, by avoiding certain rebellious words there will be no reason to carry out thoughtcrime and it will be easier for the government to keep this dystopian society self discipline and in control. Politicians use the Newspeak language to control citizens and enhance its power through eliminating words. Free speech is limited as the dictionary is. With this quote I can see how the Party stands out the three slogans: WAR IS PEACE - FREEDOM IS SLAVERY - IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, this dystopian society is manipulated by language.
"There were the huge printing shops with their subeditors, their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs. There were the teleprograms section with its engineers, its producers, and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in immitating voices. There were the armies of reference clerks whose job was simply to draw up lists of books and periodicals which were due for recall. There were the vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored, and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed. And somehow or other, quite anonymous, there were the directing brains who coordinated the whole effort and laid down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the other rubbed out of existence" (Orwell 42).
This quote shows a very important theme of the book, which is manipulation; Manipulation of truth, information, and manipulation of evidence. The sector of the ministry of truth responsible for "changing" the past, so that it will also change the present and future as the party slogan says: "who controls the present controls the past, who controls the past controls the future", meaning that whoever is in power now in the present, will have the power over the past and also the future. Being able to influence in history and even change it and erase some events from people's life, selection only the informationthey want people to know.
Chapter 5 embraces one of the most important themes of the novel 1984, which is language. The language created by the Party, the newspeak, was created to control the thoughts of the individual. Old-speak had many words that were considered unnecessary for the Party and therefore caused issues and lead individuals to have personal corrupt thoughts. The newspeak is the only language that instead of being constantly creating words in order to improve that language, it is constantly removing word form their vocabulary. They consider synonyms and antonyms unnecessary and uses the uses the opposite of the word instead as stated in the passage, “I’ve been using the same blade for six weeks, he added untruthfully” (Orwell 49) and when Syme said “A very inadequate substitute,”. This seems to be a positive decision, but by limiting the vocabulary and decreasing the range of words, they are also limiting the communication of the individuals and the beauty of the book and poems. In the other hand, the real purpose of Newspeak is to decrease the vocabulary to the point of making the practice of thought-crime impossible. The author also uses the example of good and bad to transmit the purpose of removing words. Instead of having good and bad, it is much more effective to use good and un-good, since this would make two opposite words, instead of two vague terms. It’s important to notice that this leads to doublethink that is defined exactly by the usage of two opposite ideas. As this point we can notice how Newspeak and Doublethink attach one to the other. What are the consequences that could happen due to the demur of language? According to Orwell, could language be considered a weapon?
In the second section of part 1, I was able to recognize even more in depth Winston character traits. As seen in the section, he still continues to write in his diary some of the issues that terrifies him, such as Big Brother, the dark haired girl and the Party totalitarian measures. One of the scenes that called my attention to Winston traits is in chapter 5, which was said by Syme when talking to him. He states, “You haven’t a real appreciation to Newspeak, Winston” he said almost sadly. “Even when you write it you’re still thinking in Oldspeak…In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of destruction of words”(Orwell 51-52) The reason why Winston disapproves the destruction of words is because he commits thought crime and the varieties of words allows him to express himself in a more free way. Syme wants to narrow the quantity of words in the dictionary, so that future individuals wont allow themselves to commit thought crime. Winston likes the range of thought and demonstrates this by speaking against the Party. Another trait that I noticed from Winston is that he is very discrete, he does not allow people around him to notice his fear. On the same chapter, the protagonist sees the dark haired girl and evokes on his fear and terror just for the fact that she was watching him. The quote that follows the scene, expresses the impact of what Winston was feeling. “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality…” (Orwell 62) Winston believed the girl was a spy of the Party and this is why he feared her so much, he knew that he was thinking things that went against the system and the totalitarian community he is living in. From such events and passages, readers are able to notice how much Winston wants to be free from people who surround him and from the society as a whole. He tries to accept and live in this society, by hiding his fear and his thoughts as a way to save himself from death, since it is the result of those who act against Big Brother.
“'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten” (Orwell 52).
The “newspeak” is the vocabulary that they are starting to use during the age of the Big Brother. Winston’s meets a comrade that works in the edition of the Newspeak dictionary, and is doing the final copy, the eleventh edition. His name is Oglivy and is too smart to live within society, Winston predicts that he will be vaporized soon, Oglivy shows how he is intelligent by affirming, “We’re getting the language into its final shape – the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else” (Orwell 50), there has been other editions for the dictionary, all of them marking transition eras, but the eleventh edition is permanent so that the population has a language that is completely different then the one in the old eras. This new language is created, and the necessity for synonyms within the vocabulary makes the language decrease in size; therefore, the population has less and less words. The ministry that calls itself so “liberal”, is automatically forcing the citizens to have a poorer vocabulary so that the population has less words to describe their thoughts. Without the words, people cannot express their indignation or “heretical” views in relationship to society. After generations, the society will be so repressed that they won’t even know, the reality will seem normal and they will have no reasons for rebelling or going against the system. The lack of words make them not know what they feel, kind of like how the population sees hate. Freedom of speech no longer exists, and as days go by, the Party has more control over people.
While reading chapters 4-6, many inquiries ascended in my mind. In chapter 4, for example, Winston introduces his job in the record section of the Ministry of Truths, which is the manipulation of facts from the world in written entries. He destroys obsolete documents as well as updates others changing some facts. “It was necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother’s speech in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened” (Orwell, 39). What Big Brother predicted must always be correct; because he needed to control the society in a way that people must think he is a God. When people are restricted from food, BB tells them the contrary: that they are having more food than ever, and people believes him. The question is how people forget about something that was recent? Even though there is manipulation, and there is change in the past, where “all history was a palimpsest” (Orwell, 40), people still needs to remember about the day before. If the chocolate ratio was 30 grams and now it is 20 grams, they need to remember, even though the acts were change to manipulate the past. Furthermore, what about Winston? He changes the facts and he doesn’t remember he did that? He should evoke the past, because it is something that he does routinely. And if he does remember, he knows that BB manipulates. So why doesn’t he tells everyone about that?
How is it possible for the Ministry of Truth to change history, books, names, speechs and the population of Oceania not realize what is going on? Throughout this section this has intrigued me, because the party members and Big Brother change everything in order to make them always right. However, what really shocked me was that in reality governments manipulate facts in order to make them appear to be the right one, like the Vietnam War with two different sides, making each government appear right for their population. Chapter five presents the reader with the manipulation of education (dictionary), without knowledge of something, citizens are not able to rebel. This horrified me because it is true and it present in our society, governments try to maintain a great part of the population ignorant, because the less they know, the less they are able to contest reality and realize the true nature of the country. As the the telescreen gave information to the citizens Winston realized "It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it has been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it" (Orwell 58). Winston is the only one to criticize the action of the population and the only one to realize the changes made to praise Big Brother. The incapability of the population to see reality frustrated me, they forgot or simply not payed attention to something that happened the day before, for me it is impossible. Does this also happen in our society and we are blind to see the truth? Are facts distorted?
In the begging of the section, the author describes Winston Smith’s job and the fact he has the power to change the past. He works with the speakwrite, a machine that writes everything he says and has the power to change any document he wants to. His imagination and creativity may change or at least influence the present lives of the proletariat. “Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original massage and any notes that he himself made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be be devoured by the flames.”(Narrator pg. 39) This quote explains that fact that even Winston through the proofs of his job away, not even the creative mind could explain what really happened. The manipulation made by the Ministry of Truth was very important for the maintenance of power for the party. George Orwell calls attention for the story of Comrade Withers, he was a very important member of the party, but started to disagree with the methods and was killed. It was against the interests of the party to maintain official documents about a man who went against the system. Winston created Ogilvy and replaced all the information in the name of a fake person. This activity was common in the party and information about food was also changed. The prols received way less food, but the party changes the past and made them think that people never received that amount of food in history. In the end is Ignorance truly strength?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.