The last chapters of the first section of the book, embraces Winston’s desire to make a connection with the past. The old room that Mr. Charrington takes him already symbolizes the past, since in this particular room there was no telescreen. Another symbol of this search for the past is his memory of museum when Mr. Charrington showed him the peace of art. Winston really wants to have this connection and has hopes that other people, especially from the working class, will also make the same conclusion of the society they live in. Its also important to notice how, at this point, he made his first direct confrontation with Julia, representing the thought police. He ignores the fact that his actions could cause torture or even death and has a lot of fate. Towards the end of the chapter Winston remembers the image of his friend, the only one who had the same perspective as his, “ We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” (Orwell 103). He understood the idea of this statement which is the fact that the place where there Is no darkness can only be imagined, since it is a future that will never e reached. This idea is transmitted when Winston said, “ The place where there Is no darkness was the imagined future, which one would never see, but which, by foreknowledge, one could mystically share in. But with the voice from the telescreen nagging at his ears he could not follow the train of thought further.” (Orwell 103) The control upon the citizens, and the constant threat of the thought police regarding the practice of thought crime, “But before death there was the routine of confession that had to be gone through: the groveling on the floor and screaming for mercy.” (Orwell 103) which limited the evolution of these optimistic thoughts that were considered crimes. The questions presented also reveals the way the totalitarian system operates, “Why did you have to endure it, since the end was always the same? Why was it no possible to cut a few days or weeks out of your life? Why then did that horror, which altered nothing, have to lie embedded in future time?” (Orwell 103) The system did that to make the people fear them and prevent them from having these thoughts.
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy” (Orwell 80).
Chapter seven focuses more than any other chapter before about mind manipulation. George Orwell starts explaining the power of the proles, or the power of the majority. But the problem is, that the majority is the most ignorant part of society. The party can only be destroyed from outside, but the outside does not notice the totalitarianism. Winston is focused on the manipulation over society, and sees in a children’s book and his job, that information is manipulated. He starts doubting the party’s credibility, which makes the reader immediately question the credibility of media and political parties. The children’s book makes the protagonist notice that it is a false propaganda, that the world he lives is the world described in the book. Although he can be rational about the children’s book, he is confused, since he cannot remember his past so he goes pulled by instinct to the streets and questions himself. He sees that the manipulation is so strong that they can distort real facts into lies, making society live in a lie as a whole, a lie that they believe is true. The quote fits perfect into this ideology, a true fact that becomes a lie. Everyone knows that two plus two is four, but as the Party changes so many facts that ARE true, this fact can become a lie. Humankind, out of the novel, knows, and learned that two plus two is four, but the party can find a way to make humankind in the novel believe that two plus two is five. Which makes the reader reflect whether two plus two is actually four or not! Society has conditioned us to believe so, likewise did the Party in relationship to the population in 1984. The quote really messes one’s mind, and I am personally very confused, I am not sure if I can ascertain if the principles I was raised based on are really true. The novel indeed, messes with the reader’s mind.
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable –what then?” (Orwell 80)
This quote is proof of the Party’s control over everything in the dystopian society. Winston finds himself realizing that nothing that the knows to be true, may be true since everything that the Party says about the past, present, and future goes, no questions asked. Since history is changeable in this world, everything that everyone has ever believed may not be true, causing Winston to question even the little things in society. This quote shows how in Oceania, even peoples deepest personal thoughts can be manipulated in believing the lies of Big Brother and the Party. As this section of the novel goes on, Winston writes, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell 81). This shows that in the dystopian society, to be free is to be able to believe your own thoughts and not be oppressed by a bigger power forcing to believe that what they say is right. Freedom is to believe that what is right, it right, instead of believing a lie that is fed to you to facilitate your oppression. Winston realizes this because he vaguely remembers his life before the revolution, so he knows that the history presented to the population about the past is a lie, causing him to question everything around him and to live in fear of the Party and the thoughtpolice.
Throughout chapters 7 and 8 I was able to notice how much their society are restricted from freedom, since they are always being watched for everything they do and say. They have the telescreen, which is the main factor that disallows them to do whatever they want and maintain a private life, without the control of Big Brother. Winston is always scared from spies and the thought police, since he is writing his diary hidden from everything and everyone. Readers are also able to see how their society is dictatorial and maintains a great influence for people to believe they have liberty over their life. One of the passages that this can be evidenced is towards the end of chapter 8, where the narrator says, “ In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.” (Orwell 80) The Party had a total control over every single person, however, less strict with the proles, that Winston admires for their liberty. Society believes on what the Party say, and many glorify them, as children who were conditioned by the Party to glorify Big Brother, and make them go against their own parents to defend society principles. Another quote that clearly proves social conditioning is also evidenced in chapter 8, “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer.” (Orwell 81) The Party makes you think that whatever you saw and heard is wrong, even if you know you are sure you evidenced such moment. Winston himself, found himself unsure that what he believes is right or wrong, from all proves the Party has. Freedom is to say what you wish to say, without the influence of any other person, and as the author says, “ Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four: If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell 81).
“To keep your face expressionless was not difficult, and even your breathing could be controlled, with an effort; but you could not control the beating of your heart , and the telescreen was quite delicate enough to pick it up. He let what he judged to be ten minutes go by, tormented all the while by the fear that some accident – a sudden draught blowing across his desk, for instance –would betray him” (Orwell 79) .
1984 is a novel where society is constantly in control by telescreens. Society in 1984 and today´s modern world can be relatable when it comes to the idea of the need of technology. I constantly relate 1984´s freedom and privacy with our world and way to communicate and keep our intimate life reserved. We might not notice but, social networking such as Facebook belongs to the CIA and the US Department of Defense just as the telescreens in 1984 belong to the government of Big Brother. Telescreens have the ability to hear and see any citizen from Oceania they can even read your face expressions and hear your heart beating, they are placed everywhere so the government can keep citizens under surveillance. This telescreens are very similar to Facebook and other social networking. An online surveillance is easier for the government and CIA just as telescreens in Ocean are. They are like the cameras we now have on the streets, outside our home, work, restaurants, traffic, etc. Citizens do not notice they are being watched; CIA is watching. Big Brother is watching you. It is incredible how Orwell predict that our society is or will be pretty much under control and constantly in surveillance by cameras, radio, social networking, GPS, share location, etc. We are being watch. CIA can easily access to our privacy and they have the authority to do so. I like this quote because leaves the reader thinking on how society and government really work. Everything is for the good of the government. Is it for society too?
Strength and Motive to Rebel – Prompt 4
Although I have an instinctive urge to break free, I have no memories of a better past or guarantees of a brighter future. I feel like the present is limited nonetheless. There is no doubt in my mind however, that I want change. Another issue then arises. Who can bring this change? “If there is hope, it must lie in the proles.” (Orwell 69) That is the only way. Ironically, the only ones who are stupid enough to not be considered a threat, are the ones who can pose a threat to the party if they so choose. Party members are not only under the most surveillance, but also suffering from the most brainwashing. (The thought of surveillance brings me fear as I write this, but the fact that they are trying to control our minds gives me motivation to keep going. This must be written down before (if) they capture my mind.) Also, party members cannot opt out of their service. They may be discarded, but they may bot quit. Quitting would be a decision that would require too much thought, and would imply dissatisfaction with the party. A quitter would be vaporized immediately. If a party member rebels, they will need help and looking for other party members would most likely result in being led into a trap by the Thought Police. The risk of giving off signs of rebellion within the party is stupidly high.
The proles’ submission however, is taken for granted. They believe they were liberated by the party, which I am pretty sure is a lie. They may as well believe the truth, that the party limits them like any other ruler. All it takes in one individual spreading the truth, and the proles’ sheer massive power cannot be stopped by the party. If successful, they will find out all that the party had been doing thus far. “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (Orwell 70)
Perhaps I should make them conscious. But how can I? That textbook at Ms. Parson’s (so far my only source of “knowledge” of the past) can only further convince them of the benevolence of the party. I can never get a hold of men like Aaronson Rutherford and Jones, who could help debunk the lies that the proles are fed. If a patrol saw me talking to them, it would be certain death. Even if I did get a source, a party member like me in standard uniform talking to proles would certainly be stopped by the patrols. “May I see your papers comrade? What are you doing here? What time did you leave work? Is this your usual way home?” They would bombard me with questions. The truth would vaporize me. So would lying.
How do you convince someone who isn’t suffering that it’s worth rebelling to be better off? In “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” it was much easier for McMurphy to start a rebellion because most characters had some memories the past to which they could compare the present. They were also fully aware of the discomfort of the present. They just felt overpowered. Harding knew that the “therapy” made him feel weak and uncomfortable, he just believed like somehow it would help him (even though he had no evidence). The chief had pleasant memories of his childhood and hated the warden workers, but he felt small and weak as well. Bibbit and Cheswick preferred to die over conforming. They had the motive, just not the strength. In 1984, it is the opposite. Plenty of strength and no motive. Which situation is harder to fix?
Chapters 7-8 brought up an intriguing fact from Winston. He begins chapter 7 writing in his dairy that the revolution against the party must come from the proles, “If there is hope it lies in the proles” (Orwell, 69). They compose 85% of the population, but they don’t know they are against the government, because they don’t know the party oppresses them. After reading this passage, I questioned myself: wasn’t writing in the diary illegal? Especially writing about such things that go against the government? Aren’t these thoughts considered a crime? And by the way, if the proles doesn’t know that they are proles, why are them against the government? There was once a revolutionary group, called brotherhood, but they were annihilated by the thought police. To manipulate the proles, the party claims that they are helping the people, reducing morality rates and giving a good life to everyone; however, Winston suspects that this is untrue. (If he works in the record center, he must know that this is not true, but he doesn’t remember! This is completely nonsense, he manipulates his own memory). However, after reading more through chapters 7-8, Winston remembers about a picture of the Party with the Eurasian people, their enemy. He had caught the party in a lie, around 1960. He got so confused that he threw the picture away, into flames. He wrote down “I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY… he wondered whether he himself was a lunatic” (Orwell, 80). The party made him believe that he was wrong. The way they control the system makes human kind question their own selves. “In the end the party would announce that 2+2=5, and you would have to believe it” (Orwell, 80). The level of manipulation was so intense, that simple math equation you learned when you were a kid, if changed by BB, you will trust it is correct. Winston questions himself, and then he begins writing in his diary as a letter to O’Brien. He knows that O’Brien was by his side, and that they would try to fight against the party. He wrote down “Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows” (Orwell, 81). True freedom, in the end, depends on in the aptitude to understand authenticity as a person understands it.
…” They had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern. They were born, they grew up in gutters, they went to work at twelve, they passed through a brief blossoming period of beauty and sexual desire, they married at twenty, they were middle aged at thirty, they died, for the most part at sixty. Heavy physical work… To keep them in control was not difficult. A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumors and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous; but no attempts were made to indoctrinate them with the ideology of the party”(Orwell 71)
In 1984, the main theme is to show the danger of a totalitarian government, and this quote from the novel shows how people from Oceania were destined to live under control. The Thought Police had strategies to pick up and punish whoever was judged dangerous to their government. However, there is something contradictory, because how can an individual from Oceania know exactly what is wrong and what they can or cannot do, if there are no written laws? Everyone fear the Thought Police, because they never know if they will decide that something is wrong and punish the person; they can create new laws at any time and whoever breaks it will be severely punished. In the other hand everybody is used to it, they live under these rules since they were born and are very methodic, they are just like controlled machines; Everyone is born, starts working, get married, and die at about the same age. This way it is much easier to control the population.
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”(Orwell 81). This quote portrays the internal conflict which Winston has of individuality versus power, a conflict that everyone in this society has. In the society that is being portrayed at the Novel of George Orwell of 1984, shows a society where the leaders manipulate the society in every single aspect. Whereas the individual becomes part of a group and loses it´s individuality. In this quote, Winston stares at O´Brien where he imagines freedom as being that the individual has the right of going against the power thought and ideals, or disagreeing about something that was said from the leaders. The other chapters already starts of Winston not being able to attend the local community, something that is an unwritten law where if not consuming or working, the person is usually doing some community work. This quote portrays the conflict of an individual recognizing all the problems that the current living society has, and questioning and imagining the possibility of a better world, where the person has the authority and right to be able to question everything that is presented to them. From a personal perspective, seeing someone afraid of questioning the authorities makes me wonder if in some cases the lower social classes does not pass through the same thing, not from a racist perspective, however I have seen that some workers believe that everything that is said from the upper social classes are right, because they have the knowledge. That is the reason I believe religion are usually strong at the nations where socially classes have a big gap, uses religion as being the hope of a better future. I would like to ask you a question, what if i am being manipulated and i am being conditioned to believe that i am not?
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" (Orwell 70).
The proles situation in in Oceania is the same as the lower castes in the World State. Both are satisfied with their situation and don't intent to change, because on their view they are free and in reality they are intellectually incapable of realizing their true situation. This paradoxical quote puts aside Winstons hope that proles one day overcome the Thought Police and the party. Despite being contradictory both of the statements are true, since the proles are unaware of their horrible situation they will never rebel and if they don't rebel they will not know of their horrible situation. So, the proles will not be conscious and will not rebel. And if the proletariat are not going to rebel, will the Party keep ruling maintaining everyone oppressed? Just like in our society, Oceania and the World State the lower classes are considered to be inferior citizens and just like in the communist manifesto they are the only ones capable of ending the oppression. How does this predict the future of the novel 1984? Will the proles be able to rebel and change the situation or will this remain forever?
In this section I agreed with Winston thought about rebellion and revolution, the only way to change society would be with the prols. They were considered to group 85 percent of the population but many of them ignorant and most of them didn’t even now the party was controlling them. Winston believed that the party would never change its mind and the rebellion wouldn’t start from inside of the party. This same perspective can be seen in modern days, were revolutions in the Middle East, know as Arab Spring only happened because of the prols. Thousands or even Millions of people went to the streets, utilizing the internet to inform the world about the dictators and their parties. In fact there are many similarities between the inner party in 1984 and the commanding party in Egypit and Syria, both are totalitarian, manipulated information and killed all those who tried to rebel. I reacted positively with Winston perspective that the prols are the only path between complete isolation, suffrage and manipulation to a new democratic society. Winston knew that the population was not free and everything was manipulated so he wrote in his diary, “ Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted all else follows”. This passage explains that fact Winston is aware of all the manipulation and that the simple act of knowing that two plus two equals four is the true path for freedom. He means that if information matches and the truth is told everyone will be free to choice their own path.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.