Is Power For Power No Power At All?
As O’Brien confronts Winston about the party’s purpose in creating this dystopian society he talks about the presence of power as the means and reason for their actions. O’Brien talks about Communist Russia and Nazi Germany and how they were almost successful in reaching their goal, but that they didn’t have the gut to recognize the truth. This idea struck me. Why are they so power hungry? Sure with power you control the world and the people, but why would you do so in a way that there is no happiness or love? Once you achieve the power will it all have been worth it? Will your life ever be complete without the essential urges of human? Soon O’Brien goes on explaining this power. He says, “The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual”(Orwell 264), I agree that you are more powerful when you represent a group or an idea and therefore ceasing to be an individual. Why was MLK so powerful? Because he stood for equality and defended African Americans, therefore once the people united and supported him he became an incredibly powerful so that we talk about him until today. Consequently as readers we question the why of all this power, what does the party want to do with it? Do they just want power for the sake of having power? Why do they have to create such a negative society in order to maintain order and achieve power? Furthermore is power just for having power no power at all, since you don’t use this power for some other mean?
The first chapters of Part 3 are when most of the previous foreshadowed events occur. Winston has always transmitted pessimism and the direct idea that they would be eventually caught and punished by the party. Winton’s and O’Brian’s conversations have always included the statement, “We shall meet in a place where there is no darkness”, and in this part of the novel they meet on this place. The Ministry of Love is the place where “there is no darkness” because the lights are always turned on.
The bird and the girls singing just because they wanted to sing can be associated with the way the party operates, and this association can be made due to the information’s that are introduced to the reader on these chapters. Winston previously understood how the party operated, but he didn’t understand the why. In the Ministry of Love, since O’Brian authorized him to make questions, he learned the party controls it’s people simply because they want to, just like the bird and the girl. Winton also learned that the Party wanted to make him adapt to the Party, or in other words agree that 2+2=5. They did that with O’Brian, as we can see when he states, “They got me a long time ago, said O’Brian with a mild, almost regretful irony.” The party uses many tools to oppress and control the people, and just as they made O’Brian become intellectually part of the Party, they were trying to make Winton part of it too.
After these chapters we can make a connection between the Party way of maintaining control and the way Hitler and Stalin operated. All of them maintained control and oppressed its people, by making them have fear, and punishing the ones that doesn’t obey their demands. What make the Party of “1984” differ from these two totalitarian forms of governing is that the Party strength comes from the fact that they control the people’s thoughts. The use “doublethink” and “newspeak” to limit and make their thoughts confused. With this the party prevents revolutionary acts and the interaction between the individuals, which is a strong tactic to maintain control and stability.
Will Winston understand and agree that 2+2=5? Will the party be able to change Winston’s mind, even though it is so concrete and historically supported? Did Julia really betray Winston, or this is only a tactic used by O’Brian to change his mind?
"Do anything to me!" he yelled. "You've been starving me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me. Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there somebody else you want me to give away? Just say who it is and I’ll tell you anything you want. I don't care who it is or what you do to them. I've got a wife and three children. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not Room 101!'' (Orwell 236)
Torure is what citizents prefer to avoid. Parson prefers to see his lovely familiy die than feel the torture of room 101. Betraying his familiy and friends is better than feeling starvation and depression of knowing that sooner or later he will feel the torture. He is not scare of death anymore. He is scared of torture. Torture is the dark place where there is dark horror and scary feelings while death is the end of everything. Yet, the party prefers to create torture and fear to the society than a quick death. This quote demonstrates how Parson doesnt care of dying neither loosing his family or revealing the name of his friends that are committing thought crime. The torture that the room 101 (the party) gives is so intense that the ''criminals'' prefer to give it all and betray any of his friends, their moral or anything. Torture seems to be a way for the party to give the thought criminals a way to change their mind and belong and follow the Party's rules. They dont want them death, they want them to know who is the leader and how everyone follows their rules.
These chapters were the scariest ones in the book. This part of the book reminded me of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, O’Brien serves as Big Nurse, and Winston serves as Chief Bromden. Room 101, the room of mysterious horror that Winston dreads is sort of like the room where they take patients to get electroshocked. The fear the Winston feels is like the fog that would not allow Bromden to think straightly. The end of chapter four is sort of like when Big Nurse takes McMurphy to get a lobotomy, and no one knows where he is going or what is going to happen to him. Winston feels this sort of mystery when O’Brien finally drags him to room 101 to be “cracked” once and for all. I am anxious to see what else will happen in the novel, and I am afraid for Winston. I do not believe that Winston with crack and betray Julia and my predictions for the end of the novel are that both Winston and Julia with be killed by the Party, however they will continue faithful to one each other and faithful to the brotherhood.
This second from the novel was very intriguing, ﬁrst because I thought that the place where there is no darkness would be a peaceful place after the Party is defeated; however, it is a prison. All the hope that is left in the novel for a change and for a defeat
of the Party is lost, physical pain is used to control and manipulate the citizens, just as they did with OʼBrien. Throughout the novel OʼBrien has been a symbol of hope for Winston; however, it is revealed to the reader that Winston knew that OʼBrien was
always part of the Party, and despite this he still trusted and went along. Would Winston have been caught if he didnʼt talk to OʼBrien? How would the novel be different without their conversation, would he ever get the book? Just like in One Flew Over the Cuckooʼs Nest where electroshock is used to control patients, in 1984 torture is used to control, inﬂuence and manipulate thought and emotion of prisoners. The control of the
Party to the Thoughts of the citizens, their control of the present, past and future is what gives them power and the physical pain and torture is what makes people accept this fate. In chapter two, while torturing Winston Obrien states “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to be sane” (O´Brien 251). So in order to be sane people have to obey what the society is saying, just like in the ward, those who are different or go against the norms are segregated and forced to believe what is said.
“ Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We Shall squeeze you empty, and them we shall fill you with ourselves.” (O`Brien, pg. 256)
This passage completely changed the path of the novel, I never thought O`Brien was in the Minister of Love. Since the begging the reader believes in his integrity and how Winston looked at him. In these chapters were learn more about the party and their cruelty. That the past has a lot of influence in how the party acts over society. O’Brien teaches the reader that the party actually analyzed the past, and how the Inquisition murders made martyrs, even the totalitarian regimes such as Stalin and Hitler still made their enemies martyrdoms. All the information is well analyzed and they created an new whey to kill their enemies. They firstly torture to obtain all sources about other militants against the party, later they make the prisoner love Big Brother. When O’Brien was torturing Winston he sometimes stopped and made him count the number of fingers, so he can once more believe that two plus two equals five. All this brutality against the prisoner that they will later kill, is explained by the fact no one can die hating Big Brother. The only thing that will make them stop suffer and die is loving Big Brother and in fact dying is better them being tortured. Also Winston after all these sessions of terrorism will no longer believe in human kind and that they might one day change. This passage shows how cruel and gracious they are for power. It also explains how power is measured; they believe power comes from the eligibility of maintaining control of others brain and belief. The precise and real truth doesn’t matter at all, what real matters is what people think. The party is way more intelligent and powerful then we thought.
In this section, Winston appears a totally different man. He is illustrated much weaker, physically and mentally. The punishment that he is passing through evidences what happens to everyone who commits thought crime and are punished by the Party. Winston’s strength and courage seems all gone, after seeing himself on the mirror how weak and fragile he looks. This section also illustrates how much powerful Party members are, as O’Brien. He controls Winston by torturing him physically and it makes Winston each time weaker. O’Brien was never a trustworthy character on my opinion, and what he has done to Winston proves completely that he has always been a Party member and was never against Big Brother. Winston and O’Brien have finally meat in “ a place where there is no darkness”, where O’Brien torture and at the same time alleviate the torture he imposes at Winston. What made me most upset is how Winston defends O’Brien and believes that he is alleviating the punishment for Winston, when, he is controlling it. “Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.” (Orwell pg.239) This passage demonstrates explicitly how much Winston suffered with O’Brien. He realizes this at this moment, and the one thing he most wishes is to die, as a way to free him from all he is passing through. This section reminds me of the “Ditadura Militar” that happened in Brazil in 1964. Everything was totally controlled by the military, and anything that opposed its principles would result in a severe torture. They were obligated to accept the military system they were living in, and no music, poetry, or hidden groups that opposed it were accepted.
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood”(Orwell 252). This quote portrays the feeling that Winston was feeling during the moment that O’Brien was torturing him, the moment that he felt that the feeling of being understood was greater than the physical pain. This feeling could be compared during the moment that Winston realizes that Julia is not part of the Thought Police and is an individual similar to him, during the beginning was simply the love of being understood and find someone that he could have a mutual conversation other of naive love, passion. During this moment, reading this quote in the novel I could place myself as the character. I imagined myself being in the 1984 society, and I could see myself have my nerves out of me because I could not handle not being able to share all the information about the government I know, and after I while I would realize it would not make a difference due to the lack of knowledge everyone has. Then, whenever getting caught by the Thought Police and suffering as Winston is, and being able to keep a conversation, a discussion, an argument, something I lack the knowledge in, the physical pain would be forgotten. I would change my view of hatred towards O’Brien and see him and the one that he could share his knowledge, even though it was with someone that was trying to erase them. This chapter for me is very connectable, and it rises a question, Hasn’t occurred a true event that someone new a secret fact about the government and the other day that person was dead? The novel 1984 could be changed to 21st century. Wouldn’t the government hire a person to make sure none of the secret information would be leaked? Do you ever really know what is going on in the White House or at Dilma business office? Is our democracy a dictatorship renamed or updated to modern times needs?
The beginning of book 3 is a very important part of the book. It is when Winston, Julia, and Mr. Parsons, are captured by the Thought Police. They have always been spied by the Party, however at the end of book II and beginning of book III, they are actually caught. Mr. Charrington was the one to denounce Winston and Julia, and Mr. Parsons was denounced by his own daughter. The children in Oceania were tought to be spies, to be watching their parents, they were the easiest to be manipulated. “Who denounced you?” Said Winston. “It was my little daughter”, said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway”(Orwell 233). Parsons is trying to be optimistic and even though his little daughter had denounced him to the thought police, he forces himself to think about a positive side in this. The fact that she is a kid and has the ability to spy and grab the information needed by the party is seen by Parsons as a great characteristic. It makes him proud of her. However this raises some questions in my mind; I cannot see how a child is able do something that will hurt their own parents, and how will parents accept this. It is weird the fact that you have in your own house, sons and daughters that can, at any time, give you to the police
The primary chapters of book three are the most fascinating and enthralling ones in the novel. The make you literally go crazy and insane. While analyzing it, you will keep questioning your existence and the facts around you. Are we all being manipulated? Are we lunatics just like Winston? How can a society like this existence, based on hate and power? This novel is completely insane. Orwell wants to make us doubt our own lives and make us irrational. Winston is captured and taken to the place where there is no darkness, just like the book had foreshadowed before. He meets O’Brien, and that is the point in the novel where everything is explained. What make me most agonized is the fact that, even though O’Brien tortures Winston, Winston still loved him. Why? I can’t understand that? If a man is killing you and torturing you, make you suffer like an animal, or even worse than that, how come you still loved him and idealize him? O’Brien made Winston confess everything, made Winston suffer and confess things about him and Julia; He made Winston believe in the Party. However, O’Brien did not make Winston betray Julia. Why? Because love is the antidote. Love is the cure, the poison that destroys Big Brother’s authority over the people. Love will never be destroyed, unless Winston is killed, but the Party will not win killing Winston before “curing” him. O’Brien made Winston believe that he was going crazy, that he was irrational, a lunatic. They were talking about the photography that Winston once saw of the Party with Eastasia prisoners. O’Brien made Winston believe that Winston’s mind made that up, and that the Party was never the friend of its enemy. “How could one be sure that it was simply trickery? Perhaps that lunatic dislocation in the mind could really happen: that was the thought that defeated him” (Orwell 247). O’Brien brainwashed Winston to believe that the Party was always right, but Winston kept resisting it until the moment he went to another room, gained some weight and wrote in his diary, “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY… TWO AND TWO MAKE FIVE” and counterattacked in the end, saying “GOD IS POWER… He accepted everything. The past was alterable. The past never been altered” (Orwell 277). There is a paradox in this passage. The Party is all based in paradoxes. They need to stimulate doublethinking. Everything contradicted each other. They could not have love, but they needed to love Big Brother; they couldn’t have any emotions, but they needed to vanguard, worship, adore BB. One thing will always contradict the other to make illusion and reality one single thing. “Anything could be true, if I wished, says O’Brien, I could float off the floor like a soap bubble” (Orwell 278). Hallucinations could be confused with reality. That is how the party controls the people... it controls human nature, human thoughts.
Despite the fact that the last chapters of the novel were spoiled, I still found the reading very interesting. Of course the enthusiasm and curiosity weren’t present in these four chapters, but they weren’t boring and captivated my attention fulltime. I do not recommend that you read this novel before sleeping! Well, I sure could not have read it, since I don’t watch terror movies and run away from scary conversations. After reading these chapters, I cannot help but say that I had to sleep with my mother; however, I guess that’s what makes this novel interesting.
What called most of my attention throughout these chapters was the ideology that after the past proofs “vanish” the past no longer exists, like when O’Brien shows Winston the picture,
“‘It exists!’ he cried.
‘No,’ said O'Brien.
He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall.
‘Ashes,’ he said. ‘Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.’
‘But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.’
‘I do not remember it,’ said O'Brien” (Orwell 247).
It is unacceptable that something does not exist in a single movement, because it is in our memory. But what O’Brien says is not a lie, the past does not exist physically since he threw the picture through the memory hole. If it’s a memory, nothing can make it be true, since it is not enough evidence. This part did not exactly shocked me, but opened my eyes towards the fact that if there is no evidence, there is no truth. Mr. Lang once told us to discuss whether the story they tell us about history exists or not. Well, the case is, in my opinion, if there isn’t evidence, it cannot be true. But then what about God? Well, the Bible registered all that happens and for me God does exist. What about Thanksgiving? The true story about thanksgiving is that it was a massacre. Books show it as both a massacre and that it is a holiday to be thankful. The truth is, for me, it can be both or neither one, my eyes didn’t see it so I cannot swear it does exist. So I really don’t know, and I am confused, but I guess the truth is the midway through both stories.
Also it stroke me the question of, why does Winston consider that “He [O’Brien] was the tormentor, he was the protector, he was the inquisitor, he was the friend” (Orwell 244)? If O’Brien only tortured him, was he already realizing that following Big Brother was a good thing?
“…and in the eyes of the Party, there was no distinction between the thought and the deed” (Orwell 226)
I believe this statement is incomplete/ inconsistent with the following pages. The party is actually more concerned with the thought than the deed according to this section. Thought + deed= punishment. Thought= same punishment but deed= light punishment. Therefore deed weights less and the thought is responsible for most of the punishment.
Orwell shows the difference between thought criminals and ordinary criminals (who commit physical crimes/deeds). Julia’s and Winston’s physically indulgent activities in the woods and at Mr. Charrington’s shop would not have been enough to incite the torture they did on their own. It was their discussions and the fact that they tried to join the brotherhood that got them the maximum punishment depicted (in Winston’s case) in this section.
First, the prison cell at the unknown location is filled with political criminals and common criminals (who took part only in similar indulgent activities to Winston’s and Julia’s such as smuggling food and having sex). The former are quiet and scared. The latter seem not to be worried about their punishments either because they are too stupid, or they have been there before, or they know they have not committed the worst offense (Orwell 226 and 227).
There seems to be an inverse relation between the crimes and the punishments because of the strength of the criminals’ intellects. A thought criminal will be physically be punished not because their bodies are what pose the biggest threat. Quite the contrary, their bodies are weak (like Winston’s) and have low tolerance to pain. When they are inflicted with pain, their brains are overwhelmed and they are willing to let go off any ideals they had to escape the pain. Winston says it is impossible to be brave and accept more pain and eventually gives in. The party targets their weakest side in order to get them to let go of their strengths. It is safe to infer then that ordinary criminals get reorientation and not physical torture because their minds are feeble and malleable and with the proper instructions, should be able to control their bodies in accordance with the party.
Brave New World has a positive preemptive overload system instead of a negative penalizing one like in 1984. They overload people’s bodies with PLEASURE BEFORE rebellious thoughts whereas the Party inflicts PAIN AFTER the thoughts. Whereas the World State is more humane than the Party, both are equally effective. What kind of punishment would you prefer to be inflicted (physical or mental)? Which would you rather inflict if you had to pick one? Why?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.