Thursday, March 3, 2011

1984 by George Orwell

Written in 1949, the novel takes place in 1984 and presents an imaginary future. The state is called Oceania and is ruled by The Party, who control every aspect of life, including people's thoughts. Winston Smith is a 39 year old man living in London who secretly hates The Party, and wants to rebel against Big Brother, the dictator. He starts keeping a diary of his rebellious thoughts, knowing that he will soon be caught by the Thought Police and most likely killed. Winston then becomes fascinated by "proles", or the lowest social class of Ocieania who aren't under 24 hour surveillance. He befriends a prole shop owner, Mr. Charrington, who reminisces about life before Big Brother. He eventually starts a relationship with a girl at work when she secretly slips him a note saying "I love you". Winston and Julia sneak around, meeting in discreet places such as a clearing in the woods, and begin to rent the room above Mr. Charrington's shop as a private place for the two of them. O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party, finds an excuse to give Winston and Julia his home address and meet with them. He eventually enlists them in the Brotherhood, a secret organization dedicated to fight Big Brother. Winston is thrilled that he is not alone and goes to the room above Mr. Charrington's shop where he gets arrested by the Thought Police and discovers Mr. Charrington is really a Thought Police agent. He is taken to the Ministry of Love where he learns O'Brien is an orthodox government agent and deliberately tricked him. O'Brien tortures and brainwashes him until he fully believes in the Party and its ideals. In the end, Winston has submitted completely and all feelings are destroyed, including the ones he had for Julia.

1. Do you think there are any similarites with our society and the society in the novel?

2. Do you think that anything or anybody can really control people's thoughts or beliefs?

14 comments:

Mike B 13-14 said...

There are many similarites between our society today and the one in the book. As we become more technologicaly advanced we need to watch out for things that happen in the book. We need to prevent the govenment for gaining to much control as it does in the novel. Hopfully by reading this book we can learn lessons to prevent problems in the future.

Leah A 5-6 said...

2. No, I don't believe that anything or anyone can fully control someones thought or beliefs. Each person is unique and has different perspectives of things. Something or someone may be able to manipulate your thoughts, but not fully control them.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

Yes, I agree with Leah I don't think that anyone can fully control what you think or believe in because everyone is so different. It would be impossible because people are molded to believe or think about things their entire life in their own wat and it would be really hard to change that.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

I don't think that anyone can completely control anyone's thoughts or beliefs. It might be easy to convince the victims that they are able to be controlled, but ultimately, it is just a twisted method of brainwashing which enables the controllers to fool their victims into thinking that they are able to be controlled. I think if you tell anyone anything enough times that they will start to believe it, and this is what happens in 1984.

Betsy C 1314 said...

To answer the second question, I dont think that it's possible to completely control anybody's thoughts. I think that it is possible to have influence over someone, but people are too original to be controlled.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

1) Society today is very similar to the one in the book under the circumstances that everything is very much controlled around us by the government and our lives are ruled with major parts of technology.

2) I do nto think that any one has the ability to control someone's beliefs because you may be able to force someone to do something, but you can never control something that goes on internally. The mind is a very complex thing and it only is controlled by the person who's body it is in.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

To answer question number 2, I do not believe that anything or anybody will ever be able to really control anyone's thoughts. Thoughts are personal, they are within you, and it is something that no one can ever really touch or tamper with. This is the beauty of individuality and it is what makes each of us special and our own.

Nick E. 13-14 said...

2. Absolutely not. I mean, unless we're talking about psychological mind control. But no one (including the government) or anything (including religion) can control my personal thoughts or believes. I develop both of those factors myself and although they may be influenced or inspired by people or others' beliefs, they are still mine and ONLY controlled by me.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

2) I do not think anyone is able to control a person's beliefs or thoughts. People have their own mind and noone else can affect it. A person can be bribed or forced to do something, but it is still the person action on whether to say/do it or not. Everyone has their own free will and noone can control them. There are things that may influencr a person's actions but they still chose to take those actions.

russell F 11-12 said...

1) Our government can listen to our phones and stuff so it sorta the same thing but not on that high of a level

Dana G. 13-14 said...

I think people will think what they want to. You can try to change their thoughts, bit if they feed strongly on the situation, it will be hard to change them.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

There are many similarities in the book and in modern society I just think that it's on a much larger scale in the book.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

There are very subtle things that are similar to today's society. One thing that sort of resembles 1984 is the earliest version of the Patriot Act when the government started phone tapping and snooping on people. I highly doubt people will become as conformed as they are in the book ever.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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