Essay: Book: 1984 – First independent reading

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 22 minutes
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  • Published on: December 29, 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2
  • Book: 1984 - First independent reading
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Section 1-Pages 0 through 25- done

1.page 25-“Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of the past. He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable.

What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party would not endure for ever?”

This passage is difficult because it uses a lot of abstract language. Winston is obviously not literally a monster, wandering around on the seafloor. This feeling is very hard to decipher, and putting it in context with his current situation is difficult.

2. page 23- “suddenly they were both leaping around him, shouting ‘traitor!’ And ‘thought-criminal!’, the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gamboling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters. There was a sort of calculating ferocity in the boy’s eye, a quite evident desire to hit or kick Winston and a consciousness of being very nearly big enough to do so. It was a good job it was not a real pistol he was holding, Winston thought.”

This scene shows the depth of belief in big brother by everyday people. In this case, it is the Parsons, Winston’s next door neighbors. The description of the son as “ferocious” takes the reader by surprise in showing how much kids are trained to act and feel about their current situation, seemingly unknowingly. This kind of action takes Winston by surprise as he seems, at this point in the book, to be the only self conscious person in the world.

3. Page 16-“And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston’s hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed to him to be true.”

This passage reveals some aspects of Winston’s character, specifically his self-consciousnesses about big brother. He thinks freely about big brother as no one else can, and moments like this show us how much he can actually make out. He knows that Goldstein May have a point, a fact which he is alone in knowing.

4.pages 22 and 23-“ ‘You’re a traitor!’ yelled the boy. ‘You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian spy! I’ll shoot you, I’ll vaporize you, I’ll send you to the salt mines!’ ”
“He spun round just in time to see Mrs Parsons dragging her son back into the doorway while the boy pocketed a catapult. ‘Goldstein!’ bellowed the boy as the door closed on him. But what most struck Winston was the look of helpless fright on the woman’s greyish face.”

Why does the next door neighbor’s boy attack Winston? This may be to show Winston’s reaction, or to show the mother’s reaction, something that Winston finds striking.

5.page 17-“But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had made on everyone’s eyeballs was too vivid to wear off immediately.”

I found the description of the lasting effect of big brothers face to be interesting. The picture wasn’t shown for that long, but it leaves its mark on everyone.

6. A) Page 7- “nothing remained of his childhood except a series of bright- lit tableaux occurring against no background and mostly unintelligible.”
Tableaux- paintings in French, May be of a striking scene.
May be used in: “The tableaux at the museum were interesting” or “has art class done any tableaux?”
B) Page 6- “His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.”
Sanguine- red, specifically the color of blood.
May be used in “I like that sanguine jacket” or “sanguine is a good color for a car”

Section 2- pages 25 through 50- done
1.page 28- “Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there was still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason. His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him, when he was too young and selfish to love her in return, and because somehow, he did not remember how, she had sacrificed herself to a conception of loyalty that was private and unalterable. Such things, he saw, could not happen today. Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows.”

This paragraph I marked down as challenging not because of the vocabulary but because of the rapidity of ideas. Winston is thinking about his mother and family, his attempts at a family (though not mentioned here), and also his assumptions about the lack of emotion in 1984 the book. (or 1984 the year, for that matter.)

2. Page 32- “frightening thing was that it might all be true. If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?”

This paragraph stresses on the importance of propaganda in 1984, and how wrong Winston (and Orwell) believe it to be. This control of the past is a big theme in 1984, and this is a good moment showing how Winston thinks about it.

3.page 48-“One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in his face.”

I like this paragraph because it reveals aspects of two important characters, Syme and Winston. Some of Syme’s character is shown here, but I think that the more important part of this is Winston’s of realization that Syme will be vaporized, and the reasons that Winston believes this. That Winston can recognize Syme’s danger to the party makes him a more dangerous threat in of itself. This consciousness of what the party wants and dislikes defines Winston.

4. Page 48-“ As he watched the eyeless face with the jaw moving rapidly up and down, Winston had a curious feeling that this was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It was not the man’s brain that was speaking, it was his larynx.
The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck…
‘There is a word in Newspeak,’ said Syme, ‘I don’t know
whether you know it: duckspeak, to quack like a duck. It is one of those interesting words that have two contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it is abuse, applied to someone you agree with, it is praise.’ ”

Why does syme introduce this word to Winston? It is an early lead on to doublethink, with the contradictory meanings, but it also touches on the 2+2=5 idea from later in the book. The description of the words coming from his larynx (throat) not brain is very similar to 2+2=5 in that this man obviously swallows whatever Big Brother throws at him.

5. page 50 “Winston found and handed over two creased and filthy notes, which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.”
I was interested by this phrase because of its obvious contradiction, being that obviously illiterate people can’t write. It is possible that Orwell is saying that Parsons has never read anything of consequence, or that he has never read any “true” literature, just the unimportant writings of big brother.

6.A) Page 43-“Syme was a philologist, a specialist in newspeak.”
Philologist- the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records.
May be used in “he has gone to college to become a philologist” or “a new study from a group of philologists has found…”
B) page 36-“all history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as necessary.”
Palimpsest- an object which has been changed, though traces of the original still remain. Typically writing.
May be used in “the house had been remodeled, but it was a palimpsest of what I once knew.” Or “the updated version of the book is a palimpsest”

Section 3- pages 50 through 75- done
1.page 61-“The Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles from bondage. Before the Revolution they had been hideously oppressed by the capitalists, they had been starved and flogged, women had been forced to work in the coal mines (women still did work in the coal mines, as a matter of fact), children had been sold into the factories at the age of six. But simultaneously, true to the Principles of doublethink, the Party taught that the proles were natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals, by the application of a few simple rules. In reality very little was known about the proles. It was not necessary to know much.”

This paragraph want too hard, but I liked it because it shows doublethink well, which is hard to understand at this point in the book. It is a large deception that it is hard to believe for us, but Winston’s lack of reaction to this misinformation is a big insight for us.

2. Page 51- “It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately, with a furious desire to track down, denounce, and vaporize anyone who should suggest that last week the ration had been thirty grammes. Syme, too—in some more complex way, involving doublethink, Syme swallowed it. Was he, then, alone in the possession of a memory?”

This paragraph shows Winston’s refusal to submit to Big Brothers propaganda very well. Winston can realize that he alone recognizes the skulduggery of the party, and his observations of others embracing the party’s propaganda show exactly what the average citizen thinks. These observations are very interesting as a counterpoint to Winston’s ideals. Also, this paragraph leads on to (and shows) the later reasons for Syme being vaporized.

3. Page 52- “And though, of course, it grew worse as one’s body aged, was it not a sign that this was NOT the natural order of things, if one’s heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one’s socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?”

This paragraph shows Winston coming to terms (or rather refusing to) with the situation in London. He wonders why he feels as though his situation should be better when he has no reason to believe that the world gets better than this. This uncontentment is not directed at Big Brother in this paragraph, but anger at the state is shown later.

4.page 66-“And then a voice from the telescreen was singing:
Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we Under the spreading chestnut tree.
The three men never stirred. But when Winston glanced again at Rutherford’s ruinous face, he saw that his eyes were full of tears.”

Why does “under the spreading chestnut tree” evoke such emotion in Rutherford? Who’s set up this broadcast, and why? Did Rutherford plan this?

5. Page 49-“zeal was not enough. Orthodoxy was unconsciousness.”
I like Orwell’s use of orthodoxy here. Most people would think of the “common practice” side of orthodoxy, but Orwell could be talking about the Greek root which literally means “the right opinion” , which gives a new meaning to the sentence.
6. A) page 65-“… and given posts which were in fact sinecures but which sounded important.”
Sinecures- a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.
Could be used in “class president sounds good, but it’s just a sinecure” or “holding a sinecure at a business would be great!”
B) page 66-“Rutherford had once been a famous caricaturist…”
Caricature- “A rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way.”
Could be used in “the caricaturist painted a picture of me with a large head.” Or “the picture showing trump with devil horns was caricaturistic”

Section 4- pages 75 through 100- done

1. Page 76-77-78- words like ‘yenas ‘Ouse ‘ired (hyenas, houses, and hired, respectively) are used by a less-educated person, making comprehension difficult.

2.page 87-“he thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed. He might have silenced the dark- haired girl if only he had acted quickly enough: but precisely because of the extremity of his danger he had lost the power to act. It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body.”

this paragraph’s subject is not one of the larger themes of the book, but I picked it because it based on a subject looked at in many books, which I find to be a great topic. This is the fight against oneself. Many great works of fiction have a main character who’s topmost struggles are internal ones, and 1984 also has Winston’s self doubt as an interesting topic, albeit not one of the main themes.

3.page 97-“In the same instant it occurred to him that he did not know what colour the girl’s eyes were. They were probably brown, but people with dark hair sometimes had blue eyes. To turn his head and look at her would have been inconceivable folly. With hands locked together, invisible among the press of bodies, they stared steadily in front of them, and instead of the eyes of the girl, the eyes of the aged prisoner gazed mournfully at Winston out of nests of hair.”

This section-the end of chapter 1- shows how much Winston respect big brother’s power. His curiosity (and possible action) is insignificant, and even so he believes this tiny turn of the head to be “inconceivable folly.” His self restraint, which allows him to keep his thoughts to himself unless he is sure it is safe, is a characteristic that benefits Winston multiple times.

4.page 81-“It was a wild, impossible notion, to be abandoned as soon as thought of; but the room had awakened in him a sort of nostalgia, a sort of ancestral memory. It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside an open fire with your feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob; utterly alone, utterly secure, with nobody watching you, no voice pursuing you, no sound except the singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock.” (Note: there is no telescreen in this room)

Why does Winston have memory of not being watched by big brother? Is this a reference to the lack of surveillance (and Big Brother in general) in his childhood or something else?

5. Page 91-“He wolfed another tasteless meal in the canteen, hurried off to the Centre, took part in the solemn foolery of a ‘discussion group’..”

I thought calling the discussion group a “solemn foolery” was an interesting description because it takes both perspectives. The solemnity is the outside perspective on it, but Winston believes it to be foolery. This is an oxymoron (kind of) in that holding a foolish idea in high regard is ridiculous, but the ideology of the party is truly important to others.

6.A)page 91- “…Winston could hardly hear what Parsons was saying, and was constantly having to ask for some fatuous remark to be repeated”
Fatuous-silly, inconsequential, pointless
Could be used in “stop making fatuous jokes” or “the conversation was very fatuous”
B) page 86-“… a brassy female voice was squalling a patriotic song.”
Brassy-(typically of a woman) tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner.
Could be used in “her voice was very brassy” or “the actor’s inflection was brassy”

Section 5- pages 100 through 125- done
1.page 122-“He turned over towards the light and lay gazing into the glass paperweight. The inexhaustibly interesting thing was not the fragment of coral but the interior of the glass itself. There was such a depth of it, and yet it was almost as transparent as air. It was as though the surface of the glass had been the arch of the sky, enclosing a tiny world with its atmosphere complete. He had the feeling that he could get inside it, and that in fact he was inside it, along with the mahogany bed and the gateleg table, and the clock and the steel engraving and the paperweight itself. The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia’s life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.”

I thought this paragraph to be difficult because of the different ideas that Winston could be trying to express. The complexity and, if a point is intended, indirectness makes the deciphering of the paragraph much more difficult. Winston’s aforementioned feeling that when with Julia he is in a place without big brother seems like a likely candidate for an interpretation of Winston’s ideas here.

2.page 124-“ The proles, normally apathetic about the war, were being lashed into one of their periodical frenzies of patriotism.As though to harmonize with the general mood, the rocket bombs had been killing larger numbers of people than usual.”

This paragraph is a good piece of evidence that the party is bombing its own people, just to inspire patriotism. The rocket bombs are said to come from Eurasia, but around “hate week” (the week devoted to degrading and mocking the enemy, Eurasia.) the frequency/deadliness of these bombs increase. This leads me to believe that the government is actually behind the missiles, with the intent to intensify the power of hate week.
3.page 116-“As he sat waiting on the edge of the bed he thought again of the cellars of the Ministry of Love. It was curious how that predestined horror moved in and out of one’s consciousness. There it lay, fixed in future times, preceding death as surely as 99 precedes 100. One could not avoid it, but one could perhaps postpone it: and yet instead, every now and again, by a conscious, wilful act, one chose to shorten the interval before it happened.”

This paragraph almost seems to promote suicide, something never seen from Winston anywhere else in the book. His monologue about the invariability of death seems quite troubling, given that he may not be talking about aging but the party’s dissatisfaction with him and its probable outcome.

4.pages 117-118-“She knew the whole drivelling song by heart, it seemed. Her voice floated upward with the sweet summer air, very tuneful, charged with a sort of happy melancholy. One had the feeling that she would have been perfectly content, if the June evening had been endless and the supply of clothes in- exhaustible, to remain there for a thousand years, pegging out diapers and singing rubbish. It struck him as a curious fact that he had never heard a member of the Party singing alone and spontaneously. It would even have seemed slightly unorthodox, a dangerous eccentricity, like talking to one- self. Perhaps it was only when people were somewhere near the starvation level that they had anything to sing about.”

Why is this singing woman a cause for internal discussion with Winston? The woman seems to be a symbolization of Winston’s current situation, where no matter how bad the outside is, one can always forget for a moment. This is shown in extreme in the last sentence, saying that “Perhaps it was only when people were somewhere near the starvation level that they had anything to sing about.” Which says that true pleasure can only come from desperation. In other words, a comeback story is the ultimate story.

5. Page 107-“She even induced Winston to mortgage yet another of his evenings by enrolling himself for the part-time munition work which was done voluntarily by zealous Party members.”
The use of mortgage here is interesting. A mortgage would obviously usually be dealing with money, but I believe that mortgage here is talking about time. Winston is lending his time to this job, but in return he might just live longer because of his good citizen act as a cover. This mortgage took me a second to pick up on, as time is not a very common topic of a mortgage.

6.(A) page 121-“ … kicking the wainscoting immediately below the picture”
Wainscoting- wood paneling at the bottom of the wall.
Could be used in “the wainscotting in the school was quite unusual” or “all that was left to do was put in the wainscoting”
(B) Page 103-“… as though making a sort of obeisance to the sun…”
Obeisance- deferential respect
Could be used in “he paid obeisance to the king” or “I wish I had given more obeisance to my homework.”

Section 6- pages 125 through 150- done
1.page 139-“Facts, at any rate, could not be kept hidden. They could be tracked down by enquiry, they could be squeezed out of you by torture. But if the object was not to stay alive but to stay human, what difference did it ultimately make? They could not alter your feelings: for that matter you could not alter them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.”

This passage was difficult to understand because it is vague. It does not define what staying human entails, and therefore does not show what Winston wants to retain under torture in the ministry of love. What “staying human” means can be guessed and seen later in the book, but at this point in the book it is hard to see.

2.Page 125-“There were times when the fact of impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking. But there were also times when they had the illusion not only of safety but of permanence.”

This paragraph’s testament to the ability to hold out, hope, and even have some moments of enjoyment in any situation (even 1984’s bleak circumstances). This light at the end of the tunnel mentality is a common factor in Winston’s decisions, so this could also be somewhat in character development as well.

3.page 129-“In the ramifications of party doctrine she had not the faintest interest. Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability of the past, and the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak words, she became bored and confused and said that she never paid any attention to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it?”

This paragraph shows how Julia acts as a counterweight to Winston’s highly introspective personality, and also how the party’s influence has affected different generations. Their relationship is interesting because watching their outlooks on Big Brother’s policy and ideology bounce off each other gives a good perspective on the “average citizen’s” thoughts on the current situation.

4. Page 137-“‘The proles are human beings,’ he said aloud. ‘We are not human.’”

Why does Winston believe that he is not human? He knows that he is doomed – all that oppose the party are, but why does he believe this to make him inhuman?

5. Page 133-“He had moved from thoughts to words, and now from words to actions. The last step was something that would happen in the Ministry of Love. He had accepted it. The end was contained in the beginning. But it was frightening: or, more exactly, it was like a foretaste of death, like being a little less alive.”

I liked the “end was contained in the beginning” here, as it is a clever way of saying how Winston believes himself to be doomed. He believes that from the first moment where he doubted big brother in his mind, it was a slippery slope down to the inevitable end in the ministry of love.

6. (A) Page 123-“… the town had a curiously febrile air”
Febrile- a great deal of nervous excitement/energy.
Could be used in “the school had a febrile air before the football game” or “he was quite febrile, and I couldn’t tell why”
(B) page 143-”without speaking or giving any kind of salutation, Martin went out…”
salutation-a gesture or utterance made as a greeting or acknowledgment of another’s arrival or departure.
Could be used in “he gave me a salutation when i walked in” or “she gave me a salutation in the form of a wave”

Section 7- pages 150 through 175- done
1.page 151 through 164- the banned book by Emmanuel Goldstein uses highly technical terms, which is obvious when looking at the title, THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM. Is is not too hard to read, but the true meaning of the sentences take a moment. I know what an oligarchy is for instance, but haven’t used the word in forever.

2.page 174-175-“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.”

This ideal is at the center of Big Brother’s oppression. In normal dictatorships, oppression is usually achieved by force. But in 1984, conscious learning from an early age makes rebellion harder. Teaching Crimestop not only defends Big Brother in the people’s view, but also makes them (nearly) invincible to criticism of the Party.

3.page 165-“The blissful feeling of being alone with the forbidden book, in a room with no telescreen, had not worn off. Solitude and safety were physical sensations, mixed up somehow with the tiredness of his body, the softness of the chair, the touch of the faint breeze from the window that played upon his cheek. The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.”

The last part of this section is very revealing about Winston’s need for reassurance that he is not alone in his atypical views. This feeling is what drives his conversation with the proles, his journal entries, and later discussions with O’Brien.

4.page 171-“Given this background, one could infer, if one did not know it already, the general structure of Oceanic society. At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration. Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen. We may be reasonably sure that he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty as to when he was born. Big Brother is the guise in which the Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization.”

Why is this description of Big Brother so much like a religion? The personification that the party exhibits in Big Brother is eerily reminiscent of the saviors of religion. As said, putting a face on something means a lot, easily seen in midterms versus presidential elections. His relationship to a deity is resounding, as they share a lot of traits ( unknown birth, never dies, claims responsibility for all achievement, omnipotent) is it this god-like state makes big brother so respectable to the people?

5. Page 175-“He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising.”

I was intrigued by the use of “cut off” here. Synonyms for cut off include severed, so I refreshed it with severed to better understand the point Orwell/ Winston is throwing to express. Loyal party members being severed from the past insinuates that they have not only been removed from it, but, as used in context of a relationship, have decided to remove themselves from history, therefore (willfully) distrusting it.

6. (A) page 175-“It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.”
inimical-tending to obstruct or harm
Could be used in “anything inimical will have consequences” or “he was planning an inimical action”
(B) page 172-”Except that English is its chief lingua franca and Newspeak its official language, it is not centralized in any way.”
lingua franca- a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
Could be used in “ASL (American Sign Language) is a lingua franca for deaf people” or “emoji’s work well as a lingua franca”

Section 8- pages 175 through 200 done
1.page 178-“ere is one question which until this moment we have almost ignored. It is; WHY should human equality be averted? Supposing that the mechanics of the process have been rightly described, what is the motive for this huge, accurately planned effort to freeze history at a particular moment of time?
Here we reach the central secret. As we have seen. the mystique of the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, depends upon DOUBLETHINK But deeper than this lies the original motive, the never-questioned instinct that first led to the seizure of power and brought DOUBLETHINK, the Thought Police, continuous warfare, and all the other necessary paraphernalia into existence afterwards. This motive really consists…”

(note: the ellipsis (ellipsis = …) at the end is not me, it’s in the book.)

This section is hard because it seems that Orwell drops the pretense of this being a narrative and talks straight to us, which is odd / hard to understand.

2.page 193-“‘Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,’ he said sententiously. ‘It’s insidious. It can get hold of you without your even knowing it.”

This section shows a smaller point in 1984, being the irrepressibility of one’s true nature. This theme says that one cannot truly change their nature, although it may happen to Winston under torture when he betrays Julia, although this is up for debate. The quote that it can get hold of you “without your even knowing it” makes it seem like this rebellious nature has been inside of Parsons, biding its time.
3.page 179-” But after reading it he knew better than before that he was not mad. Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

This belief is repeated multiple times by Winston, but this is a good example of it. When presented with the book, also known as the theory and practice of oligarchical collectivism (a rebellious manuscript) that confirms his beliefs, Winston is relieved. But he also says that he does not care that he is one of few people to oppose the party. This contradiction Winston has about his individual (rebellious) views shows how he is afraid of being alone, but also realizes that his realizations on Big Brother are too important to be quieted.

4.page 182-“You were the dead, theirs was the future. But you could share in that future if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the body, and passed on the secret doctrine that two plus two make four.
‘We are the dead,’ he said.
‘We are the dead,’ echoed Julia dutifully.
‘You are the dead,’ said an iron voice behind them.”

Why does Orwell have Winston and Julia be discovered just as they are summarizing the reasons why they find capture, torture, and death to be acceptable?

5. Page 179-”Sanity is not statistical”
I like this quote from Winston because of its simplicity, yet complex meaning. The subject he may be referring to is the apparent mindlessness of Big Brother’s acolytes, something he wishes to avoid but also knows is unavoidable.

6. (A) page 187-”…treated the common criminals with a kind of forbearance…”
Forbearance- patient self-control; restraint and tolerance
Could be used in “he had forbearance when dealing with the situation” or “ the government has an excess of forbearance when dealing with these matters.”
(B) page 177-“All past oligarchies have fallen from power either because they ossified or because they grew soft.”
Ossified-cease developing; be stagnant or rigid.
Could be used in “I was working on my homework, but I have ossified” or “the field of marine biology in relation to rocket science has ossified in recent years”

Section 9- pages 200 through 225-done
1.page 219-“‘I told you, Winston,’ he said, ‘that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing: in fact, the opposite thing. All this is a digression,’ he added in a different tone. ‘The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men.’”
This paragraph was difficult because it concerns metaphysics, not exactly my strong suit. I had to do a little research on what metaphysics and solipsism are to understand this.

2.page 210-“You are a flaw in the pattern,
Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out. Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him.”

This paragraph summarizes the enormous power of Big Brother, and the terrible implications it has. Many dictatorships do not allow negative comments about the government, but only Orwell’s 1984 actually has a government that not only has citizens that hear, speak, and see no evil, but actually think none. This power over citizen’s worldviews makes 1984 all the more disturbing.

3.page 217-“‘You are thinking,’ he said, ‘that my face is old and tired. You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails?’”
This, and later paragraphs in the next few pages, show how O’Brien believes himself to be irrelevant, just a part of the machine that is the party. This view is one that he emphasizes on Winston a lot, and is one of the hardest for Winston to accept. He often says he is immortal, because the party will live long after he is dead. This part-of-the-whole mentality makes him believe that the party’s control over him is a better existence.

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