Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

1st Hour 1984 Scribe

Hey Everyone!
I'm scribing for April 11, 2007. This morning bright and early we greeted Mrs. Moritz with a smile.. We had much to accomplish today so we jumped into the quiz for the day. Our four presenters for the day, Dan E., Laine G., Matt F., and Tim C., provided us with the quiz. We then proceeded in "circling up" the desks for discussion.


Presenter Laine provided the inner circle with the first question up for discussion. He asked what the true meaning of honesty is in the society that Winston lives in. A connection was immedately made to a real life event of one of the inner circle members. The honesty in Oceania is similar to getting a homework check once a month in class. If you're not doing your homework for the first part of the month, you can fake it for that little amount of time. Paralleling to Winston's society, the homework check could represent the two minutes of hate. Or it could represent the constant lying that Winston feels he must oblige to. Another point was brought up the Party has no laws. In theory, there are no laws, so honesty techincally doesn't exist. Unwritten law sparked a new direction with the question at hand.

What is unwritten law? Is it in our society today? What are examples of them in Winston's culture? Our inner circle took a second to contemplate examples of this in the book. However, it made a strong connection to Mrs. Moritz who then proceeded to sit in the open chair and share her thoughts. She expanded on the question to some extent. What about things that we do not speak about in our society? It seems that teenagers are more willing to speak about drugs and alocohol to their friends rather than parents. Teens live in two lives, the one they lead at home and the one they lead around peers. A member of the inner circle added on to that thought. It seems like older siblings strike a nice middle ground. They are older and have been through more, yet are still trustworthy. This paralleled to "Big Brother" and the possible symbolizm of the name itself.

As the pervious question was in a way illuding to, the subject of teenagers emerged. Where have all the teenagers gone in the book? It was a mutual feeling that teens aren't talked about much, if at all, in the book. In the society of the book, there's really no room for a "rebellious" stage. There's no time to not agree with the Party. You are either a child and a "spy in training", or you are an actual party member. As the book portrays, the Parson children are accusing Winston of being the enemy. A connection was then made to the Cold War. Children would run around playing USSR and US, the equivilant of Cops and Robbers. 1984 as a book in general is reminding many students of the whole Cold War era. We are studing the 50s in history currently, so we are seeing many connections. The Red Scare and McCarthyism was mentioned in that the gov. is trying to make anyone appear guilty. It doesn't matter if they're innocent or have real convictions, the Party will find a way to make them guilty. This same priciple was present in the McCarthy hearings in the 50s. We then continued with the actaul concept of being a teenager. Is it an age group? Or is a teenager a person who is going through an awkward/rebellious phase? We ended this question by referring to the teenagers as the next generation of society. No matter what happens. the teenagers will be the future leaders in the communities. The older generation must keep that in mind when deciding how to treat the "spys in training."

Our discussion today focused a great deal on the Proles in Oceania. At first, there was a bit of confusion as to who the Proles truly are. They are 80% of the population who are so far below the rest of the society that the Party doesn't concern themselves with them. They are not educated enough to be a threat. The question that came up was if members of the Party can decide to leave and go live a life of a Prole. The answer that was concluded was no. If a member decided to leave, that would look all too suspicious. Techincally, they wouldn't be breaking any laws, since there aren't any. However, they would be accused of thought and there for prosecuted for it. The proles are not smart enough to know what their life truly is like. They party makes sure that they know enough to remain alive, that's it. So why doesn't the Party just kill them off if they are of no importance? Well, for one, they do make up 80% of the society. Even with all the great purges that have occured, it would be very hard to wipe out that many people at once. But also, they do serve a purpose. They are there to make everyone else above them feel better. They're a moral booster to those who may doubt in the Inner Party. After all, Proles and Animals are Free. Winston, however, feels that if a revolution will occur, it will occur in the Proles. He does know that they need a direction, an example. Our Inner Circle agreed that all fingers point to Winston.Then what would happen to Winston? he may become the next Goldstein. However, if he is vaporized, the revolution will not exist. They can't follow him if is dead. So many questions and so little answers!

The next question and rhelm of discussion surrounded Newspeak. What exactly is the purpose? It was fairly obvious to the discussors that Newspeak would eliminate all meaning of thought. Words will not exist, so there will means of expressing what they may feel. It, therefore, will not exist...sort of. This then related back to the Proles, would they speak it too? Or would they continue in their everyday lives? A connection was made that it would much like a scene in Finding Nemo. When all of the fish are trapped inside the fisherman net, one fish has the idea for everyone to swim down. If everyone participates, it will work. This is similar to the Proles. If they all resist this langauge, a revolution just might occur.

The final topic dissuced was Nature vs. Nuture. We discussed the ways of connection between people throughout the book. Is it better to be constantly loved and cared for? Or does being brought up in a harsh society create stronger people? The general concensis was that the children on Oceania are treated as animals rather than individuals who are loved. The nature that they are being brought up in will only be reflected when they grow up.

In general, our class did a great job today! I think I summed most of it up. There was a great deal of material covered today. It was tough to get back into the swing of things since we haven't had a fish bowl since last Friday. I am looking forward to reading further in the book and discussing more!

Peace, Martha

PS. It is Mrs. Moritz's daughter's birthday today! Happy Birthday Mackenzie!!

Question from Laine, Dan, Tim and Matt:
Why would Winston switch from hating the girl with the dark hair so passionately, to loving her instantly and changing his life outlooks right after receiving her note?


  • I have two theories on this one.

    First, as we have talked about in recent fishbowls, there are a lot of people blindly following others (and their ideals) in this book. Winston could just be blindly following her, and feeling an attachment to her after she confesses her love for him. He may not have loved her in return, but he didn’t want to lose that feeling of being loved.

    Also, it could have been an act of rebellion. He could have just figured, “Hey, the government doesn’t want me to do this, so I think I will.” This falls nicely into the category of Challenging the System. Again, he might not love her, but feels it is necessary to gain revenge against Big Brother, and this is the easiest way to do it.

    By Blogger Annika_EP, at 10:18 AM  

  • I think that Winston went straight from hating the girl with the dark hair so much to loving her because she made him realize that he isn't alone in the resistance of Big Brother. He thought she represented the party, and therefore hated her. But then, it turned out she was doing the same thing as he was, hiding his treason. This gave them a common ground and so any change in attitude became easier. And in a world like Oceania where it is basically the party or no party, any common ground, one way or the other, must be something near the entire world in similarities.

    By Blogger sander k., at 10:46 AM  

  • I have one simple answer. Sometimes you hate someone so much you don't realize how much you care for them. It sounds like an oxymoron, but how many times have you decided that you hate someone when you haven't even met them, and then when you meet them you find out how much you actually like them. Wow, That was a long sentence. I guess the other possibility is that he directed his hate toward her because he just needed someone to blame for his miserable existence. She symbolized the people he hates, so what was to stop him from hating her? As soon as he realizes that she isn't like the people he hates, his outlook and attitude toward Julia change.

    So much for a simple answer. :)


    By Blogger RachelP, at 12:35 PM  

  • I think that Juliaʼs note was a revelation for Winston. Firstly, it portrayed that even under the scrutiny of the Party and its oppressive leader Big Brother, one could still defy him by loving. It seemed impossible to Winston before, the prospect of loving and being loved, but the note brought him into the light. Although Winston recognizes the risk he takes by acknowledging the love Julia has expressed, he knows by doing so he will be rebelling against the party in two ways at the same time: feeling emotions (joy) unrelated to the Partyʼs victories and keeping this secret successfully. Secondly, when someone loves you, you want to love them back just for the sake of being loved (if that made any sense) because if you return the feelings, the other person would certainly express their love fully to you instead through just a note.

    I want to say something here really quick. I donʼt think that Winston truly loves Julia; I think he loves the idea of love.
    -Kelly C.

    By Blogger mmoritz, at 1:23 PM  

  • During these first couple of Fishbowls i have seen a theme in the book arise. That theme is opposites. George Orwell's society is composed of black and white objects. Good or bad. Positive or negative. That’s how everyone lives. Even Winston. You are either entirely for the party or you are entirely against it. It is the same thing with Winston's feelings toward Julia. He can either love her or hate her. The instant he learns that she is against the party as well, he loves her. One goes with the other. That is how society works in 1984.

    By Blogger Korlandini, at 1:25 PM  

  • Winston hated the girl in the beginning of the book because he realized that even though he definitely 'liked' her (ick), he couldn't ever be with/around her. Now that he knows she loves him, he changes his attitude towards her from hate to love. I would guess he is able to do this because love is completely new to him; he never really loved Katherine - they were just 'together'. Kind of like a 'first love' deal.


    By Blogger AlisonB, at 1:49 PM  

  • I think he did this b/c he just wanted to find someone to blame besides big brother. Also, he thought she hated him before she talked to him. once he realized she liked him, he also realized that he liked her.

    This is Sean Bull i couldnt find the sheet that had my password and username.

    By Blogger tims, at 2:04 PM  

  • As strange as it seems, hate and love are very similar feelings. Both are very powerful and carry with them a lot of emotion. Many times, when people are afraid of love, they mistake their feelings towards somebody as hate until they look inside of themselves and realize that what they thought was hate was actually love. In the book, Winston was beginning to realize many new aspects of life and he was doing a lot of self-reflection. I believe this led him to realize that his strong feelings towards Julia were of love and not hate.

    By Blogger Kristen, at 2:10 PM  

  • He switch so quickly because it first caught him by suprize, but then his lust took over and he thinks he loves her. Love is to vast a concept to understand when the government outlaws it. I can't explain it because I haven't experinced it, so I wouldn't know.

    By Blogger Damian L., at 2:33 PM  

  • I think that Winston hated the girl at first because there was something peculiar about her. I think he could not recognize her love for him, because he had never really been loved like that before. Since he was not sure about it and it made him feel uncomfortable, he did not like it, so he hated her. However, once he realized that she loved him and he was not in any trouble with her, and she actually held the same beliefs as him, he decided that he loved her. (sorry that was a loong sentence) Also, he changed his life outlooks (like deciding that it was worth it to live) because he finally found someone that had the same ideas as him (rebelling).

    ~melissa q.

    By Blogger melissa61192, at 4:01 PM  

  • I think he changes his mind very quickly for many reasons. Specifically because he earlier had resented her for just being beautiful. He thought the temptation from a woman like that was unreal, and he hated himself for having dreams and thoughts about her. But then, once he learned that she too, had feelings for him, he felt like the whole world came to a new beginning! First off, she too is willing to rebel against the idea of anti-sex, and Winston feels relieved in that sense, haha. But then, just like Sander said, now that he knows she is rebelling (and willing to) against the party, he feels a connection, a reason to not commit suicide, and he has a feeling of security because he is not alone in his thought crimes!

    It amazes me, though, how easily he is able to switch over like this. She COULD still be a spy, but I suppose if he has a good feeling about it, it could work for him!

    By Blogger KylieYoum, at 5:12 PM  

  • I personally don't think that Winston loves Julia. I think that he has been starved of the feeling of "Love" for so long that he clings to any emotion that is given off by the people around him. I think that he thinks that he loves Julia, but he just loves the fact that she notices him. After his first experience of marriage, he thinks that it is just a duty of life, like working for the party. Now, he feels something that is wild and emotional, and something that is forbidden. I feel that winston is in love with the fact that he is rebelling against the party, not the girl with the dark hair.

    By Blogger ShannonH, at 7:22 PM  

  • I think that Winston changed his view of her, because with the passing of the "I Love You" note, it was a gateway into the unknown, into the forbidden. It changed so quickly from hate to love, as it was an escape. Earlier on in the novel, it said that people who were attracted to each other were not allowed to marry, spend time together, or that has sex. By Julia and Winston even looking at the other, a person of the opposite sex, and talking, they are going against all of what the Party stands for. By the two of them being together, they are both doing something and something not so positive: enjoying the company of one another and breaking the rules, although that is not entirely bad.

    By Blogger alyse, at 7:29 PM  

  • I agree with Sander in that knowing that the dark-haired girl was on his side gave him hope to start a revolution. I also think that your opinion of someone can change in an instant especially when it's a guy/girl thing. Even if you don't really like the person, knowing that they like, or in this case love you, can completely change your outlook in a very short period of time. I think this is a basic crush, but since Winston and Julia have never really been allowed to look at the opposite gender in a sexual way, it seems to be more than that even if it isn't.

    By Blogger Rachel K, at 9:11 PM  

  • This is Kevin's mom. I wonder if his first reaction to her was hate because the party is effectively dehumanizing its members and hating her might protect him from human emotions like love, desire and all of the subtleties and complexities that accompany these emotions. Wintston is alternately trying to recapture, explore his humanity and individualism and to deny it for reasons of safety. When she broke the silent barrier it reaffirmed for him that others feel as he does and all of his pent up emotions come to the surface. It seems to prove that basic human emotions can't be "corrected" out of us. It is our nature.

    By Blogger cmatthews, at 10:07 AM  

  • This is Tina's mom - sorry I am so late but I was running a temperature and couldn't beathe yesterday! :-) Feeling MUCH better today after some antibiotics and a new inhaler thank you for asking...

    I am not sure that Winston ever really "hated" Julia... normally you don't dream about people you hate the way he dreamed about Julia. They say there is a fine line between love and hate like Kristen and Rachel both said.

    I like Katie's observation about the opposites as well, though. The Ministry of Truth is anything but, and the Ministry of Love seems to try to destroy love... so the hate/love thing fits right it. It makes me wonder if Winston could go back to "hating" Julia just as easily as he decides he loves her.

    By Blogger DLynch, at 5:41 PM  

  • He at first saw her as a total slave to the party, and completely brainwashed. When he found out that she was not, and was infact a rebel and a free thinker, he noticed she was a lot like himself. He liked the fact that he knew someone else who was not a total slave to Big Brother.

    By Blogger Barry Tischler, at 9:58 PM  

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