Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Monday, April 16, 2007

1st Hour 1984 Scribe

The first thing Mrs. Moritz asked was “how was your weekend?” After we discussed what we did over the weekend, she handed out black and gold water bottles and explained that Mackenzie, her daughter, had her birthday party over the weekend. It was held at the House of Bounce. After the short discussion we took our quiz. Then we got into our fishbowl group. The presenters were Tina Lynch, Julia Brennan, and Alison Bailey.

The first topic discussed was why Mr. Charrington had not been captured by the thought police. The most basic response was that he was a prole and so they did not really care about what he did as long as it wasn’t blatantly insulting the party. Another response was that because he had no business so he had no influence so they did not care. Another question that arised was why did Winston had such easy access to the shop house. Many people answered but some of the main ones were that he as lonely, he needed money, or that he was just interested in Julia and Winston (not in a sick way).

The next topic that was discussed was the proletarians. The first question that aroused was whether the statement “the proles are human, we are not” was accurate or inaccurate. There was a mixed response. Most of the inner circle and presenters agreed that the statement was accurate because even though they were in poverty, they had some freedoms, the most important freedom being thought. But there were a few who thought that it was not a good statement because they were just as caught up in the party as the party members but they were just poorer.

The follow up was a question that asked people whether they would be a prole or a party member. Overwhelmingly the group chose to be a prole because they believed that being able to sing and sleep in peace was worth being poor. The final question was about the proletarian lifestyle. We discussed how it was almost like the future had skipped back in type. It kind of reminded people of late 19th century New York. It was two totally different societies that just happened to co-exist with one another.

The final topic discussed was just comparing Julia’s way of life to Winston’s. The first question was why Julia, if she can truly read peoples faces, couldn’t read O’Brien’s mind. No one really had an answer to this question. The only solution was that Julia was just really, really lucky. The next question was whether Julia needed Winston or Winston needed Julia more. They decided that Winston needed Julia more because he had never had anyone to cling onto. Julia had done this “scores” of times so she knew how to get away from it all.

The final question was if Winston or Julia would survive longer under the current circumstances. It was a split-decision. Some people said Winston because he thought through everything. He would never make a careless decision because he knew how to think. The other half said Julia because she had experience, and other qualities. She volunteers and knows how to not be suspicious. Also she knows how to put on a good face. She also is not as connected with Winston so if anything were to happen to him she would be able to carry on unlike Winston.

We finished with Mrs. Moritz reminding us that we have to read through 224 by Wednesday.

-Sean Bull


Question from Alison, Tina and Julia:

When Julia and Winston are up in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop, how can they feel a sense of both a "damned soul grasping for his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking," and permanent security?

21 Comments:

  • I think that this shows how the feeling of insecurity has been so deeply engrained in society that no matter how safe they are, they are still paranoid that they will get caught. Even though there are no telescreens in the room, the Party has managed through their reign of terror to make the citizens feel that there eyes watching everywhere, when in reality, Winston and Julia cause their own downfall.

    By Blogger matt f., at 8:25 AM  

  • To me, this show how the party leads through fear of being caught. To them, their imediate thought is that this hidden room is safe. Then once they put more thought into it they realize that their lives as part members are pleasureless. B.B. keeps "his" party members under control through fear of being watched and caught.

    By Blogger Laine G, at 12:03 PM  

  • I think that Julia and Winston can feel these oppsite emotions because together they can comfort eachother and feel secure. However their rebellious actions cause them to feel at any moment they may never see eachother, or one may have never existed. Being together in the room evokes in them the feeling that nothing else matters that it is them and no one else.

    By Blogger Dan E, at 12:27 PM  

  • This quote incorperates the oxymoron of the entire book. They feel safe, yet they feel damned. It is something that is a part of our society as much as it is a part of theirs. No one is ever completely safe... you could walk out of your house and get run over by a lawn mower, yet you still go outside. The point is to enjoy the time you have and live it to the fullest. Even in the shadow of BB, that is what Winston and Julia are doing.

    Yup. My answers are short today! WOOT!

    Peace,
    Rachel

    By Blogger RachelP, at 12:52 PM  

  • I think that in this case Winston and Julia feel insecure because that is the way they will always feel as long as the society continues to be watched 24/7. At the same time, they trust each other and Mr. Charrington and don't think they are being watched. The fact that they have already been able to stay safe in that room for a while also adds to their security. Mostly though, I think they just love being together so much that they don't really care if they get caught.

    By Blogger Rachel K, at 1:22 PM  

  • I agree with Rachel. They are insecure, because society teaches them to be insecure. As we read earlier in the book, even though someone might not be watching the telescreen at that exact moment in time, they should act like they are being watched. There might not be a telescreen, but they act like it. However, after going to all of these different places and feeling really nervous, once they arrive at the room, it feels a lot better because it is their own. I think they are just too excited to realize anything different.

    By Blogger Annika_EP, at 1:33 PM  

  • They know that if they EVER lost this room, they'd be done for. They can't reuse spots frequently, and their meeting time would be effected immensly (sp?). They know they are being rebellious while in this room, which is all the better reason to continue using it. I also think they must be scared out of their minds everynight after they fall asleep, becuse if someone shakes them awake they will have no where to run.

    By Blogger KylieYoum, at 1:44 PM  

  • Hello everyone! Missed you all today in class...come see the musical and you can experience what I've been working on!

    Okay, so I believe that this quote just goes to further illustrate the Party's policies of "doublethink" and "blackwhite." Julia and Winston are trying madly to appreciate the last few moments together, realizing that their time together could be taken away at any time, but also they accept that their time together WILL END no matter what they do. This is where the security sense comes in...THEY WILL BE CAPTURED EVENTUALLY no matter how are they struggle to remain out of sight of the Party's evil eye. I actually have a connection with this: a good friend of mine from fifth grade, my grandma, and a senior friend of mine all had or have cancer. Cancer, from my experiences with these loved ones, makes one appreciate life more because of its impermanence, but also accept that it is going to end no matter what one does. Thankfully, both my friends are in remission, but they live their lives in a different fashion than I believe they would if they hadn't have been sick.

    All right, I heard it through the grapevine that when one is absent, one must ask a question in their blog. So: does anyone else have real life connections/examples of Winston and Julia's situation or doublethink?

    Thanks ladies and gents, love you loads, see you on the flip side!

    By Blogger CMeghan, at 1:50 PM  

  • They feel both because each is true. He doesnt know when something terribble is going to happen but he does know for sure that something terrible is going to happen sooner or later. The "Damned soul grasping for jis last morsel of pleasure" is the insicurity of when he is going to be cought so he might as well live it up while he can. But he also has permanent security knowing that he WILL be caught and he will most likely die.

    By Blogger Korlandini, at 2:01 PM  

  • They feel that in the room the have a special place where no one can see them and they are free. This gives them the feeling that they are free when they are not. This freedom is the last morsel of pleasure they are grasping for. However they also believe that by living in the moment as they do this moment of security gives them the feeling of eternal freedom.

    By Blogger sander k., at 2:10 PM  

  • I think that in this book, we see many parellels that somehow touch one another. George Orwell has created a line where very seperate issues stand on either side. Yet somehow, love and hate, permanence and impermanence, proles and Party, etc. are very similar. It almost creates this appreance that the things are so drastically different, they are the same. It's confusing, yet kind of makes sense. You have love someone so much that those same feelings turn into ones of hate. Winston and Julia know that they will be caught, yet feel that nothing can touch them. To me, it's almost the same feeling. Both emotions are frightning. The future of both is unknown. I can easily imagine that their opposite feelings of being caught connect. The problem lies when they over think their emotions. I think that their own actions will be responsible for their future. They have much more control over their fate than they may think.

    By Blogger Martha P., at 3:56 PM  

  • The room is like an alternate reality that they can excape to that is free of fear. They can make it into anything they want so while they are there, they feel secure and at peace because that is what their heart desires most. But when it is time to go back to reality, they must face the risks they are taking and realize that they could be vaporized any day.

    By Blogger Kristen, at 4:05 PM  

  • I think that Winston and Julia feel like a damned soul grasping for a last bit of pleasure because they know that they basically are set to die anyways. They figure that if they are inevitably going to die by being tortured and convicted of thought crime, they may as well enjoy what they have to the fullest before that happens. When this quote is mentioned in the book, they both are about to leave Charrington's shop, quite possibly to never see one another again, and so they want to make the most of the time they have.

    By Blogger kmatthews, at 5:49 PM  

  • I think that this is exactly how the party wants them to feel and how Big Brother has "control over them with out really having control" if that makes any sense. However they feel security too because they hav eachother and know they are both against the party together.

    By Blogger Blair, at 6:55 PM  

  • I'm sorry for blogging so late! Between my birthday and the play, I had trouble finding a time to read and blog...

    Anyway I believe that the sense of security is purely delusional, and that they really feel secure due to the hope they have. I think they both know they're going to be caught, but they want to try to maintain that happiness and grasp that security for as long as possible before they're turned in to the Thought Police.

    <3 jordan

    By Blogger jordanne, at 7:14 PM  

  • I believe that winston realizes that no matter how hard they try, they will be caught.he is renting this room, which is a act of defiance against the party and feels that there this may be there last chance eto live. kind of like a last meal. you get what you want and all the "pleasure" you want just before you die. Basically they are already dead so they might as well spend their last days enjoying themselves before they die.

    By Blogger sbull, at 7:21 PM  

  • I think that Winston and Julia feeling that way is a direct result of their society. That whenever there is a little bit of privacy, then the Party Members think that they can get away with anything. This is how the system is designed: control them, give them a little more "freedom" (which you control), throw them off their guard so that they will mess up, and then catch them in the act. By doing this, the government can control it all and all aspects of their life, including those that are rebelling. Do you all think that the Party controls the other aspects of the citizen’s lives?

    By Blogger alyse, at 7:59 PM  

  • The feeling of insecurity and of being watched have been burned into their blood. There is nowhere they can go withouth feeling insecure. However, in the shop, They are not being constantly monitored, so they can say what they wish, though sometimes habit prevents this.

    By Blogger Barry Tischler, at 8:26 PM  

  • Tina's Mom here:

    Don't know if this will get read since I am blogging late, I was a slacker over the weekend and got behind on my reading and I have been a bit freaked out by the shooting at Virgiinia Tech today. I graduated from there in 1982 and, in fact, lived in Ambler Johnston for 2 years, so it has been very weird seeing a place I have always associated with good times and school and friends and fun plastered all over the news as a place of horror.

    In a way that is kind of weird -if Winston and Julia ever lose their room above Mr Charrington's shop, will they be able to see it as that idyllic place they had for a while? Or will it always be associated with something terrible?

    I think I am removed enough from Va Tech at this point that I can continue to think of the good times. I certainly hope the students that were there today will be able to think of it fondly in years to come and not as a nighmarish place...

    I think Winston can feel like a "damned soul grasping for his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking," and that the room is a secure place because I think he has accepted the fact he and Julia will be caught, and that they will be vaporized for their rebellion. I think once you accept something - even something as horrible to contemplate as the death of a loved one or your own death - and accept the fact that it is going to happen - you may as well reach out for all the good things you can before that end comes. So why not let yourself feel secure? Why not be as happy as you can be in your paperweight world? It could end suddenly.

    I always tell myself when I get stressed about things don't really matter - "tomorrow Yellowstone could explode."

    By Blogger DLynch, at 11:00 PM  

  • Tim Chilton


    1.
    I think that they can feel both a sense of warning and pleasure when they are above the shop because the feeling of rebellion that they are experiencing is a combination of the two. Without the thrill of always wondering if you are going to get caught any minute rebellion is no fun. They also know that they are being very careful to avoid any outside attention so they know that they will not be caught. They are also in the hands of the proles. Because the proles are so out of touch with the government, they do not understand thought crime as well and they will not go and tell on Winston and Julia if they are hanging around in an old room above a store. The thrill of knowing they wont get caught and that they are in constant peril is what drives them to rebel. It is the mental aspect of rebellion as well as the anarchist feelings.

    By Blogger mmoritz, at 6:16 AM  

  • I believe that Winston and Julia feel pleasure and happiness even just when they are together. They don't necessarily have to be sleeping together to be happy people. I think that when Winston and Julia are together, they feel secure and they both feel that if they get caught together, then that would be better than being caught separately.

    By Blogger erikaw, at 4:02 PM  

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