Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Thursday, April 19, 2007

1st Hour 1984 Scribe

Mrs. Moritz started out today's class by telling us that our 1st hour class is the reason that she continues to teach.

Then, we began taking the quiz, provided by Megan, Annika, Kelly, and Rachel (today's presenters). In the middle of the quiz, we started talking about Enchanted Grounds, yet again. Mrs. Moritz reminded us that they have the BEST coffee there (for about the hundredth time...literally) and we discussed for a couple minutes the weirdos that go into that store. We finally got on with the quiz and finished it. Then we got into two circles, in preparation for seminaring.
Annika began with the question, "With so many Inner Party members, how can they turn off the telescreens? How does this relate to our world?" Classmates responded by saying that perhaps when they turned the telescreens "off", there was a camera behind it or they could still hear them.
Then we discussed why the Inner Party members were allowed to turn off their telescreens. People said that the Inner Party members might be trusted enough to do so. Also, in Golstein's book, he states that the higher the class one is in 1984's society (Inner Party), the more insane they are, because they are so brainwashed and devoted to the Party. Therefore, they are not a big threat. On the other hand, people said that the ability of the Inner Party members to turn off the telescreens could be a form of security. It could determine whether some Inner Party members are against the Party, if they turn the telescreens off too much or for too long.

Then we discussed how their telescreens are like our video surveillance cameras. In large corporations today, many of the "small" hard-working people are stuffed in small cubicles and have surveillance cameras watching them. The "big" executives have luxurious offices and do not have cameras, just like the Inner Party has luxuries the lower class does not have.

Next, we discussed how too much freedom in a society can lead to people conspiring and hurting others. We related this to the Virginia Tech massacre. The gunman might not have been watched closely enough before the shooting, and the result was the horrific. Then we realized that no matter how much you watch people and no matter how tight security gets, some people will always want to rebel. If some people want to hurt or kill people bad enough, they will. In order to prevent this, we decided as a class that it was necessary to treat everyone kindly and nicely, to avoid bitter feelings, that may lead to a bloodbath, like the one at VA Tech. We also discussed how many students protected each other while the shooting happened. This lead to a discussion about who we trust and who we don't. We decided that charismatic people are easy to trust, while quiet, loner-type of people are not.

Next, we talked about why Julia and Winston trust O'Brien. Many people voiced their opinions that Julia is a blind-follower of Winston, because she needs some one to "cling" to. This could be because she sees something in Winston that reminds her of her late grandfather, and she misses him. Winston trusts O'Brien because he sees O'Brien as his last resort in rebelling against the Party. We finally discussed the question of "Would Julia be better off with or without Winston?" Some said that she would be better off w/o him because he is getting into some very dangerous things. However, some said that Julia needs him to survive because she rely's so heavily on him.

The bell rang for the end of class, so Barry finished talking and we left. Mrs. Moritz reminded us to blog as we left.

~Melissa Querry ;)


Question from Annika, Megan, Kelly and Rachel:

Do you agree that "equality is the unalterable law of human life" (concept of High, Middle and Low)? What events in the real world and in the novel support or refute this statement?

18 Comments:

  • ok, im going to assume you meant "inequality" because that's what it talked about in the book. With hat said I do believe for the most part that intellectual and economic inequality is inherent in life. For this you just have to look at the unsuccessful application of communism in places such as the USSR and China before it became more capitalist. Also look to 1984. Also, some people are more intelligent, than others, everyone should have equal opportunity to achieve, but some people cannot intellectually perform on the same level as others. However, I do think that the idea of social, legal, occupational, and equality in terms of medice are all things that can be achieve. Here in the US we have nearly accomplushed two of these. You cannot discriminate against people when it comes to hiring them for a job. Also, everyone is equal in the courts of the US. The US has also taken some measures, to help ensure that people recieve equal treatment in the fields of medicine, such as healthcare and medicine. This has even been applied to greater degree in Canada and some European countries. This leaves only social equality. When I talked about economic inequality being inherent above, what I was referring to is that not everyone has the same abilities, and not everyone can live the same lifestyle. However if the "Low" are helped with aid and support then the "low" will no longer have to live a life of poverty. If a portion of money was redistributed among the poor they could lead a better life and bring the widening social rift closer together.

    By Blogger tony_j, at 8:44 AM  

  • I think the way this question is worded is kind of confusing, because true equality would be all one even class, not a high medium and a low.

    I think the idea of a high, middle, and low, is certainly a quality of life that cannot be changed, simply because of our ideas and lives. Even if we lived in a society like 1984, people could still think of ideas better than others or have better (so called) "friends" than others. They could get lucky with a better pack of cigarettes or the fresher snadwhich in the lunchline. Then there is always that sense of competition, no matter what you are allowed to think or do. The idea of moving up or down a class like we discussed in class would probably be desirable, simply for the perks of "being better than your next door neighbor".

    I think this class system is inevitable, and everyone must just learn to live with it, and also to embrace it to reach the top!

    By Blogger KylieYoum, at 8:48 AM  

  • I think that it is impossible for everyone to be truly equal, but the class system that is represented in the novel of 1984 is as close as you can get to equality. The class system in America is not as broad as in 1984, but the class system all over the world is so large. In America, if you make a little less than the average amount of Americans a year, then you are in the top 97% of the world in terms of wealth. I think that the concept of high, middle and low is as prominent today as it is in the novel 1984.

    By Blogger ShannonH, at 12:05 PM  

  • I think that inequality is inevitable because there are always going to be people who strive for more and people who don't want anything more than to be alive. Therefore, those who want to achieve in life will become the "upper class" regardless of their economic situation. They have the power to rule over others. Even if money and goods were divided equally, there will still be people who are mentally superior to others. In the book, this can be seen when Winston starts thinking and realizes how corrupt the party and starts coming up with ways to change it. While he might still be seen as an equal Outer Party member, he still will achieve more in his life than those who don't wish to do more than what is expected. In my opinion, the upper, middle,and lower class is not decided by the amount of money one has, but rather by how much is accomplished in a life. Those who have material things might still be inferior to those with little money simply because they don't strive to be anything better than what they are.

    By Blogger Kristen, at 12:11 PM  

  • A High, Middle, and Low class will always exist, whether we want it to or not, no matter how hard we try to be against it. This is because everyone is human, and everyone judges others. In High School, for example, people group together with friends usually because of some common interrests - you can't get along with someone you have not much in common with. Persons within these groups will have, as common interrests, common views of other people. They will, in their minds, categorize other people according to their opinions of them - unknowingly into higher or lower groups.

    Even if we try to limit out these groups, being human is what keeps our society separated into different classes.

    By Blogger jordanne, at 2:06 PM  

  • To agree with the teaching of Karl Marx, classes are historicaly ineveitable. As much as people try to mantain and create equality, inequality will always exist. In this book the "Party" tries its hardest to create and mantain seperate classes. The inner party is set out by the party and they all wear black over-alls to set themselves apart. The party does this to show how the inner party is better and more special than the outer-party. The party also tries to make sure there are no revolutions or class changes. They monitor everyone and make sure that outer party members don't try to join the proles or that the proles don't try to infiltrate the ranks of the party.

    By Blogger Laine G, at 2:21 PM  

  • I do believe that equality is the unalterable law of human life. The concept of high, middle, and low is evident no matter where you go in society today. There is always a lower class that is saying that everyone should be made equal. There is also a middle class that is trying to obtain the higher status and push up into the desirable class. The high class that are seen today are also focussed on maintaining a high status. The higher class that is seen in some places today is also focussed on bringing some more wealth into the lower classes. The book also shows the negativity of the way that this system can work and I do not think that that concept is as evident as it used to be, but it is still there. In some nations, there is still the rich who are to make dogs out of the poor and treat them like crap. I also read Kylie's comment and I completely agree with her perspective about if we are equal than there can be no lower, middle, and high classes. That is a very good point.

    There is also a reason that communism does not work. People are naturally greedy and there is nothing to do about that. Because we are animals, we think like animals and we believe in hepling ourselves just as much as we can. Although that thought is looked down upon in society, it is true human behavior and it is shown in some people more than others. That last comment may seem a little off topic, but I believe that becuase of the human greed that there is no way for the "equality" system to work.

    In the book, the proles are brainwashed so that they cannot see that they are being treated poorly and that they do not have the luxuries of the party members. If they were able to see this, they would no longer be the lower class that is submissive and obediant. They would see that they have the power to change their lives. The proles in the book think that everyone is equal because they do not know any better, that is why there is no struggle for power amongst them and the party members. They cannot move up into a higher class. That is law. The outer party cannot move into the Inner Party. That is law. As long as the law is continued to be seen by everyone, there will be equality without there ever being real equality. The citizens of Oceania are one amongst themselves, but they are really divided. They live in a world of contridictions. War is peace, ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery.

    By Blogger tim c, at 6:41 PM  

  • I don't think that equality is something that can ever be achieved by the human race. Sure, everyone can have equal rights and so on but there will always be someone who is better or claims to be so. A natural human instinct is greed and it is very powerful. Every person always wants to risse in the ranks to become the richest, or the most powerful. Plus as in the society in 1984, people in the outer party want to become a part of the inner party and etc. This is a vital part that keeps their system ticking is causes people to be "orthodox." So, unless people who are human can learn to supress or eliminate greed, inequality will continue to be a definate part of society.

    By Blogger Dan E, at 7:25 PM  

  • I agree with what has been said about how it is only natural for a society to be divided up into many different classes; High, Middle, and Low. I think that this cannot be changed, because people will always find one way or another to divide themselves up, so that there are ones who have more and ones who have less. This does not need to only be money, it could be; intelligence, ability, or amount of friends even, but there will be division amongst a society.

    In today's society, take high school for an example, there is a "system" based on what classes one is taking. The Honors/AP classes are seen as the High class, the Normal classes are seen as the Middle class, and the Lower classes are seen as the Low class. Now, this does not mean that a person in one class is better one worse than a person in a different class, it is that the people in one class group themselves together and at first might see the people from the other group as outsiders. When we came into school, no one told us that we would think this way, it just happened. The events and experiences that we were exposed to lead us to think this way, not that this is the truth and not that the people from each different set of classes are not equal.

    I think that pertains to all aspects of life. What we are exposed to shapes our beliefs and ourselves and affect our entire life. We divide society up into a High, Middle, and Low class, because it is an additional way to place ourselves in a group so that we can have more places to which we belong and that we fit.

    By Blogger alyse, at 7:36 PM  

  • Tina's Mom:

    I think you all have pretty much said everything there is to say.

    I, too, think there will always be some sort of Low, Middle and High society, sad to say.

    Tony mentioned the communism in the USSR and China. Once the Tsars were overthrown, the upper echelon of the Communist party were the ones that vacationed in the Black Sea and never had to stand in line for toilet paper and shoes that may or may not fit.

    I can't really think of any time in world history where the lines between the three have blurred. I suspect even cavemen communities had an upper class of the best hunters, chieftain and shaman, a middle class of men and women who did some hunting and gathering and cooking and child rearing, and a lower class of oldsters and children who were unable to help keep the community going but were still a part of the community.

    Have a good weekend!

    By Blogger DLynch, at 7:47 PM  

  • Like Tony, I am going to assume you meant 'inequality,' that the unablterable law is that there is a high, middle, and low class. I think that this is rather unalterable, because I think it is human nature to seperate into groups. there are leaders, and there are followers. Yeah and look at the attempts of Communism in parts of the world and how that worked...not.

    So really there is not a whole lot to say, I'm actually reading your blogs and you've pretty much said it all...

    but Mom, it's only Thursday.

    By Blogger Tina L, at 9:06 PM  

  • Society has always been and will always continue to be split into high, middle, and low classes. People will always want to be the best but know that there is always someone out there that is better than them. There are different schools, houses, and cars that can sometimes tell the difference between classes. In the novel, 1894, There are the inner party members, the outer party members, and the proles.

    By Blogger erikaw, at 9:17 PM  

  • I think there are two very seperate ways to look at inequality and social class. The first is much more structured, quite like a socail pyramid. There is a low "prole" class, a middle "outer party" class, and a high "inner party" class. Three very seperate ways of life in one society. It would most likely be assumed that no one would want to partake in the lower class. However, it has been shown in many studied that there needs to be a low class in order for the society to function. It would be socially impossible for every person in a community to be in the same upper class. The way any economny is set up, there needs to be seperation of classes. Even in a Communist society, there are all the "equal" peasants. Then, there are the select few that oversee everything and possess a much greater wealth than everyone else. Even if it is only a select number, there is a seperation of equality. So in my opinon, yes, inequality is an unalterable law.

    However, it is also my opinion that there is another side to "inequality". What determines class anyway? Yes, money and materialistic items are a part of it. It does depend some what on the mainstream. But who is to say that classes are a complete mind set. Low class "proles" act the way they do because they feel an obligation to do so. It is their duty to be the bottom of the food chain, and therefore act as they do. The Inner Party feels the obligation to give orders and hail Big Brother. The same principles apply to our society. Do people in poverty or in great wealth act the way they do because it is their "job"? Do they feel the need to accept their given surroundings because it is a part of who they are? If that is the case, then who decides that anyway? What, or who, is the driving force to full fill that obligation? In my opinion, I strongly feel that it is up to the individual to decide whether they act upon their give state of inequality.

    By Blogger Martha P., at 9:33 PM  

  • I do. In every conceivable society, there will always be classes of people, high middle and low. The priveliged ones have the power, while the middle and low can only follow the rules. For example, In Hindu society, there is the caste system. There are those who are borne "piveleged" and more advanced, and those who are born lower class and inferior

    By Blogger Barry Tischler, at 9:50 PM  

  • I agree with everything said, except when Tony mentions the U.S. achieving equality in the courts and in hiring practices. I agree that there is supposed to be equality in the eyes of the court (that is why lady justice is blindfolded) but there is not equality in representation. For example look at some high profile cases such as OJ Simpson and Robert Blake because of there social status they were able to employ the best and most expensive defense attorneys that were available to help them in there defense. People in lower or middle class would not be able to afford such high profile attorneys and would probably not receive the same quality of defense as the upper class and the verdict might end up being different. As far as job discrimination is concerned, you cannot discriminate based on race, age, sex, or religion. Job applicants are often discriminated on based on education, intelligence, experience, appearance and other factors. This is why people graduating from Ivy league schools often earn more or are considered more employable than someone with only a High School education. I think the U.S. does as good a job as any place in promoting equality but I think there will always be inequalities and classes like in the book 1984.

    By Blogger JamesJ, at 12:50 PM  

  • Sorry this is late...every time iI tried to post the other day, my computer would freeze.
    I think that it would be impossible for everyone to be equal, because there will always be those people that work to rise to the top, and those that don't care, and just sink to the bottom

    By Blogger matt f., at 3:03 PM  

  • The reality of it is that yes, inequality has always existed and will always exist in the human world. People are born with different levels of intelligence, different temperments, different economic realities, etc. To think that equality will ever occur I believe is naive. (Perhaps after our earthly life...) However, that being said, at least in our country and other countries in the western world, people have a chance to change their circumstances and better their lives. What is wrong is denial of opportunity based on class, race, gender or ethnicity. This denial is commonplace in many countries such as China, Iran and most Middle Eastern countries, the former USSR, many African countries. In 1984,the High, Middle and Low classes exist as the Inner Party, the Party members and the Proles. The surprising twist in the book is that the Proles actually have the most freedom and it is assumed that they are too dumb to be harmful to the Party with this freedom.

    By Blogger cmatthews, at 5:39 PM  

  • Someone will always feel unequal to someone else for some reason. It may be that they feel less intelligent than others or something else. It is hard to turn this belief into reality.

    By Blogger Damian L., at 6:01 PM  

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