Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

1st Hour 1984 Scribe

Hello everyone!

It’s Meghan Callahan, your loyal scribe! I am not Kylie, who was supposed to scribe today. Please excuse the confusion; the lovely swimmer girl will post her brilliant observations here tomorrow!

The day was bleak and rainy, the sort of day when no one expects anything special to happen. I didn’t expect there to be a mystery package on my front doorstep containing an item which was to change my life forever…hahahahahahahaha, JUST KIDDING! On with the post.

Mrs. Moritz was wearing a straighter cut of khaki pants, a white shirt, and a brown belt and shoes accompanied by a brown jacket. She says that we don’t blog about her clothing choices. Haha. Mrs. Moritz would like everyone to know that their T-shirt designs for 1984 must be properly reversed so that the copy machine can print the correct image. Does everyone get that? The words need to be backwards as does the image so that it will appear correctly when ironed on to a T-shirt. Leonardo da Vinci wrote all his notes backwards so that they could only be read when held up to a mirror. Weird, eh? He was a clever clever man.

We took our quiz from Damien and Barry…I didn’t find it that challenging and the class seemed to agree. Big shout out of thanks to Damien and Barry! Yay! We briefly discussed Laine’s new haircut (smashing, by the way) and caffeinated soap (yes, it IS real) before moving into our fishbowl, where Kevin, Alyse, Damien, and Barry facilitated our discussion. This is what occurred; to the best of my recollection and notes…I chose to include ALL aspects of what was discussed instead of summarizing. If there are any questions/mistakes, please let me know!

Question: Do you believe Winston was really sane before he was interrogated, or insane, as O’Brien believes?
• Everyone in the book is insane, Winston is one of the few TRUE sane people in our perspective
• Opposite of our sane is Party sane…ie insanity is the norm
• Hard to be sane in that society

Question: Do you think other people are seen as sane (such as Mr. Parsons who is proud of his children turning him in?
• People are proud of their kids for doing bad things in our society (ex. Terrorists are proud of their children
• Kids do what they are supposed to/taught to
• Directly reflects our society; Party wants to break links of kids and parents
• The normal thing to do in their society
• Do the children even understand what they are doing?
• Going along with the crowd, want to fit in and conform especially in that society
• Don’t understand repercussions of action (don’t see torture, etc for their parents)
• Disappear, cannot know what actually happens, not seen as big of a deal
• Is this like our society? Jonestown: religious cult, even people who escaped wanted back in because it was what they were used to
• Change scares people
• Parsons’ kids don’t think of the consequences
• Winston (post-Ministry of Love) can’t think straight; no one can think about the past or future so can’t process actions
• Kids in our society want to leave home for college but many come back from abroad after their freshman year; seek what they are used to
• Stepping too much out of your comfort zone: harmful or good?

Question: In the end was Winston better off believing what the Party told him or not?
• Easier with the Party’s way, not noticed by the society, not necessarily better off
• Spent time trying NOT to be discovered when against the Party; now will have an easier life
• Not the same person, but in a lot less pain
• Can’t change everything by himself, better off in rebellion
• In rebellion Winston was a person but now he is a clone
• Knew he was going to get caught but was at least actually living
• His personal life will be easier now; but if he had kept fighting the Party would have at least been surprised and he might have given people other than Julia ideas of rebellion too
• Does the Party control its own rebellion?
• They wait to move in on Winston and Julia until the right time, hand out Goldstein’s book, etc
• Hard to find any hope for change in this society/can anyone see hope there?
• Ignorance is bliss; don’t understand concepts of hope or freedom
• They are used to things the way they are
• Winston’s past ties him to these ideas
• Torture/continued teaching convince Winston to lose hope
• When Winston said he hated Big Brother, did he really?
• At “that stage” of the torture program they are supposed to hate Big Brother and are then made to love him
• When you have to confront your fears, are your beliefs forced to change?
• Your beliefs can change based on your life experiences
• Winston betrayed Julia; changed his relationship with her
• At the breaking point, does everything about you change?
• Room 101 doubles your fears: death AND rats (or other worst fear)
• Martyrs don’t change their beliefs: why is that?
• Examples of martyrs: Santa Lucia, Joan of Arc, Peter, etc
• Jonestown: cult in Brazil, can’t escape society, similar to 1984 society, attention from Congress and news, eventual mass suicide
• Could the 1984 society reach that point (of mass suicide)?
• Wouldn’t get to that point; people are used to the society and would not rebel
• Already IS that way: purges, unpersons, etc
• Ministry of Love makes martyrdom impossible; memory of person is gone from records so no one can recognize their sacrifice
• Room 101 shows human nature
• Does the Party want people to commit thoughtcrimes so they can change them into brainwashed people in Room 101?
• Make it so that the only thing that post-Ministry of Love people care for/physically think about is Big Brother
• Winston emptied of all emotions but basic fear, hatred, and triumph

Question: Winston loses intellectual effort when the pain of torture is gone. Does this play into the Party’s plan of complete control?
• Once you have experience complete pain, it is impossible to rebel
• Exactly what the Party wants
• System of consequences and rewards, like how they train animals
• Do the ends of rebellion justify the means?
• What would Winston do if he saw someone else rebelling as he and Julia did?
• Emotions of compassion and caring gone; he wouldn’t react
• Impossible to have relationships in this society
• Party does want to stop relationships, but having relationships is extremely difficult in their society anyway
• Nothing to unite people in a relationship; love Big Brother or treason
• Would Winston be threatened with the same thing in Room 101 if he were to return?
• Yes, fear still there
• Take the fear even farther this time; possible even kill Winston
• What was in Julia’s Room 101?: change, being apart from Winston, being hurt by Winston, etc

That was the end of our discussion and class! Loads of love to everyone…hope this all made sense!
~Me.



Question from Alyse, Kevin, Damian and Barry:

Towards the end of the book, Winston has a recollection of a time of happiness and togetherness he had with his mother. What might this symbolize in regards to the way he has changed? Could this play into what Winston said "How could the immortal, collective brain be mistaken"?

19 Comments:

  • I think that the recollection could reprensent how Winston is now in line with the Party doctrine. It also represents how he is happy and though he has struggled through some hard times he is co content despite all that has happened to him, just as he is happy despite the lack of food in his childhood. Winston refers to the Party in the quote mentioned and the only connection I can make is that now he a perfect Party member and and is happy to be one. He is now a total Party supporter and his loyalty is almost absolute. He trusts the Party almost as a small child trusts its mother. A chold belives its parents are right, and now Winston belives that the Party is always right. In a way Wisnton is the newfound child of the Party.

    By Blogger tony_j, at 8:07 AM  

  • its me! tina! not laura. tina!
    Because my account won't work and I gave up. :)

    I agree with Tony. I think it is kind of like he is happy now but only because he puts everything aside and concentrates only on Big Brother. Also, when he was a lad, he was normally unhappy because of the no food deal, but with the game he was able to put it off for a time.

    The immortal, collective brain could be mistaken because it uh represents following the crowd and we all need to be individuals.

    By Blogger laura h., at 10:03 AM  

  • Hello everyone!

    It’s Meghan Callahan, your loyal scribe! I am not Kylie, who was supposed to scribe today. Please excuse the confusion; the lovely swimmer girl will post her brilliant observations here tomorrow!

    The day was bleak and rainy, the sort of day when no one expects anything special to happen. I didn’t expect there to be a mystery package on my front doorstep containing an item which was to change my life forever…hahahahahahahaha, JUST KIDDING! On with the post.

    Mrs. Moritz was wearing a straighter cut of khaki pants, a white shirt, and a brown belt and shoes accompanied by a brown jacket. She says that we don’t blog about her clothing choices. Haha. Mrs. Moritz would like everyone to know that their T-shirt designs for 1984 must be properly reversed so that the copy machine can print the correct image. Does everyone get that? The words need to be backwards as does the image so that it will appear correctly when ironed on to a T-shirt. Leonardo da Vinci wrote all his notes backwards so that they could only be read when held up to a mirror. Weird, eh? He was a clever clever man.

    We took our quiz from Damien and Barry…I didn’t find it that challenging and the class seemed to agree. Big shout out of thanks to Damien and Barry! Yay! We briefly discussed Laine’s new haircut (smashing, by the way) and caffeinated soap (yes, it IS real) before moving into our fishbowl, where Kevin, Alyse, Damien, and Barry facilitated our discussion. This is what occurred; to the best of my recollection and notes…I chose to include ALL aspects of what was discussed instead of summarizing. If there are any questions/mistakes, please let me know!

    Question: Do you believe Winston was really sane before he was interrogated, or insane, as O’Brien believes?
    • Everyone in the book is insane, Winston is one of the few TRUE sane people in our perspective
    • Opposite of our sane is Party sane…ie insanity is the norm
    • Hard to be sane in that society

    Question: Do you think other people are seen as sane (such as Mr. Parsons who is proud of his children turning him in?
    • People are proud of their kids for doing bad things in our society (ex. Terrorists are proud of their children
    • Kids do what they are supposed to/taught to
    • Directly reflects our society; Party wants to break links of kids and parents
    • The normal thing to do in their society
    • Do the children even understand what they are doing?
    • Going along with the crowd, want to fit in and conform especially in that society
    • Don’t understand repercussions of action (don’t see torture, etc for their parents)
    • Disappear, cannot know what actually happens, not seen as big of a deal
    • Is this like our society? Jonestown: religious cult, even people who escaped wanted back in because it was what they were used to
    • Change scares people
    • Parsons’ kids don’t think of the consequences
    • Winston (post-Ministry of Love) can’t think straight; no one can think about the past or future so can’t process actions
    • Kids in our society want to leave home for college but many come back from abroad after their freshman year; seek what they are used to
    • Stepping too much out of your comfort zone: harmful or good?

    Question: In the end was Winston better off believing what the Party told him or not?
    • Easier with the Party’s way, not noticed by the society, not necessarily better off
    • Spent time trying NOT to be discovered when against the Party; now will have an easier life
    • Not the same person, but in a lot less pain
    • Can’t change everything by himself, better off in rebellion
    • In rebellion Winston was a person but now he is a clone
    • Knew he was going to get caught but was at least actually living
    • His personal life will be easier now; but if he had kept fighting the Party would have at least been surprised and he might have given people other than Julia ideas of rebellion too
    • Does the Party control its own rebellion?
    • They wait to move in on Winston and Julia until the right time, hand out Goldstein’s book, etc
    • Hard to find any hope for change in this society/can anyone see hope there?
    • Ignorance is bliss; don’t understand concepts of hope or freedom
    • They are used to things the way they are
    • Winston’s past ties him to these ideas
    • Torture/continued teaching convince Winston to lose hope
    • When Winston said he hated Big Brother, did he really?
    • At “that stage” of the torture program they are supposed to hate Big Brother and are then made to love him
    • When you have to confront your fears, are your beliefs forced to change?
    • Your beliefs can change based on your life experiences
    • Winston betrayed Julia; changed his relationship with her
    • At the breaking point, does everything about you change?
    • Room 101 doubles your fears: death AND rats (or other worst fear)
    • Martyrs don’t change their beliefs: why is that?
    • Examples of martyrs: Santa Lucia, Joan of Arc, Peter, etc
    • Jonestown: cult in Brazil, can’t escape society, similar to 1984 society, attention from Congress and news, eventual mass suicide
    • Could the 1984 society reach that point (of mass suicide)?
    • Wouldn’t get to that point; people are used to the society and would not rebel
    • Already IS that way: purges, unpersons, etc
    • Ministry of Love makes martyrdom impossible; memory of person is gone from records so no one can recognize their sacrifice
    • Room 101 shows human nature
    • Does the Party want people to commit thoughtcrimes so they can change them into brainwashed people in Room 101?
    • Make it so that the only thing that post-Ministry of Love people care for/physically think about is Big Brother
    • Winston emptied of all emotions but basic fear, hatred, and triumph

    Question: Winston loses intellectual effort when the pain of torture is gone. Does this play into the Party’s plan of complete control?
    • Once you have experience complete pain, it is impossible to rebel
    • Exactly what the Party wants
    • System of consequences and rewards, like how they train animals
    • Do the ends of rebellion justify the means?
    • What would Winston do if he saw someone else rebelling as he and Julia did?
    • Emotions of compassion and caring gone; he wouldn’t react
    • Impossible to have relationships in this society
    • Party does want to stop relationships, but having relationships is extremely difficult in their society anyway
    • Nothing to unite people in a relationship; love Big Brother or treason
    • Would Winston be threatened with the same thing in Room 101 if he were to return?
    • Yes, fear still there
    • Take the fear even farther this time; possible even kill Winston
    • What was in Julia’s Room 101?: change, being apart from Winston, being hurt by Winston, etc

    That was the end of our discussion and class! Loads of love to everyone…hope this all made sense!
    ~Me.

    By Blogger CMeghan, at 11:48 AM  

  • I think he now feels that same happiness with the party. He has changed in to a party supporter and depends on the party like a child would depend on their mother. I think that relates to the quote in the way he changed becuase he might feel that he was mistaken by defying the party and what made so much sense at the time doesn't anymore. He believes everything the party says and doesn't bother to question them anymore!

    By Blogger Blair, at 12:58 PM  

  • I think that dream could symbolize for Winston that everything good in his life either came before he rebelled or after it (now). I think Tony is right about Winston being happier at times in his life when he can put his trust in things like his mom or Big Brother. Megan's scribe is absoulutly enormous, hooray!

    By Blogger sander k., at 1:11 PM  

  • I agree with Tony also, but I also think that it symbolizes how much Winston has changed. He does not like or want to think of these "false memories". He thinks they are bad, because it was a different happiness than he feels now. It was love, and he is not fond of that feeling. The only "love" he feels is toward Big Brother, and even that is just loyalty.

    ~Melissa ;)

    By Blogger melissa61192, at 1:47 PM  

  • I think Winston's recollection symbolizes his new outlook towards life. He now sees the Party as 'good' and his old rebel self as 'bad'. One of the traits that goes along with conforming is the thought that 'life can't really get better than it already is', and Winston is accepting that outlook and in doing so, remembering happy times with his mom, as if everyone had always been happy....hey, it parallels! Before Room 101, Winston was not happy and recollected unhappy memories, but now, he is "happy", and reminds himself of happy memories. As for the quote, I pretty much agree with what everyone else has said!

    By Blogger AlisonB, at 1:58 PM  

  • This might symbolize that Winston finds true love and happiness in his family, and that he supports the way that he was brought up and his childhood. This could play into what Winston said, because he realized that he was wrong and that he knew where his real happiness came from when he came to love Big Brother.

    By Blogger erikaw, at 2:13 PM  

  • I think that Winston has a very flase sense of sequrity towards the end of the book. He has been entirely brainwashed, and has no thought that is truly his own. I think that the human mind is capable of changing the past to be desirable. That is why the Party is able to survive. The mind can trick itself into a number of falsehoods. Winston was litrally changed into another person, one who is for the Party. He has fake feelings about the Party. Why can't he have fake feelings about his childhood? I think it's his unconscience way of coping with what he went through. He has no means of conscience thought that tell him that the torturing was brutal. His mind is healing the only way it can at this point.

    I think that this quote is extremely ironic to Winston's final state. I do agree with some of the things O'Brien told Winston. I think to some extent, everything is relevant and depends on your point of view. The brain is immortal, only to those who chose to believe it is. The will of the mind determine whether something is true or not. Something might be so bluntly incorrect to one, and a complete truth to another. The difference lies in the will power that each asserts over oneself. The Party has figured out how to mold an individual's brain to thinking there is a higher power controling it. The people of Oceania and subject to the "contortion" of their minds by the Party.

    By Blogger Martha P., at 2:54 PM  

  • I think that Winston has been brainwashed so much, that he now can only remember the nice times of his life when Big Brother was good to him. He has pretty much expelled anything from his brain that is negative or has bad conotations with Big Brother, so that all he can recall are times when his life appeared to be happy, which wasn't very often. His thoughts about his mother were one of the few nice times of his life, and when he remembers the nice times in his life he thanks Big Brother for giving them to him, and so he now realizes he loves Big Brother, and how much good he has given him because he is brainwashed.

    By Blogger ShannonH, at 3:30 PM  

  • For seven years of his life, Winston has been trying to keep secrets from the world and having an undercover hidden life. He has spent hours trying to find some way he could lead a happy life without fear of being caught by the Party. Now that he has been caught, tortured, and "cured", there is not much else he can fear. His views now fit in with the rest of the community and there is no reason for him to hide them because he is the same as everyone else. This feeling of finally belonging and having nothing to hide is what brings him peace of mind and is why is dreams are so pleasant. This is the first time in a very long time where Winston isn't fearful of what will happen because the Party has brainwashed him into feeling a false sense of security.

    By Blogger Kristen, at 3:53 PM  

  • Not suprisingly, I agree with Tony and Tina. Blair brought up some good points also. I think that this represents his change of priority. He now puts Big Brother first who is an authoratative figure just like his mom. If he dreams of having the party be over thrown he also dreams of his mother drowning. If he thinks that Big Brother is amazing e will dream his mom and him have happy moments together. But looking at this I think that maybe when Winston was changed they did really take away his emotions they just made fake ones.

    I also made a connection, for those that might have seen the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (if you haven't its really good!!!) well this book kind of reminds me of it. The only difference is that in the movie he has his memory changed by will, not by force.

    By Blogger kkanski122, at 4:00 PM  

  • Well, the thing is, Winston dismissed the memory as something he made up, as something that his brain was trying to trick him with. I believe that his rejection of memory clearly showed that he was in fact insane and that he was so brainwashed by the Party that any thoughts of happiness and joy -- such as what he felt while playing Snakes and Ladders with his mother -- were non-existant. It definitely showed that he was no longer an independent thinker.

    By Blogger jordank, at 4:05 PM  

  • I think that him seeing himself as being in a happy time with his mother could symbolize how he is becoming one with the party and how he is starting to think that he is not responsible for causing the guilt between his mother and the thoughts about her. The immortal brain that he talks about could be his conscience and how it is starting to go away along with his personality after the Party has broken him down into nothing. The mistake is the guilt that he has felt for so long is suddenly vanishing and he knows that this is wrong to feel that way, but he cannot help it because the party has truly made him change.

    By Blogger tim c, at 6:49 PM  

  • I think that this memory shows just how brainwashed Winston has become. He no longer remembers himself as a bratty little child, but a good, loving one. This translates into how he does not remember himself as a bad, rebellious person, but a loyal Party member.

    By Blogger matt f., at 9:17 PM  

  • I think that this dream shows how everything in Winston's life was while he wasn't rebeling against the party. This represents how the party changed him. He thinks this is a false memory because the party has brainwashed him and now he thinks that there is no way that anything that happy could exist.

    By Blogger Laine G, at 10:06 PM  

  • I think it symbolizes how he now obeys what the party is asking him to do. He says that all of this recollection is a made up fantasy. this shows how he truly knows and believes in the parties principles. It could also show his inner self that even though he loved his mother and he truly loved Julia he betrayed them both. all im saying about the memory is that it is proof that at one time he loved his mother and sister.

    By Blogger sbull, at 1:20 PM  

  • I think everyone has a specific memory, generally cheerful or happy, that exists in their brain for as long as they live. I know that I have a couple that, even should I happen to get tortured and brainwashed, I will never forget.

    Winston is questioning whether or not the "purification" session he had with good ole O'Brien actually worked. His thought process may have changed, but he's still going to have to keep forcing down memories that will stay with him forever.

    Peace,
    Rachel

    By Blogger RachelP, at 4:30 PM  

  • I do not think this recollection is real. I don't thinkit ever happen. I believe it represents how the Party is able to make things "real" if they are in the mind. So since the Party wanted Winston to believe that he had always been happy and that he had no reason to hate Big Brother and since Winston was brainwashed to believe this, it became real. It never happened, but Winston is now alligned with the Party and is therefore allowed to go free.

    :::Whitney

    By Blogger Whitney**, at 7:06 AM  

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