Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Thursday, April 19, 2007

6th Hour 1984 Scribe

Mrs. Moritz began class by telling us she had a hard day yesterday. When we asked her why she told us the truth that yesterday, for the first time in 10 years she questioned whether or not she wanted to stay in her profession. She explained that both the 5th hour and our hour were talking over her constantly. After this little discussion concluded, we took our quiz made by Natalie, Chelly, and Sally, which were the presenters for today's discussion.

There were many good questions asked today that spurred discussion. The first question was: Oceanis is comprised of all North America and South America and England. Is there anything today that shows that we could become like Oceania? A few examples of how we could were how the government is telling everyone that the war in Iraq is going well and the troops will come home soon, but really that might not be the truth of the situation;the government's propoganda. Another is how the government can tap into people's phones and even watch them.

Another question was what does the singing represents by the Prole woman? Some classmates thought that it showed the Party's power, how even though they don't always watch the Proles and make sure they are obeying, the Proles are supporting the Party by their own choice. Another person thought that it represented hope, just like how the bird's song in the forest. It didn't sing for anyone except to please itself.

A question on the same subject line was, What is the importance of the lyrics that the woman sings? One good thought was how it could represent Winston's own life. The lyrics read: " It was only an 'opeless fancy,
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an'a word an' the dreams they stirred
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!"

Question: Whey does the book by Goldstein only tell the brotherhood what they already know, rather than how to overthrow the Party? Lots of thoughts were generated by this question. One was that Winston didn't finish the book so we don't know fully that it didn't. Another was that it is just a way to organize the thoughts that lots of people have but are never allowed to discuss. In a different view someone thought that the book was planted by the Party. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Question: How is it possible for Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia to coexist when they all have the same form of government? One classmate thought that it could be paralled to how we follow laws that are set up by the national government and by the state government. They are two governments but follow that same doctrines and can coexist. Someone else thought that they can coexist because they support each other, one couldn't exist without the others.

Question:If you were faced against O'Brian, would you tell him you wanted to rebel against the Party? Some thought no because you don't know who to trust. Someone else thought that if you felf strongly enough about it you would be willing to take the risk.

Question: In the novel, when O'Brian was asking Winston and Julia the different measures they would go to for the brotherhood he asked them if they would kill children and drop bombs on innocent people. How would it benefit the brotherhood to hurt the people they were trying to help and free? It was discussed that it would be to maybe to overprepare Winston and Julia mentally or to make sure that their loyalty to the brotherhood is genuine.

Then, Mrs. Moritz entered the circle and asked the question, What has changed in Winston to make him willing to trust people, like Julia and O'Brian? One person thought that because he took a chance in trusting Julia and it turned out better than he expected he was confident to trust more people, because his instinct right and he had nothing else to go off of, he trusted it. Someone else brought up that it is easier to trust someone when it is reciprocated. Julia had to trust Winston enough to give him the note, so it was easier fot him to trust her. The second part to the question was what makes you trust people when you first see them? Most of the class agreed it was based on the tone, facial expression, words, and actions of the other person.

Question: Does Julia actually love Winston or simply the idea of a man in her life or the idea of being rebellious? Some people thought it was to try to replace the position that her grandfather filled in her earlier life. Others, that she just wanted to be rebellious.

Question: If the Party doesn't control the Proles, then why was there a thought police person in their community? The ideas were, to catch disloyal Party members or as a comfort blanket for the Party to thnk they are still in control.

Question: Could Goldstein be walking around just looking different? Some thought yes because of his involvement with the Inner Party he would've been able to change his apearance. Also, maybe O'Brian is Goldstein.

Question: When O'Brian says to Winston that he might not see him again because he will be dead, does he mean physically dead, internally dead, or just changed? People thought both ways on this one.

The last question that was thrown out there but we didn't have a chance to discuss was, if the object of war is to keep people from being too comfortable or to stay busy, how does that work? Also, Why not use other methods that are different than constant war and suffering?

Well, those were the main topics we discussed. Good job to Natalie, Chelly, and Sally, they did an amazing job presenting! Have a great night everyone, enjoy the great weather!


Question from Natalie, Chelly and Sally:

How is war a sure safeguard for sanity?

19 Comments:

  • The war in 1984 doesn’t keep anybody sane, because everybody is already insanely brainwashed. Winston is one of the few who might be considered sane. It is not the war that keeps him sane, but the past. In 1984, the general public (party members and proles) doesn’t really know anything about the war or the motives behind the war, so I don’t see any way in which it keeps people sane.
    Modern war shows us the true ideals of our society. In wars the US is involved in, the government usually says we need to fight for freedom or democracy. After we enter the war, the government's true ideals come out. This keeps the general public sane, because the government gets exposed to the intelligent people of our country. War also shows us the dark hole of death and destruction. Losing people and possessions close to you keeps you sane by helping to make you thankful for what you have.

    By Blogger goodriddance, at 5:16 PM  

  • In the society of 1984, war could be a sure safeguard for sanity, because to the Inner Party, sanity is remaining loyal to the Party and Big Brother. If they are at war, they are focusing on helping the country remain "ahead" in the war. This leads to the "sanity" of each and every outer party member focusing all of their attention to the tasks set before them to "help" them succeed in the war.

    By Blogger jordancard, at 5:31 PM  

  • Mrs. Moritz began class by telling us she had a hard day yesterday. When we asked her why she told us the truth that yesterday, for the first time in 10 years she questioned whether or not she wanted to stay in her profession. She explained that both the 5th hour and our hour were talking over her constantly. After this little discussion concluded, we took our quiz made by Natalie, Chelly, and Sally, which were the presenters for today's discussion.

    There were many good questions asked today that spurred discussion. The first question was: Oceanis is comprised of all North America and South America and England. Is there anything today that shows that we could become like Oceania? A few examples of how we could were how the government is telling everyone that the war in Iraq is going well and the troops will come home soon, but really that might not be the truth of the situation;the government's propoganda. Another is how the government can tap into people's phones and even watch them.

    Another question was what does the singing represents by the Prole woman? Some classmates thought that it showed the Party's power, how even though they don't always watch the Proles and make sure they are obeying, the Proles are supporting the Party by their own choice. Another person thought that it represented hope, just like how the bird's song in the forest. It didn't sing for anyone except to please itself.

    A question on the same subject line was, What is the importance of the lyrics that the woman sings? One good thought was how it could represent Winston's own life. The lyrics read: " It was only an 'opeless fancy,
    It passed like an Ipril dye,
    But a look an'a word an' the dreams they stirred
    They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!"

    Question: Whey does the book by Goldstein only tell the brotherhood what they already know, rather than how to overthrow the Party? Lots of thoughts were generated by this question. One was that Winston didn't finish the book so we don't know fully that it didn't. Another was that it is just a way to organize the thoughts that lots of people have but are never allowed to discuss. In a different view someone thought that the book was planted by the Party. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Question: How is it possible for Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia to coexist when they all have the same form of government? One classmate thought that it could be paralled to how we follow laws that are set up by the national government and by the state government. They are two governments but follow that same doctrines and can coexist. Someone else thought that they can coexist because they support each other, one couldn't exist without the others.

    Question:If you were faced against O'Brian, would you tell him you wanted to rebel against the Party? Some thought no because you don't know who to trust. Someone else thought that if you felf strongly enough about it you would be willing to take the risk.

    Question: In the novel, when O'Brian was asking Winston and Julia the different measures they would go to for the brotherhood he asked them if they would kill children and drop bombs on innocent people. How would it benefit the brotherhood to hurt the people they were trying to help and free? It was discussed that it would be to maybe to overprepare Winston and Julia mentally or to make sure that their loyalty to the brotherhood is genuine.

    Then, Mrs. Moritz entered the circle and asked the question, What has changed in Winston to make him willing to trust people, like Julia and O'Brian? One person thought that because he took a chance in trusting Julia and it turned out better than he expected he was confident to trust more people, because his instinct right and he had nothing else to go off of, he trusted it. Someone else brought up that it is easier to trust someone when it is reciprocated. Julia had to trust Winston enough to give him the note, so it was easier fot him to trust her. The second part to the question was what makes you trust people when you first see them? Most of the class agreed it was based on the tone, facial expression, words, and actions of the other person.

    Question: Does Julia actually love Winston or simply the idea of a man in her life or the idea of being rebellious? Some people thought it was to try to replace the position that her grandfather filled in her earlier life. Others, that she just wanted to be rebellious.

    Question: If the Party doesn't control the Proles, then why was there a thought police person in their community? The ideas were, to catch disloyal Party members or as a comfort blanket for the Party to thnk they are still in control.

    Question: Could Goldstein be walking around just looking different? Some thought yes because of his involvement with the Inner Party he would've been able to change his apearance. Also, maybe O'Brian is Goldstein.

    Question: When O'Brian says to Winston that he might not see him again because he will be dead, does he mean physically dead, internally dead, or just changed? People thought both ways on this one.

    The last question that was thrown out there but we didn't have a chance to discuss was, if the object of war is to keep people from being too comfortable or to stay busy, how does that work? Also, Why not use other methods that are different than constant war and suffering?

    Well, those were the main topics we discussed. Good job to Natalie, Chelly, and Sally, they did an amazing job presenting! Have a great night everyone, enjoy the great weather!

    By Blogger cvanessen2, at 5:42 PM  

  • I cannot think tonight, so if my blog is bad, blame it on the fact that it was my first ever Golf Tournament today and I got hit in the head with a golf ball.

    The Book expalains that war isn't really waged against other countries, but with the classes of society. The higher class is focused on keeping the lower class in poverty, so they burn and destroy the goods that are produced in surplus, and even those that are needed for basic survival. War is also a psycologically respectable way to make sure this destruction is taken care of. For example, if the enemy burns a village to the ground, it's a horrible, vile act of hatred. But if your own side burns a village to the ground, it is denounced as something that needed to be done in order to win the war. Therefore, the government can waste supplies to keep the proles poverty stricken without feeling guilty about it.

    By Blogger Rachel L, at 5:45 PM  

  • I don't think war is a safeguard for sanity. War does things to people, it creates an alternate reality where the moral line between good and evil becomes blurred. It forces men to perform acts and do things they would never have dreamed a nightmare of. The longer a soldier participates in war, the more insane he becomes because of the horrors of war. Contrary to the Party's belief, war does not ensure sanity but rather it promotes insanity.

    By Blogger cvanessen2, at 6:33 PM  

  • From the perspective of the inner party, conducting war can be considered a "sane" practice because it allows the party to perpetuate its position on the top tier of the social hierarchy. War works to the party's advantage in two ways. First, it consumes labor and materials that could otherwise be used to produce additional goods and services for people to better their lives. By using up these excess resources, it leaves the proles in a constant state of poverty. Second, war creates an external enemy, and that enemy becomes the target of all the fear, hatred, and anxiety of Oceania's people, and it creates an excuse for their poor living conditions. If no war existed, people would begin to blame (and possibly act against) the party regarding their lousy living conditions.

    Social hierarchies exist because someone believes they are superior to others, and they are capable of creating a society that enables them to enjoy greater wealth and power than those they deem inferior. I think one of the most interesting points of this novel is that the inner party feels SO STRONGLY about their need to demonstrate superiority that they are willing to actually endure a reduction in their own standard of living in exchange for being able to distinguish themselves from lower classes based on the quality or amount of goods. For example, prior to the revolution, they (or anyone)could go to a store and purchase a variety of candy in large amounts, but now even the inner party only gets a limited amount of chocolate albeit a better quality than the outer party or the proles. The same can be said for clothing, housing or other goods.

    By Blogger DJones, at 8:07 PM  

  • I'm Natalie J's dad.

    By Blogger DJones, at 8:09 PM  

  • This is Erik =)

    I think that war keeps their society sane and unchaotic. Almost all of the proles have jobs making weapons for the war. If they were not at war anymore, they would not need a supply of weapons. They would not need the proles to make weapons. This would cause a mass unenployment. The proles would then have nothing to do. This would result in major chaos of the whole society.

    This is somewhat similar to our society today. If we were to suddenly have no more war it would hurt our society as well. We have over 2 million people working for the US armed forces. Then we have plenty more working on building, designing, and testing new weapons. If all of these people were unemployed think of the mass chaos it would bring to our society today.

    Although war is good economically in our society, it is not good otherwise. Millions of jobs can eventually be replaced, but the lives that have been lost at war will never be restored.

    By Blogger Lundgren, at 9:15 PM  

  • I think that war is a sure safeguard for sanity because during war, at least in 1984, the party members are always forced to think about the war and what will help it. This keeps them sane in their society because everyone is helping with the war effort and not questioning what the government is doing. This makes Winston insane because he thinks completely different than everyone else in the party. I think that the basis of sanity is more where you live and the other people around you. The basis for sanity is based more on perspective than anything else.

    I agree with goodriddance and cvanessen2 that war is not sane. It is brutal killing, usually for land or materials. However, in 1984, the party members and the proles are always exposed to war, so it has become normal to them. I think that in their mind war is sane because it is really the only thing that most of them have ever known. If there were to be no war, then it would be completely insane because they are not used to it.

    By Blogger Dev, at 9:28 PM  

  • From Erik’s Dad: My comments relate to the question cvanessen2 posted about how our society might become like Oceania. Many people who read 1984 draw the comparison to the old Soviet society, particularly under Stalin. Modern readers find analogies to the oppression of the current Chinese government. While self analysis and self criticism can be more difficult and perhaps even more painful, I believe comparison with our own social and governmental structures has more potential to influence the way we think about ourselves and the society we live in than comparison to those communist countries. I’ll start with a simple example and follow with some more insidious cases.

    The methods of thought manipulation used by the Party are no different than the methods used by many advertisers to sell their products in our capitalist society. The Party uses slogans to create a common thought process for everyone in society. Advertisers do the same. How does a brand of shoe allow you to “Just Do It”? Apparently Nike shoes can. How does a Visa credit card help you to have “priceless” experiences?

    The Party changes the meaning of words to manipulate the way people can communicate with each other. In 1984 apparently, War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength. At ConAgra Foods apparently a heavily processed high salt frozen dinner is a “Healthy Choice”. At Coca-Cola Fruitopia has only 5% fruit juice. At Burger King you can “Have It Your Way”, but if you are a vegetarian that means a bun with lettuce and tomato (a drive through cashier actually tried to sell me a whopper with no meat last month for my vegetarian daughter and he didn’t seem to understand why I thought that was so ridiculous it was funny). Advertisers are constantly trying to manipulate how we feel about their products by misusing words, distorting the benefits of the product, and covering up or ignoring the drawbacks. Most of the supposedly free media, which is funded by these same advertisers, has no interest in exposing the deception for fear of losing their corporate sponsors. And the society is so supersaturated with this advertising (sound anything like the always-on telescreens in 1984) that the public has come to accept this as an inevitable part of life.

    Our minds may not be controlled by our government, but our eyeballs (and our wallets) are owned by the corporations that control our capitalist society. Anyone who thinks this is not true, try to go one week without supporting the softdrink giants (check out the Coke and Pepsi websites to see all the brands you’ll have to forgo or just buy 5 pounds of sugar and make your own sugar water every day). Anyone who thinks the softdrink giants have improved our lives needs to consider whether record high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease are an improvement.

    OK, now for the insidious cases: Pharmaceutical companies provide lavish promotional gifts to doctors in hopes of getting doctors to prescribe newer and more expensive, but not necessarily better, drugs. The money wasted raising these company’s stocks (by prescribing their more expensive but not more effective products) is one cause of the out of control healthcare costs in this country. And finally do a search on the Rocky Mountain News website for “Orwellian”. The Campos editorial discusses the stunt pulled by presidential candidate John McCain, claiming that he could walk the streets of Baghdad safely, while a large contingent of the US Military (dozens of heavily armed troops, several armored vehicles, and two attack helicopters) protected him. Among all governmental organizations, the military makes perhaps the largest use of media manipulation to influence public opinion. The military claims to have liberated the Iraqi people. If this is what liberation looks like, I don’t think any country in the world would want it.

    My question for the class is: What other analogies can be made between aspects of the 1984 society and aspects of our own society?

    By Blogger Lundgren, at 9:30 PM  

  • I'm not sure if war is a seucrity blanket for sanity as much as it is for other issues the government wants to keep in line. The partity isn't to keep them sane becasue they are brainwashed like Kyle said. They barely even notice when who they are fighting changes. They beleive whatever the government tells them and they don't question it. I think that is more so that they can have excuses to change statistics and new stocks. The war is so the party ha more of a reaon to rely on BB and listen/follow what he says.

    By Blogger kayla f, at 10:27 PM  

  • war keeps the party safe from any uprising and keeps the people safe too. It keeps the people safe from insanity because if they were always at peace then the people of oceania would wonder if there was anything else out there in the world and why they always had peace. War is peace as the party slogan says, i i suppose that is technically true

    By Blogger tneal8, at 5:41 AM  

  • I agree with Kyle. I don't know if war can really be considered a safeguard of sanity. I don't really think people know what sanity in 1984 is. Everyone who is loyal to the Party and to Big Brother doesn't think their own thoughts or really even have any that don't have to do with how great Big Brother is. And being sane means that you have or show reason, sound judgment, or good sense (dictionary.com). so how can anyone really be considered safe if they don't ahve any of their own ideas or thoughts? The war is only in existance so that none of the 3 superstates will try to take over each other, but it doesn't really do much for the citizens except providing them someone to express their hate towards.

    By Blogger .hardcore.love., at 7:30 AM  

  • Responding to Mr Lundgren's assertion that "The methods of thought manipulation used by the Party are no different than the methods used by many advertisers to sell their products in our capitalist society.", I would argue that there are two huge distinctions between our society and that of "1984". First, we control whether or not we choose to receive information. When we are presented with an advertisement; we can choose to turn the channel, turn the dial, or turn the page. The people of Oceania do not have this freedom; their telestrators have to remain on at all times. Second, unlike Oceania where only the Party's viewpoint is expressed and any other perspectives forbidden, our society makes available and actually encourages people to access information from a variety of sources. Although we are inundated with a barrage of ads to drink cola, we also formally educate our students about health and nutrition, and news programs frequently present medical stories about the consequences of a bad diet. In the end, people in our society make informed personal choices (e.g., deciding to indulge in a sensory pleasure (the sweet taste of a cola) at the risk of tooth decay or weight gain. The folks in Oceania are allowed very few personal choices.

    By Blogger DJones, at 8:29 AM  

  • Wellll.
    I think the war in 1984 keeps the populace sane by enforcing the standards they've been acquainted with for their whole lives; constant warfare, etc. (War is Peace.) And if war ceased, there would probably be pandemonium. Civil war, maybe. (Maybe that's what's happening right now, since somebody brought up the whole idea of Oceania and Eurasia and Eastasia all being one government in different locations.. so it's KIND OF a civil war.. ehh.)

    I'm tired. Can you tell? And my macaroni is boiling. Good afternoon, all.

    By Blogger laura h., at 2:08 PM  

  • War keeps everyone sane because it is a topic for the party members and the proles to think about instead of thinking about Big Brother. The war can also be used as the topic of hate week or intimidating posters. Also, if Big Brother says that Oceania is ahead in the war, it is one less reason for the people to question their government.

    By Blogger Liz, at 4:15 PM  

  • From Erik's Dad: Thank you djones for your insightful comments. I was intentionally making provocative statements to make people think and to generate a reaction. Of course in our society we have many choices. In fact I specifically stated that our government bears little resemblance to the one in Oceania. However, in order to maintain our freedom we need to be vigilant and question when our choices are taken away. Again I will give a trivial example from advertising and a more significant one.

    When I go to a professional sporting event, I am bombarded with advertising. Every timeout has a sponsor, from the Denver Post "Kiss Cam" to the Colorado Lottery "Puck Race". I can't even escape in the restroom where the walls are plastered with advertising. Have we allowed advertisers to go too far?

    OK, maybe sports fans just have to live with corporate eyeball ownership, but should technology developed in the United States be used to further censorship in communist China? Apparently Google thinks so. In order to sell usage of Google search technology in China, the company has agreed to censor the results it posts to users in China. Do a search on Google for google censorship China, and see for yourself (1.5 million hits). Bloggers discussing the issue use the word "double-talk" to describe Google's explanation for the policy. Does this sound like anything out of 1984 to anyone? Should we be supporting a company that fosters censorship? Is some internet search capability in China better than none? How would the Party have dealt with the internet in 1984?

    By Blogger Lundgren, at 3:14 AM  

  • I think that it depends on what you define sanity as. From the viewpoint of 1984's society, the war keeps the people sane. The inner party sees the war as a way to keep the comardes sane and under control. From the view point of our society, the war doesn't seems very sane because we woul dn't like an ever lasting war. I think that the inner party uses the war as a way to distract the party members from what is actually being done to them.

    By Blogger Sarah E., at 10:48 AM  

  • I think that war is not a safeguard for sanity so much as for insanity. In 1984 it causes people to go insane in their hatred of Goldstein and for the people whom they are fighting at the time. It drives them to measures such as spying on family members and turning family members in and whatnot. It leaves no one sane in a world where sanity is determined by how little you know and how brainwashed you are.

    By Blogger Emma Grace, at 3:44 PM  

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