Monday, April 7, 2008

5th Hour Monday Blog Question

So far in the book, what have you found confusing? Is there anything in the book that you find to be disturbing (example: totalitarian leader)? What connections can you make between the book and our world today?

24 comments:

Tylerg! said...

This book is not as confusing as I thought it would be. One thing I do find confusing is newspeak. It is hard to interperet his articles. Also it is confusing what he is trying to do to rebel so far.

hannahl said...

I took some pretty cumbersome notes on a Wiki I made, so I might as well just put the link to those notes on here to explain my connections and questions:

http://semester21984-2008.wikispaces.com/Notes+and+questions

Have fun!

mattf said...

I found a couple things in the book 1984 disturbing. First, I was pretty sickened that a couple kids WANTED to go to a hanging. Death is not good, and to be excited to see someone else be executed is sickening. Second, the uniformitarianism in the society is also disturbing. Everyone should be an individual and be allowed to think and believe whatever they want.

I agree with Tylerg about newspeak being difficult to understand.

The limited freedom in our book, mainly freedom of speech, reminded me of some countries around the world, such as China and Saudi Arabia.

katyj said...

I dont know if i am just a freak, but nothing in the book is really confusing me. There are a lot of things that are freaking me out about the book though. I dont know why, but the names of the ministries really creeped me out because of what their functions are. And the fact that B.B. is always changing the past to make themselves omnipetent, and all of the citizens of Oceania swallow it.

I really don't see many connections between the world in 1984 and our world today. In 1984 there is no color, and everyone is unhappy. In our world today, there is so so much color, and most people are happy. Also in today's world we are aware of what is going on in the world around us, where as in 1984, the people are kapt in ignorance on purpose.

melissaz said...

Wow, Hannah those are some great notes!

Well I personally think that there are many things disturbing about this book. These people find going to a hanging as enjoyment; it is a community event. There is no love in relationships; having kids is solely for the purpose of pleasing the Party. The children have become "little demons"; their parents become afraid of them. The entire mind-set of the community members is rather saddening. There is really no glimpse of good in this society.

There is not too much that is very confusing about this book. There is a lot of personal interpretation and a lot of guess work but it is in a way supposed to be that way; Winston doesn't even really know much of anything.

I don't think that there is a huge correlation to our world today. The overall idea of conformity is some-what present in our world today, but not to the extent of this book. Conformity is always noticeable in some way in a society; it seems to be a part of our being. Others are better at defying this nature than others. Look at the previous literature we have read this year in F451 and LOF. That is one thing that I have sort of noticed in this book. It is “easier” to blend in then the stick out.

macm said...

Ha ha, what a broad question. There are MANY things that are disturbing, obviously. The fact that the children of the next genration are turning over their parents to be axed, and the parents are proud. Oh yeah, these same kids are also excited to go see a hanging...I could go on and on. This is a society that has gotten WAY out of hand, and it may be that no one will ever rebel, becuase unlike Fahrenheit 451, there are no books left, eventually there won't even be words left to describe how you feel or what you think. Confusing? The whole aspect of doublethink for one. Even though I have already finshed the book I still don't really understand it. Oh, I was also wondering, where did God go? Did Big Brother simply pit the people against him and they stopped believing just like that? Curious. I also want to know about the proles role, but that isn't covered in the book. Also, whe Big Brother took over, did it happen in America, or in Great Britain? Was it jusrt an extremely radical movement that took advantage of war-stricken people? I'm not sure. Connections? Well, government manipulation, but not to the same extent, thankfully. There's also all of the terrible torture happening right this very second, just like in the book. There are many similarities, but the differences outweigh them, THANKFULLY!

alexf said...

Well, reading a head just a little bit, I found the entire section where Winston was thinking quite confusing! (A little boring too :D Other than that, I actually didn’t realize that the telescreen was actually a screen; like a TV screen!

I can relate the book to our world today because most people today can’t think for themselves. The governments are controlling their thoughts, and they are losing intelligence. The people don’t realize what is happening, and even if they do, they do not have enough courage to stand up for themselves. The people in 1984 are mind-controlled as are some people today.

Laurenc said...

Well I don't find anything confusing but I do find a lot of things disturbing. Of course the fact that people enjoy watching movies in which innocent people are gunned to death and also when kids are going to a hanging. It made me sick to my stomach because it seems to frightening that anyone would take pleasure in the death of another. I also find it disturbing that people get so upset during the two minute hate. They completely go nuts and it is very animalistic. The fact that everyone is being watched 24/7 and that creepy poster of Big Brother is everywhere is also very disturbing. I couldn't live like that. I would lose it

whitneys said...

Reading this book does scare me a little, because it could happen. People are willing to put their lives in someone else’s hand if they are brainwashed into believing that it will be better. The society in 1984 is not a fantasy, it is very realistic. Rather than connections between the book and our world today, I see the beginnings of the society portrayed in the book. Today, it is all about making sure everyone is equal and has equal rights, even if that means denying the rights of other people. For example, the fact that God is not allowed in school, yet evolution is, shows a control government has on what children are taught in school. Further, the dependence we put on technology could lead to the society Orwell describes. Technology is such a benefit because it makes so many jobs easier, yet if we as people become too dependent on technology, it will be easier for us to lose emotion. Finally, there is always a possibility of World War III. If this war is started, it will be a nuclear war that might never end until everyone is dead and similar to the war in occurring in 1984. World War III would cause so much destruction that people would be willing to sacrifice their freedom for protection from the government.

maddisonm said...

Well first of all, Hannah great job on the notes!!! And so far I think I pretty much understand most of the main ideas and such in the book, so I am not too confused. However, there are plenty of things that I find disturbing!! A big one doesn’t come till later in the book when Winston starts doing things with a certain person…don’t want to give it away for those who have not read ahead. Also I can not believe the lack of privacy!!! That would drive me insane!! It also amazes me how these people live! Just the description of the alleys and the children and the houses and telescreens is just really disturbing! Connections that I can make between the book and our world today is not so much in America, but I can see a great connection to the book and China. China’s Communist government controls a various aspects in their people’s lives. For example, they control how many kids you have, the have their workers sleep in the factories, and correct me if I am wrong, but I think they even have various ministries and control the information that their people can access on the internet.

catem said...

Macm~ You have a lot of good questions, and I certainly don't have the answer to all of them, but I do have a couple of ideas. I think first of all I think that with religion, that like many other things in their society there is no official law against it, how ever people would not except you and they would end up finding you guilty of some other miniscule crime. I think that pretty much people are afraid to worship anyone/thing other than Big Brother and the Party. As for which country the revolution takes place in, I know that it is in Great Britain, because it takes place in London, but I'm not sure if it also happened in America. I have not heard any references to America so far.

Confusions~ As Macm also mentioned, I am really confused as to what doublethink is. Could someone please explain.

Disturbances~ I think that pretty much the entire society is disturbing. Violence is loved and taught to children (sound like Fahrenheit 451??), people live in a constant state of fear, and find it impossible to change, because all proof that the Party is bad is erased.

Connections~ It sounds somewhat like North Korea to me, but I'm pretty sure that North Korea is not quite that extreme. Kids are taught that their government is the best in the world and that anyone who goes against it is an enemy. (Although America teaches similar yet not as extreme views.)

mitchs said...

catem- Doublethink is the ability to hold two beliefs that contradict each other and believe that they are both true. Winston may know that 2 + 2 = 4, but if Big Brother says that 2 + 2 = 5, then that is also true. These beliefs are contradictory, but he must hold them both as true. I hope that helps.

I haven't really found anything that is hard to understand. It helps a lot to read the appendix on newspeak before you read the book.

Like everyone else has been saying, everything about the society is disturbing. The thing that disturbs me the most is that there is no way to tell the truth from lies. Big Brother says that the chocolate ration has been increased to 25 mg, when it was more than 25mg the week before. There is no room for individualism and no matter how much you think you know, the Party is always right, even if you have evidence that you think may prove them wrong.

Ryad said...

What disturbes me the most is that hardly anyone questions what is happening and that they seem to all act the same. I am definately an individualist and I really don't like when a group of people all act the same.
The kids also disturb me because them seem so hostile towards everything. It seems as though in the next generation there could be civil war because people will be so intent on betraying the others in their society.

lesliel said...

I have found the book confusing thus far, however, I have discovered that the farther you read, the more you understand the book and the world within it.
The book has been very disturbing to me because it is just a nightmare. It is hard to read something so sad and distressing especially since I know better. I mean that since I know my peaceful, calm, way of life, like many Americans, it is hard to read about such destruction not just physically, but mentally as well. I must admit that it is hard to read and I hope it has a happy ending.

maddieh said...

There really isn't much I have found confusing that others have not already brought up but I have found some sections slightly disturbing. I do think that this is for dramatic effect though. I think Orwell wants us to be so disgusted by some of the things in the book so we open our eyes to what could happen.

I can see this being similar to our world in just other countries and governments worldwide. Obviously, the war is huge in that some wars (like the one now in Iraq and Operation Desert Storm a few years back) just lead into one another almost seamlessly. Also, there are still some governments with a government that is very involved in the people's life and denies some rights to ensure others.

jordanh said...

Much like lauren said, I find nothing confusing in 1984 but many things distrubing. I think that to live in a world with a dictator would be awful. To live without liberties, justice, and freedom would be disturbing. I also find the use of technology against the people of Oceania very disturbing. Here is where I am able to draw a connection between Orwell's imaginary world and today's very real world. I feel that our government could use technology the way that Orwell discribes if they wanted. Orwell's 1984 is very disturbing and can be connected to our world today.

mitchl. said...

I agree with mattf because if children want to attent something as frightening and trecherous as a hanging, just think about what they are going to be like in 10 years from now. Also, someone might have already commented on this, but the newspeak is extremly hard to understand and comprehend.

mattw said...

Not much is confusing, but like lauren said, movies about killing desperate people and children in LIFEBOATS seems slightly disturbing. Even more disturbing to me is Winston's encounter with the old toothless protitute, and that's all I'm going to say about THAT. There really isn't a profound connection between our world and Winston's, but I guess they both have prostitutes... I can't think of any leader/dictator of today or any other part of history who had such complete control on his 'subjects'.

kristinah said...

I don't really find many things confusing in 1984, but obviously there are things that I find disturbing. I do not like the fact that the government is trying to take away any form of happiness or pleasure. I also am disturturbed by the blandness of it all and the emotionlessness of the society. I was wondering what life is like for the Proles, is it really different??? I kind of feel like they have a life free from much influence daily by the government and they live hapily. I can connect the book to other forms of government in other countries and such things like that. Also, when building have cameras I tend to think about BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!!!

HaHa:-)

morganw said...

I found the fact that the kids are all spies and want to turn poeple in very, very creepy. Seriously, what kind of demented phycopaths are they trying to raise? I thought it was disturbing how the party members were expected to enjoy seeing other people hurt and killed.

Also, I was wondering who all is in the army. There's no mention of anybody having family members out fighting, but they always say "our boys" out on the front lines, so it really confuses me. And are the soldiers also party memebers? or are they proles? Whats with the proles anyway? How can the government let 80% of it's population just roam free like that?

morgant said...

Honestly, I find this book just a tad bit confusing and disturbing. I agree with mattw...kids wanting to see a hanging is just plain weird, and I personally wouldn't want to go see a hanging. I definitely agree with some other people. The newspeak thing is very difficult to understand. I wasn't very clear on that. The only thing that kind of makes sense to me is "plusgood" and "doubleplusgood." Oh! Also, "ungood." But, sometimes I don't even get why Winston does the job he does. I don't get what he is supposed to do...One more thing...the proles are confusing to me.

About connections...the people in Winston's world don't really care about the war in Eurasia (or whatever), and some people today don't really care about the war in Iraq. Even though we do have freedom in pretty much everything, we pretty much conform to the government. If any of you are in Ms. Crosby's class for history...in her words, "You are all very good little capitalists."

Selenam said...

I'm not really confused at all about the book. At first I was a bit confused about newspeak, but my book has a nifty little explanation of newspeak rules and grammar and how it was used. One thing I found really disturbing was in the first 37 pages, when they are watching the movie and the audience is laughing at the fat man swimming for his life, and the boatload of children blowing up. I was also disturbed at the citizens' ability to just forget the past and be so enthusiastic about their poor living conditions.

beckyg said...

There are a couple things that are confusing me. First the whole concept of doublethink is confusing, but I think it is kind of supposed to be that way. I also find it weird that people just disregard their memories and believe everything the party says.

As for what I find disturbing, well, there is obviously a lot. First, like so many other people, I find it really creepy that kids want to go to a hanging. That is a really disgusting thing, and they aren't disturbed or even scared that people are getting killed for no reason. Secondly, I also find it disturbing that the kids are willing to turn their parents into the thought police essentially murdering them. I could never do that! They have no respect for authority (parents) and don't love family. Third, I find the whole movie that he recalled in his diary with the mother sheltering her baby and people gunning down survivors in a raft. I thought it was sad and creepy that everyone thought it was funny that all the people were being killed and were hoping that the mother would not be able to protect her child from the bullets. They want people to die! They love death! If that isn't creepy, I don't know what is!

I can definitely connect it to our world today. In some countries killing is encouraged. Children are given weapons and told to go out and kill people. Also in some other countries people don't have much freedom. They don't have freedom of speech and almost everything they say is monitored. Radio and TV are censored so people don't here any bad news against the country. These are all things that occur in 1984.

DawnielleN said...

I'm tired.


There were a few things in this book that have confused me. First, sometimes Winston will be in deep thought and then all of the sudden he will question what he just thought. It is almost like he is afraid to REALLY think for himself which would make a lot of sense considering that the government teaches them that ignorance is strength.

Some other topics that confuse me are the proles. I know that they have been mentioned a lot, but I feel like I would really understand is the reader could see some dialogue directly from a prole.

1984 really connects to the world today. I think it is funny that we read how people of Oceania feel about the proles and are so appalled when there has been a system similar to that for a very long time. First it was slaves, then it was just people looking down on others because of their nationalities, and even today there is definitely a lower class that some look down on. The only difference between now and this book is that the book just plays the “lower class” thing a little exaggerated.