Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blog question for p. 5 (pages 147-167)

Answer as many questions as you feel (just make sure you answer at least one)!

1) How does someone's past shape their future? How would Winston's life be different if he had not felt responsible for his Mother and Sister's possible deaths? What does Winston's past show about the society's past?

2) The meeting with O'Brien is a significant part of the book. If you were Winston would you go to O'Brien's house? Why or why not? Do you think O'Brien is trustworthy? Do you think the Party knows something is going on with Winston?

3) Explain the significance of Winston's views of love, feelings, and being human. This is an open ended question, you may take this however you feel. To jog your memory think about the mother's arms and Winston's conversation with Julia towards the end of the pages.

Thank you and hope you enjoy these questions and we hope you had fun in class!!

Maddison, Cate, Alex


melissaz said...

I thought that this section was a real turning point of the book, Winston finally realizes that he needs to stay human, and he beats the Party. The Party cannot get inside of their heads, and that is the true weakness of the society. To win, everyone needs to focus on the one weakness and stay human. At least this is how I understood it. I found this section also difficult to follow so I hope that talking with everyone will make it a little easier to understand the importance of what Winston was saying.

2) If I was Winston, I would totally go and visit O'Brien. Winston has known from the beginning that there is a connection between him and O'Brien. Winston notices that they could make huge strides if they joined together. When O'Brien makes the effort to talk to Winston, this shows that it is the time and that there is now a need for them to meet. Now that Winston has discovered his true views on his life and love, he could make such a big difference if he would just meet up with O'Brien. I think that O'Brien is a trustworthy person. There is always a thought of how he could be a strong member of the Party and trying to lure him to capture Winston; but I do not think that O'Brien is a threat to Winston. There has always been some sort of connection that keeps me thinking that their meeting can only be positive.

1) I think that Winston's past is what creates his revelation of life in this society. Before, I don't think any of Winston's past had much of an effect on his life because he could not remember enough. But now that the dream has been remembered, Winston seems to change. Memories and history are what builds and creates the person/type of person that someone is. We learn from our mistakes, re-live positive and negative experiences, the past shapes the person. If Winston did not have the vivid dream, I don't think Winston would have become such a "strong mind" if he had not been able to remember this experience. In this society, no one can really remember; but when Winston has this breakthrough, he has started a silent sort of rebellion.

kristinah said...

I am sorry, but I only feel like answering one so here I go.
I really agree with Mellisa in what she said that Winston realizes that he can actually reject the party and them trying to get into their brains.

2) If I were I winston I would definitely have gone to visit O'Brien because of the look that he gave winston and the way that he is going about talking to him. If he were going to turn winston in he would have said it right then and there, it wouldn't need to be a private thing. Also, the way that he looked at Winston was not a suspisios look (at least I didn't think so) it was more of a "Hey you are with me on this!" look. I do not think that the party thinks that something is going on with Winston, I think that they think that they are just getting winston to respect and love the party even more since he is starting to go to more Party things so that the party does not get suspicious.

lesliel said...

Someones past can shape their future because every move that a person makes can effect what happens in their future. The future accounts for peoples mistakes or successes. Whatever happens is always part of a domino effect.
Winston might have had a less terrible life if he actually had a family to talk to while he was growing up. He might be more sane.

hannahl said...

1.) I suppose if Winston's mother had lived, his life would be different, but I don't think the actual way she disappeared really shaped him until now because he had pushed it out of his consciousness. Obviously, a person's past affects their future greatly. In 1984, however, the party tries to eliminate that by eliminating the need for memory and the ability to remember.
2.) I think that it is weird for Winston to be stupid enough to trust a complete stranger's glance. I know that it was something like that with Julia, but O'Brien seems scarier to me because it doesn't have anything to do with romance, as it did with Julia. I don't know if I would go to his house, but I don't think it would be a good idea.
3.) I think he has finally realized that the thing missing in his society isn't necessarily "feelings" because they do feel but rather they are missing the ability to give in to whatever impulses their feelings tell them to do. This connects to his mother, who grasped her dying daughter tightly as if she could save her from sickness when of course it would not help. As Winston thought, she knew she had nothing left to give the daughter, and so she gave her all the love she had, because that was more important than anything else. This was quite a breakthrough for Winston because now he has to start a conscious journey into emotions, he has to reteach himself to be human and that's not easy.

beckyg said...

1) I think a persons past influences them greatly. People learn from their mistakes and try to make their lives better than they were before. It is also a means for comparison. You can tell if you are better off or worse off by looking at your past. In Winston's case, I don't think the past has as great an influence. The Party tries to change the past and push it out of people's minds so they have no means of comparison and don't learn from mistakes. Winston himself tries to push his memories away, therefore he isn't affected by it as much.

2) If was Winston, I would definately go visit O'Brien. I don't know if he is trustworthy yet. I would need to talk to him a lot more and really get to know him before I told him anything about my views because in this society saying one wrong thing means death. I would go to Winston's because this is a very unique oportunity. Hardly anybody gets to see what life is like for the inner party. I wouldn't tell him right off, but I would definately go and see him and his house.

3) Winston sees the best way to rebel against the party as loving, having feelings,and being human. The party tries to stop people from loving or feeling any bond or loyalty to one another so by doing these things he is rebeling. "Being Human" as he calls it is the only thing the party can not control. The party can control actions, but it can not control thoughts. He says that the only way he and Julia can betray one another is to stop loving. It is impossible not to confess a name, but they are not defeated, even if they are killed, if they remain loving eachother and having feelings for eachother.

morgant said...

I only feel like answering one question. Here goes:

2) If I was Winston, I would definitely go to O'Brien's house. I would because it was my one chance to see if O'Brien really is against the party, or if he just really wanted Winston to see the dictionary. I do think O'Brien is trustworthy. I haven't seen any reason to doubt him yet. I actually think the party is clueless about Julia, Winston, and O'Brien. I don't think the party is aware of what is going on. "They cannot rebel until they have become consious, and they cannot become consious until they rebel." < that quote was somewhere in the book, although I can't remember which page.

rsabey said...

1) I feel like Winston ould be more confident in himself and less scared to love if he didn't realize one of his weekneses of being selfish. I think winston was worried that in his future he would make the same mistakes as in his past. I am also sure that winston felt guilty and dirty for his mistakes.

when people rely on their past they have a very diffucult time moving forward. When someone looks back on their life they see how idiotic they were and are terrified they will make the same mistakes. By doing this they make themsels more vunerable to those mistakees.
In winstons case I think he is woried to truely love Julia scared that he will in the end destry her.

ParkerH said...

I liked number 2 best, so...

I probably would go to O'Brien's house. I mean, there is nothing to lose, and simply going to someone's house, especially when it's supposedly concerning an aspect of the Party is not a particularly dangerous undertaking. And if the conversation is about something besides the dictionary, all the better.
O'Brien doesn't strike me as a particularly untrustworthy fellow. Some people just seem trustworthy, and he is one of those, in my mind. Of course, I may be biased, considering I have read more in the book. Still, if it was going to Parsons' house, or Syme's house, or somewhere like that, then I would not go. They just don't seem trustworthy enough to trust them.
I have no idea if the Party has any idea what is going on. I think it might have an inkling of an idea that something is going on between Julia and Winston, but as to what he thinks and such, I doubt they know the true extent of his mental betrayal.

johnb said...

Someone's past shapes there future because what people do and what they are is based on what they have learned. Whatever someone has learned in the past is expressed in their personality. With Winston, because of what happened to his mother and his sister, he searches for what happened to them, and he is saddened and, at times, tortured by the confused memories he has.

Had these murders not occurred, Winston would be happier and more confident with himself and his beliefs because his mother would support him. Either that would happen, or his whole family would be killed eventually.

mattf said...

1) The past does influence someones future. For example, if a person makes a bad decision early in life, and the same scenario comes up again, then that person would be more inclined to do it differently. Winston may try to save Julia when the thought police come for them because he feels guilty of abandoning his sister and mother.

2) I would not go to O'Brein's house. The risk versus reward is to great. If Winston goes to O'Briens house, then it may be a trap there and he may be executed on site. I would just stay away form O'Brein and live out the remainder of my life. I think O'Brein works for the party and is therefore untrustworthy. He is probably just posing as a rebel to bait others.

3) Winston has not been affected by the party's purge on human emotion. He still feels love and pleasure. To me, this shows that he wants to be a human and not some sort of mind control slave that belongs to the party.

Ryad said...

I'm only doing one also.

1) I definatly think that a person's past shapes their future because we learn from our mistakes and try to avoid recreating hurtful experiences while reveling in the happy ones. If Winston didn't feel responsible for his mother and sister's deaths then he might still be a more selfesh and greedy individual. Winston's past shows how hopeless things have been in the society for the last forty or so years and that things have not changed except and lessened amout of privacy and a dictator.

whitneys said...

1) I think that our pasts are key to who we are; therefore they definitely shape our future. With out a past, you really do not have an identity. Our experiences shape us. For example, you will always remember the day when you were watching a sport game or a show, and realized you were meant to be an athlete or an actress. Without that experience of watching the game or show, you might never have realized you liked to act or play a sport.
The probable death of Winston’s mother and sister are key to who he is in the present. I think their deaths really made him see the problems with the society and jumpstarted his thinking differently. Without the horrible memory of their deaths, Winston might be an avid and supporting member of the party rather than one who questions everything it does.
Winston’s past allows the reader a further glimpse at what the society used to be. It lets us see how horrible life really was before the party came and took control. This helps us grasp a better understanding of why people put so much trust in the party. They were so desperate for a better life, that once the party offered it, they took it without question

Anonymous said...

2) If I were in Winston's shoes, I would probably go to O'Brien's house. I am just a very trusting person so I think that would be why I would go. I would still be cautious with him though. I think O'Brien is trustworthy because he did approach Winston, not vice-versa. So it would have to be a pretty indepth conspiracy against Winston if the party wanted to do like a sting operation. It's just not there style. There really isn't much to go off to judge O'Brien but considering the circumstances, I think Winston can trust him pretty well.

Tylerg! said...

2) I would certainly go to O'Brian's house. He is if not trustworthy a way to find out more about the party. At least you would leave with the new dictionary if not anything. I think that he is trust worthy, but maybe not I don't really know. I think the party will catch Winston, because the book needs a climax.

jordanh said...

To answer number one:
I think that somebody's past shapes their future almost indefinitely. I think that if somebody is raised in an environment of abuse, they will probably become abusive themselves. So, if Winston grew up with guilt for all of these years, then he will probably still feel the same way and be a conservative man who is afraid of risks.

jordanh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ashleyf said...

2) I think Winston will go to O'brian's house because he is curious to see if he is right about O'Bian being on his side. If this is so, then maybe they could lead a revolt against the party. And if he is with the party because they know Winston and Julia are up to something, then it will be a test of whether or not they really are'nt afraid of death.

stephenf said...

The society is set up in a way that the past, no matter what happens, is forgotten. Whether you simply can't remember who the country was fighting or what happened to your family members.The constant noise and hussle and bussle of the Parties and the lack of brain power lead to easy memory loss. This constant change of thought and ideas may have led to Winston losing the memory of his Sister's and Mother's possible deaths. Someones past or family history may effect the way they are treated. But when your histroy is erased from your thought and that of others then the past is lost.

mitchs said...

1. Someone's past can do a lot to shape their future. What happens to you in the past affects your thoughts and feelings from then on. If you have a traumatic experience in the past, it can change your decisions on those kinds of matters for the rest of your life. I don't think Winston's life would be much different if he had not felt guilty for his mother and sister's deaths. Winston's past shows that not even the smartest of society who are trying to rebel can effectively remember their past.

2. If I was Winston, I would not go to O'Brien's house. I think O'Brien is an Inner Party Member just setting a trap so that he can capture Winston and Julia. I think the party must know that something is up with Winston because, if anything he seems happier. I think that they would also note that he has stopped drinking gin. I think they are just planning the perfect setup to capture Winston. I don't trust O'Brien or Mr. Charrington..

ryanm said...

1) someones past shapes their future because all of a persons past expirences turn them into the person they are presently. Our past is made for mistakes. without them, we would never learn.
I think that winston would have become a good, upstanding member of the party if he hadnt felt responsible for his family's death. I think that the two pasts are similar, because they were both selfish, greedy, and overly concerned about self-preservation.

ZachH said...

I would not have gone to O'Briens house. Something tells me that O'Brien doesn't honestly hate the party and that he is a spy or member of the thought police. It just seems to easy that a rebel would invite Winston over, put him through a process to prove he is trustworthy and then give him a book. I think O'Brien is going to turn Winston in.

morganw said...

1) Without one's past, there would be no future. People need the past to build off of otherwise they have no idea what's going on. That is one of the main reasons that the people in 1984 are so easily controlled - they simply are ignorant of everything. Winston's life would be remarkably different if he didn't feel responsible for his family's death. He would be much more willing to go along with whatever The Party said, and he wouldn't have those feelings of guilt that the world he is in is lacking, which kind of bring him back to being human. His mother and sister give him distinct memories of how things used to be and stir in him a curiosity of the past.

2) If I were winstons I would go to O'brain's house simply because he was my only hope. If he couldn't help me then nobody would be able to. It wouldn't even matter to me much if he turned out to be bad, he would still provide some clarification as to what's going on. Knowledge and death would be way better than life in ignorance. I, actually, do not think that O'Brian is trustworthy. I don't think he could be that far into the inner party and turn out to be a rebel. It just doesn't work. It makes more sense to me if he's a bad guy, but at least he's an intelligent bad guy. He's probably the only one Winston can talk to.

Selenam said...

If I was Winston, I would probably go to his house, because as Winston has said, he is already dead, he has committed thought crime, which is an offense punishable by death, so even if O'Brien is a member of the Thought Police, the only thing going to his house would do for Winston is speed his death. I've finished the book, so I don't think I'm qualified to put my predictions about O'Brien being trustworthy or the Party's opinion of Winston on here...;)