Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Period 5 Blog Question For 274-297

Do you think Winston really changed his beliefs, or did he just forcefully push them out of his mind to stop the torture? Why?

24 comments:

ZachH said...

I think that Winston really changed his beliefs. We talked in History today about how you can psychologically alter youself and/ or personality just by being exposed to a certain attitude or behavior. I think Winston really has changed his mind about big brother and the party by altering his inner thoughts. He may have done this just to stop the torture, but either way, I don't think Winston is still entertaining ideas of rebellion.

melissaz said...

I think that Winston truly changed his beliefs. In this society it is hard to hide any rebelling ideas, no matter how far they are pushed back into the brain. The thought police, Big Brother, the inner Party, they all know next to everything about everyone in this society. Because of the "thoughtcrime" Winston commited, being in the Ministry of Love ment that he was under incredibly close watch, so he wouldn't get any more ideas. They would not let Winston stop from the torture or leave if there was any lingering thought of rebelion or free thought; they would not want him to "poison" the society any more. Plus, Winston, for a very long time, had been physically and mentally worn down. There comes a point where most people can't push through that much suffering. Winston had been beaten down so much that he could not hold on to his free thought any more and he simply gave into the Party.

ParkerH said...

I'm not sure he consciously did either. It was kind of hammered out of or into him, depending on which thing you're talking about. At some point, the body probably just steers away from anything that causes pain, and since those thoughts caused pain, his body steers away from those thoughts. So I don't know that he really changed, and I'm not sure that it was his conscience choice to push them away. It's hard to know for certain though, and I don't really feel like going through that in order to figure out how Winston felt =)

ParkerH said...
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morgant said...

I do believe that Winston really changed his thoughts. I think that they played so much with his mind, he really had no choice but to accept what they were drilling into his mind. Even at the end, Winston said that he finally loved Big Brother. I'm sure the torture definitely helped just a little bit to steer his mind in the right direction, but I still think Winston changed his beliefs for real. He got so worn down that he had nowhere else to turn to, so finally he just gave in.

Laurenc said...

I think Winston was so shaken by his experience in room 101 that he became submissive and completely gave up. His spirit and heart were broken so there wasn't much else for him to do. In a sense he was driven out of his mind by his experiences and probably became so confused by all the mixed messages that he broke in a sense and just gave in. Quite sad actually..

beckyg said...

I think he forcefully shoved his old beliefs out of his mind. I think it might have been influenced by the torture, but I also think it would be better for him if he decided to love Big Brother and the Party. I still kind of think he hoped that he could pull his hatred back out of his subconsious mind at the moment of his death, but he was unable to do this. I think also that, like O'Brien said, he was driven out of his own mind, he couldn't think for himself, he became submissive, then he was filled with the Party's thoughts and ideas.

alexf said...

I want to say that I think that he really did change his beliefs because at the end of the book, he said that he really did love Big Brother. On the other hand, as read in the earlier chapters, he said that his goal for surviving was to love Big Brother but to hide the secrete from himself that he hated the party. So, it’s tough to tell whether he really, really loved BB or whether he was hiding the secret hatred from himself. Personally, I think that it makes the book and end much more interesting if Winston, unknown to himself, really hated Big Brother. Everything in the end is just so mysterious and confusing!!!!

hannahl said...
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hannahl said...

This all comes back to doublethink really. He may really believe that Big Brother is evil, but he is forcing himself to think he loves him because his personal survival instinct tells him to do so. By wearing Winston down with torture, the Party was finally able to make him doublethink so that he actually was orthodox. Because, to me, it would be easier to not know anything else and blindly follow than know that there is something more and have to push all your previous intelligence and sanity out of your mind to relearn the party's rhetoric. This is why the Party is so amazing and evil, because they make people purposefully ignore reason for the benefit of survival, which is harder than just starting our following. Therefore, I don't think Winston actually changed his beliefs persay, just pushed them to the back of his mind.

DawnielleN said...

I think that Winston's beliefs were truly changed, but against his own will. I think he was completely brain washed and I was surprised that he changed in the end. I don't know if anyone was capable of living against big brother in Oceania because the society did a good job of ALWAYS WATCHING THEM.

I disagree with Hannah a little though. :)

I don't think those beliefs are there at all. I think Big Brother successfully wiped out his past feelings and beliefs for good. He is now just one of millions of robots.

morganw said...

I do believe that winston actually changed his beliefs. To go through what he did and betray the one person you were sure you wouldn't, face your worst fears, and find out that there really wasn't any hope in your world would truly send someone into insanity. Doublethink, as prised as it is by that society, is really just training yourself to have bipolar disorder. All of the methods and slogans that the party embraces are so insane and messed up that you would have to go crazy to actually believe them (that or you'd just have to be stupid). Winston must have changed his beliefs because he didn't even think about rebelling the party - and if you believe in something you have to think about it some time. Also, he was probably suffering with something of a post-tramatic stress disorder too - again, an easy way to launch you into an unstable mental state where you can and will (quite easily, might I add) change your beliefs entirely.

lesliel said...

I think that Winston really changed his beliefs. I think by going through everything he went through broke his mind. O'Brian put it back together in the way that he wanted to. Winston became a robot, in a matter of speaking. He was physically trained not to think, say, or do anything against the party.

mattw said...

I also think he changed his beliefs. This disappoints me, because I hated his character throughout the book, and I thought he might redeem himself in my mind in the end, but big surprise, he didn't. I know it's not fair to judge what he did after being tortured, but still. I would have liked it so much better if the book ended with Winston's thoughts on birds singing outside.

whitneys said...

I think that, liked we talked about in our small group, Winston actually changes his beliefs. Like Leslie said, O'Brien and the party were able to get into Winston's head. They transformed his sane mind into an insane mind. This mind was not his own. The party had destroyed his mind and created the one they wanted him to have. I get this impression from the section where Winston is being tortured by being eaten alive with rats and he says it was a distant voice, not his own telling him to do it to Julia.

Ryad said...

I think that Winston actually changed his beliefs. When he is sitting in the restaurant drinking gin his is conciously making sure not to think bad thoughts about his brother and you can tell that he believed that he was once insain. All the torture he went through changed his thinking.

maddisonm said...

Both, I think that Winston changed his beliefs forcefully to stop the torture. I think this because, if Winston would not have been caught, he would have never changed his beliefs. Therefore, when he was caught and tortured, he had to force himself to change his beliefs, just so he could survive the torture. Throughout the whole book we are constantly seeing how Winston is so afraid of death and what the Party would do to him. For that reason, I think Winston would do anything to survive what the Party is doing to him. Even if it means he forcefully has to change his beliefs. Am I making sense?

kristinah said...
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kristinah said...

I think that winston really did change his thoughts and his actions. He himself said that he wanted just to stop the torture, he even told them to do it to julia instead of him. I think that this is evidence enough. I also agree with madisonm with his fear of death and how he would do anything for the party to avoid that.

Selenam said...

I think at first he just wanted to stop the torture, but as time and the torture went on, he began to change his beliefs, which is why they gave him better treatment, and eventually let him out.

jordanh said...

I think that the beliefs that Winston had were gone, but they were not destroyed. They may not have been in his head or real to him, but as long as he believed in them at one point, I think that they are in some way still his, even if they were forced out of his mind. It may have seemed real to him that no such belief systme had existed in him, but I think that at the same time that he has not lost them. They were forced out of him.

maddieh said...

I think that all Winston's life he had been told what to believe. So when he finally started to think for himself, he broke out of that. When they were torturing him, he just reverted back to believing what was told to him. So I don't think he really changed his beliefs, he was just now able to block out his own opinions like he had down earlier in his life.

macm said...

Well, yes and no. He actually saw O'Brien hold up five fingers after a while. Even though he wasn't giving in to the torture, his mind knew that his body couldn't take the pain anymore, so it told his eyes to see five fingers. Then it actually began to believe that there were five fingers. So I think that what started out as his brain trying to salvage his body turned into his belief in what he saw.

catem said...

I think that initially Winston just put the beliefs against the party out of his head, but I think the more that he tryed to stop himself from thinking bad thoughts conciously, the more subconcious it became. I think at the end he reached a point where he had stopped having to try not to think bad things about big brother conciously, and hiding the bad thoughts finally became subconcious totally.