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AP Lit - 1984

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Pallavi M

on 11 June 2013

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Transcript of AP Lit - 1984

Start 1984 by George Orwell Wikileaks http://wikileaks.org/ London Cameras http://www.goandroam.com/webcams/uk/london/ http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-saudi-arabia Historical Context Oceania George Orwell's 1984 warns society that if it continues on its current path, people will lose their humanity -published in 1948, just as WWII ended -this was a time of oppressive rulers: Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung (China), Francisco Franco (Spain), and Benito Mussolini (Italy) - these rulers used various tactics to control their citizens including propaganda and violence and "...inspired Orwell to create Big Brother, the ultimate totalitarian leader who dominates all political, social, and economic activities" (Historical Context:1984). -Orwell fought against Franco of Spain, supporting democratic socialism (didn't necessarily dislike everything that was not democracy). He cared about public welfare and resented the way that current governments were treating their citizens. Live web cams of various squares and streets in London. Invasion of privacy? Or is being in public a permission to videotape? How much do we actually know about our government? How much should we know? The consequences of not knowing what is happening in our nation? Freedom of Speech Around the World "Saudi Arabia responded with unflinching repression to demands by citizens for greater democracy in the wake of the pro-democracy Arab Spring movements. "
"New laws introduced or proposed in 2011 criminalize the exercise of basic human rights such as freedom of expression, assembly, and association." -Oceania: totalitarian superstate; its governing doctrine is Ingsoc, which means "English Socialism" in Oceania's official language of Newspeak Become an Employee of the Ministry of Truth! The president questioned Mr. Romney’s aggressiveness on China, accusing him of personally profiting from outsourcing while he was head of a private equity firm. Mr. Obama mocked Mr. Romney’s promises as “newfound outrage” and said electing the former Republican governor to get tough on Beijing would be like having a fox guard a chicken coop. -The leader of this totalitarian government is Big Brother. People's love and fears are focused on this mysterious Big Brother. "Big Brother is watching you!" -The government is broken into 4 ministries: Ministry of Peace (deals with wars), Ministry of Plenty (rations food/goods), Ministry of Truth (controls information), and Ministry of Love (monitors, arrests, and tortures rebels) Dystopia -Three government slogans:
1. War is Peace
2. Freedom is Slavery
3. Ignorance is Strength Social Order Premise -Protagonist Winston Smith lives in Airstrip One, and works in the Outer Party in the Ministry of Truth -Winston becomes discontent with his life, and starts to keep a journal of his negative views on the Party. This is especially dangerous because all citizens are monitored by the Thought Police through telescreens. If found out, he faces torture and death. -Winston knows that the government alters history and stories of the past, so he is fascinated by the "real past" -At work, Winston encounters a woman named Julia, and they have a passionate affair, which is forbidden by the government Theme: Technology and Surveillance -By doing this, they establish complete control over their citizens. "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made...would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard" (2). Theme: Memories/People's Pasts -The party controls the memories of its citizens by forbidding the possession of any records of their lives. -All personal photos and documents are placed in "memory holes", which are located throughout Oceania and lead to furnaces. -People's basic memories are not reliable and become "fuzzy" over time. When they cannot fully remember events, they become much more willing to believe what the Party tells them. "He tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that should tell him whether London had always been quite like this" (7). Theme: Language and Manipulation -Oceania's official language is "Newspeak" and its unofficial language is "Oldspeak/English". In Newspeak, in order to control "unorthodox" thoughts, the Party aims to not have words such as "freedom" or "rebellion" -the Party also rewrites and modifies documents and history. If they execute someone, they delete every trace of the person, so by the end, it's as if the person never existed. Theme: Loyalty/Repression -The Party aimed to ensure that the citizens' loyalty belonged only to the government and to nothing else. -Personal and familial relationships created private loyalties, so the government brainwashes children to believe that sex is disgusting and only need to create more obedient citizens. -This repression explains why Winston and Julia's affair was so exciting and rebellious. Who Should Read This? Every citizen in any society should read this book. It reflects the balance that government and its people must make, and the severe consequences that follow when that scale is tipped out of balance. This book is a two-thumbs up to anyone who enjoys a stimulating read, and who would like to reflect upon the roles that freedom, desire, and privacy play upon his or her life. UD Lib Search -Winston tries to find more ways to rebel against the government Will Winston be successful? -The Thought Police monitors Oceania's citizens trhough helicopters, hidden microphones, and telescreens. -this novel shows how language itself has the ability to morph people's thoughts.
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