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Transcript of 1984
POVERTY "The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats... It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours." The constant images of social decay and wrecked buildings in the opening of the novel create a sober mood. It is used to emphasize the poor living conditions that the majority of the population in Airstrip One have to endure. Almost everything available to the Party members (and the Proles), especially the consumer goods, is scarce and poor in quality. "He took a cigarette from a crumpled packet marked VICTORY CIGARETTES and incautiously held it upright, whereupon the tobacco fell out onto the floor." (p.7) even with the majority of the population living in poverty, hunger, disease and filth... Loyalty and obedience to the Party comes before The well beings of the citizens of Oceania! The parallels between Orwell’s characters and the environment they are living in are easily seen to represent the Soviet Union, as well as Nazi Germany and many other forms of totalitarian governments. EMOTIONAL
POVERTY "'In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self abasement. Everything else we shall destroy-everything.'" (p.279) The Party also forces members to suppress their sexual desires. As a result, Winston suffers emotionally from the removal of personal fulfillment in relationships. The Outer Party members are demanded to only love and be loyal to the Big Brother. As a result, any other forms of love are not permitted. "Big Brother seemed to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector, standing like a rock against the hordes of Asia." (p.17) OPPRESSION The constant bombing during WWII, over East London in particular, destroyed the lives and homes of countless civilians. The Blitz during WWII This is similar to the state of Oceania due to the perpetual war that it has with either Eastasia or Eurasia. The Party uses this reason to keep the structure of the society intact to further support why it cannot provide for the economic equality of all citizens. During WWII, the British government also issued rations on food, which lasted from 1940 until 1954. Some of the rationed food items include:
tinned tomatoes This is similar to how food is also rationed in the novel, such as the chocolate ration that "increases" from 30 grams to 25 grams. For instance, the Party undermines family structures by inducting children into the Junior Spies and having them report any suspicious acts from their parents. Mrs.Parson, for example, seems to be living in constant fear near her children, and later, her husband is reported to the Thought Police by their daughter for saying "Down with the Big Brother" in his sleep. This is evident in his failed marriage with Katherine, who views sharing physical intimacy as “our duty to the Party”. “No one dares to trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer”. (p.220) “If you are happy inside yourself, why would you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the rest of their bloody rot?” (p. 139) The Party ingeniously channels people’s frustration and emotion There are posters of Big Brother all around Oceania and he is worshiped as a wise and loving leader. Moreover, there is a resemblance between him, and his dark hair and heavy mustache, with images of Josef Stalin. into intense and ferocious displays of hatred against the Party’s enemies during the Two Minutes of Hate and the Hate Week. In a similar way, Stalin's created "The Poster" and The Pravda (the Russian newspaper controlled by the government) to twist and manipulate the minds of people into believing that the government was absolutely right and truthful. "Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating - A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon." Censorship and surveillance The Thought Police is much like the NKVD, the secret police of the Soviet Union during the era of Joseph Stalin, as well as the German Gestapo. They function to find, arrest, vaporize and change those who are disloyal to the respective parties. The Ministries Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, Miniplenty. -deals with propaganda and controls all forms of information: news, education, art and more
-alters information to match with the Party's current status (also destroys and manipulates pictures and articles that could be used as evidences to suggest otherwise) -deals with war (mentioned earlier about how even though there is a shortage of food, there are still funds available for military uses)
-being in war with another state unites the citizens together and is used as a way for them to release their suppressed anger out on a common enemy -monitors, identifies, arrests, and converts all Party "criminals"
-where Room 101 is located: uses each individual's worst fear to completely destroy someone "A bowed, grey-coloured, skeleton like thing was coming towards him... the barrel of the ribs was as narrow as that of a skeleton: the legs had shrunk so that the knees were thicker than the thighs." (p.284) -rations and controls food, goods, and other productions
-publishes false claims of having raised the standard of living, when it has, in fact, reduced rations, availability, and production The ministries names and responsibilities are thus examples of ... DOUBLETHINK The ability to hold two contradictory beliefs and believe in both of them. Real life examples:
-You must fit in/ you must stand out
-Follow your dreams/ find a secure job
-don't lie/ don't say anything that's rude In the novel, doublethink is used by the Party to directly control one's thoughts for its power (along with installing fear and love for the Big Brother through propaganda.) Newspeak -the method for controlling thought through the removal of language -goal is to “make all other modes of thought impossible”-similar to how the Nazis controlled society by controlling the use of language -in addition, by removing a nation’s original language, it reduces the importance of the nation’s past (its culture and history in particular) The Hotel of Doom in North Korea (which has been under construction for 25 years) also has striking similarities to the Ministries in the novel. Vaporization Nikolai Yezhov, walking with Stalin in the left photo from the 1930s. Following his execution, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by the Soviet censors, making him an "unperson”, just like how Syme is vaporized in the novel. P
a Similar to the propaganda broadcasts of Kim Jong Il, Hitler, and Stalin (in the totalitarian state that they rule), the images of the telescreens and pictures of Big Brother are used to constantly remind the citizens that they are being watched. "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness." (p.27) Winston believes he is no longer alone in his rebellious thoughts against Big Brother by believing in O'Brien.This gives him hope and makes him feel less alienated in this society where everyone is so heavily brainwashed and monitored. The old picture of St. Clement’s Church in the room that Winston rents above Mr. Charrington’s shop is another representation of the lost past. It is not until after he is captured when he realizes that "the place with no darkness" is not a promising future, but rather, it is a prison cell in which the light is never turned off. The diary is a symbol of hope that runs through the entire book. It is Winston's past and future and his first revolt. "Its creamy paper, a little yellowed by age, was of a kind that had not been manufactured for at least forty years". Although the diary is something of the past, Winston is writing this journal "For the Future, For the Unborn". "He had moved from thoughts to words, and now from words to actions." Winston boldly decides to rent out Mr.Charrington's attic, a remnant of the past that acts both as a safe-haven and a way of rebelling against the Party’s constant monitoring. "If there was hope, it must lie in the proles... with eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, [it] could [be] the force to destroy the Party." Aside from its large population, the proles also have more freedom of thought and movement since they are viewed as low and harmless as the animals by the Inner Party. JULIA His dream of the Golden Country also appears to come true with Julia's bold physical gestures in the grass meadow. The image of Julia applying makeup and dressing up like a woman, rather than a comrade, also gives Winston a glimpse into what life was like before the Party came into power. The image of Julia tearing off her Junior Anti-sex league sash is an act of rebellion against the Party’s doctrines, which gives Winston a glimpse of hope for a future free from the Party's oppression. However, it is his hopes that eventually caused him to lose his ability to think and love. Thank you for listening!
Block A http://thelawyerschronicle.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130:its-still-1984-in-north-korea&catid=36:international-affairs&Itemid=60http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070815110425AAx1NEM