To start off the class we were a little disruptive and Mrs. Moritz began and then ended various sentences mid sentence. We took our first 10 question quiz of this unit, and the reasoning behind this is that it we missed one question it would only be 10 percent of our grade as opposed to the usual 20 percent. Moritz told us that we would be getting our schedule cards on Tuesday and she would sign them on Wednesday. For our activity we had a fishbowl discussion with no laptops and an inner circle that could be tapped out, although for the most part those in the middle stayed there, and no one took their place. This may have had something to do with the fact that, because we were not being graded on our performance in the discussion there was little motivation to move into the inner circle.
The first topic discussed was that of Mr. Charrington, the owner of the antique shop above which Julia and Winston rent a room, and the fact that he had turned out to be a member of the thought police. The main discussion was on weather or not there were any signs to his being thought police, and why did he wait so long to turn them in? For the first question the only thing that we came up with was the way it seemed too easy to get the room above the shop. They were baffled because he seemed almost anti party, seeing as he owned a shop that wasn’t exactly of the type, that The Party to a liking to, on the other hand that would be a good place to catch people for thoughtcrime. For the former question, we only came up with that the thought police wanted to get Winston for something good, something that was actually wrong and anti-party, as opposed to a little rule breaking.
The next subject was on whether or not Winston could trust O Brian, and the resounding answer was, no. There was speculation that he may have set them up, and his instructions were way to vague. It was also said that if one must do all of that to be part of the Brotherhood, wasn’t just the same as the Party?
We then moved on to how Orwell’s political views are displayed in 1984. The first thing was that his book displayed anti-anti-communism, and that the thought police were similar so what was happening with McCarthyism at the time he wrote this book. He also shows that the government’s way of keeping power is too control the thoughts of the people. He also demonstrates the differences between capitalism, and then fascism, and then socialism.
Next was, what was the significance of the rhyme that Mr. Charrington says fragments of? We establish that the meaning was that the catholic churches wanted your money, but you could not pay them until after the shortage. We also decided that maybe it had to do with the way that Julia gives so much to the party in the form of labor that she is able to get away with certain things. This had to do with the fact that catholic priest would pray for you if you gave money, giving was a way to “cheat” the system.
After that we were asked the question: is Orwell good at predicting the future? We ended up establishing that our society could have gone two ways, the way of 1984 or the way of Fahrenheit 451. After this we decided society was more similar to Fahrenheit 451, but it was not too far away from 1984. At this we also discussed that people already did not want to read, which was something Bradbury mentioned in his book, and that would lead to books being outlawed.
Another question was: think about how our government controls us? Our answers were, the school system, which tells us what and how to think, and the CIA, which for all we know, spies on us…
We then discussed how ignorance is strength, and it boiled down to how if you are ignorant and forget the past, you can stay relatively sane, while going absolutely senile because you are convincing your self that what you know is fake, and the believing that you didn’t do that, doublethink. We also said that with knowledge, you will go crazy because you are sane in the midst of insanity, which will drive you out of your mind, and yet to the end you will be completely lucid.
We also discussed the idea that war is peace, and that constant war is the same as peace, and is just a way to use up resources without raising the standard of living. It was also a way to keep the proles down, and to keep fear among the proles; the government most likely drops the bombs themselves.
. There was the some discussion on the war in Iraq and how in out country we have multiple viewpoints of events as opposed to 1984. We then discussed to possibility that Julia is also on the side of the thought police, and maybe just seduces non-loyal party members so that they could be caught. She also seems to be good a crimestopthink, because of the way she always falls asleep when Winston talks about really defying the party.