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Alice
06-27-2004, 01:55 AM
Maybe this question is quite silly, but still... could someone explain that why Winston "loved Big Brother" in the end? I get that torture can force people to betray each other, but i don't get how it can change a person entirely?

crisaor
06-28-2004, 03:41 PM
As you said, it's basically about torture. Being tortured over and over doesn't just affect your body, but your mind also. You'll become whatever's necessary to avoid that situation, you'll admit all your previous mistakes (even if they aren't any), and embrace whatever thing is imposed to you by your captor.

subterranean
06-28-2004, 08:58 PM
True..a continuous suffering could change a person entirely..even a person who at the first place put hopes to God, might eventually leave his/her faith coz there seem no point in trusting a divine being when he/she need it most. It could be an excees of denial due to the torture but it may also considered as the cleverest way to survive.

enemy
07-13-2004, 02:07 PM
O'Brien said that Thoughtcriminals are released after they are "corrected" and at the moment that they love Big Brother, that is when they are killed by Thinkpol. With the last sentence of 1984 comes Winstons death. The instant he loves Big Brother, the Party has succeeded and thinkpol would kill him

Dunpeal
07-13-2004, 05:44 PM
hold on a sec... now that you people are talking about 1984
question: along with Big Brother.. Goldstein and The Brotherhood also do not exist, right??

also.. who the heck wrote that infamous "the book"??

DumbLikeAPoet
07-16-2004, 12:12 PM
I would say that a version of "the brotherhood' does exist inside of the proles. It is not actually called that but is probably more of a small group of proles who are semi-self educated and have a thought of revolution.

"The Book" according to O'Brien was written by members of the inner party. He even wrote some of it.

Jonus

crisaor
07-18-2004, 10:22 AM
Hey there. Welcome back. :)

Comrade
07-20-2004, 06:11 PM
I may be wrong, but: I think that Winston came to look upon suffering as shameful during his torture, as seen in the fact that he broke down and wept when he looked himself in the mirror after he had been starved for days. (he was almost like a skeleton). He despised his body, and ultimately his own beliefs.

I think Winston was mentally "overwhelmed" by the strength of the party which he witnessed during hours of torture - in other words, he succumbed unconciously to the philosophy of "might is right". The party is stronger than him, therefore he must be wrong. I heard that the purpose of the modern physicological torture is to feel the victim feel helpless and incomparably weak compared to the torturer.

His torture also made him feel absolutely dependant on the Party, shown when he said that he felt as though O'Brien was like a invincible protector, shielding him from suffering (since he controls when to activate the electric-shocker), a man with noble intentions. This looks almost like a copy of Big Brother. So, at this point he is not only pretending that he loves the party, but actually beliving in the party's good intentions.

earth
07-25-2004, 07:46 PM
The main point that 1984 taught me through example is the old German addage:

1000 flies eat poop. 1000 flies can't be wrong.

Big Brother + the continual war was a creation of their administration. It was a means of absolute control over a nation and it's people by a small + powerful few. Regardless of how good a system is, it is never infalliable. People like Winston would slip through. People like Winston needed to be "re-educated". If kept to an extremely small minority, a perpetual "snapshot" of society could be preserved, with those in power benefitting.

It's exactly what we're seeing right now in the US. Not nearly as bad, but the similarities are growing. OBL could, in essence, be viewed as Emmanuel Goldstein. The faceless enemy of society. People are, inherantly proles. We are mindless automatons that do not generally care about anything unless it affects us personally. Terrorism is great. Terrorism is essential the "perpetual war" waged from Eastasia + Eurasia. Whenever one sees a problematic shift in the thinking of the proles, the enemy is shifted to maintain the level of trust + disallusionment. All we need is a Big Brother... But we've always had him haven't we? Jesus Christ. Defender of the American way....

God Neo-Cons scare me. haHA

Logos
07-25-2004, 09:54 PM
I'm just going to again remind people that discussion of politics is not allowed in these forums. There are a few locked topics about this already you can refer to.

`Politics' can be discussed if they relate directly to the content of George Orwell's `fictitious' works only. Discussion of current political climate is not allowed. I'll keep this topic open if people can stick to the particular works of George Orwell though.

waxmephilosophical
07-28-2004, 05:47 PM
The torture was mainly responsible for Winston's physical "rehabilitation". His intellectual conversion had more to do with obliteration of reality. The Party has so effectively learned how to manipulate reality, to make their truth the absolute truth, that Winston wholeheartedly believes their doctrine. They annhilate any possibility of independent thought. His emotional conversion, however, was largely due to what he experienced in Room 101. After he screams Julia's name in his sleep, O'Brien realizes that he still harbors a hatred of the Party and a deep-rooted love for Julia. By taking him to Room 101 and confronting him with his worst fear, they prove to him that they are infinitely stronger, that they can make him betray even the most beloved of friends. Up until this point, his acceptance of the Party was largely a ploy to escape torture, but after he betrayed that which he held above the party, that which he thought they would never get to, he truthfully and wholly loved Big Brother.

Dunpeal, I also got the impression that Goldstein and The Brotherhood do not actually exist. Orwell never explicitly states this, but he does hint at it (heavily) by writing that no one can quite remember when Big Brother came into power, and no one has ever seen him (or Goldstein). Goldstein, like BB, is most likely a creation of the Party...so that its members can have a scape goat upon which to focus all of their hatred, which is in actuality the discontent they feel about their lives.

Isagel
08-03-2004, 04:05 AM
Something went wrong. I´ll try again.

Isagel
08-03-2004, 04:11 AM
[QUOTE=waxmephilosophical]". His intellectual conversion had more to do with obliteration of reality. The Party has so effectively learned how to manipulate reality, to make their truth the absolute truth, that Winston wholeheartedly believes their doctrine. They annhilate any possibility of independent thought. His emotional conversion, however, was largely due to what he experienced in Room 101.
--
Up until this point, his acceptance of the Party was largely a ploy to escape torture, but after he betrayed that which he held above the party, that which he thought they would never get to, he truthfully and wholly loved Big Brother.

[QUOTE]

I agree. But I also think it is important to remember that that the story is a work of fiction , a history that serves to prove a point. Winston loves Big Brother so Orwell can show us that the system of 1984 can´t be beaten. You can´t fool it. It will get you. Big Brother sees You. If Winston had gotten away with "bluffing" - not giving in totally - Orwell would have left us with a little bit of hope. The novel would not have been as dystopic. For me Winstons coneversion makes me wonder about all the others who love Big Brother - and what kind of stories they carry with them. The grey mass of obidient people might be individuals with stories like Winstons.

Besides this there also seems to be something that happens with people who perceive that they are powerless, and someone else have power. Some people in concentration camps started to try and make their clothes look like the guards, as much as possible. Some people who get abused will start to believe that the abuser is the one who is right, and that they deserve to be punished. It is a basic way of surviving, a way to make a world that have lost all meaning make sense again. We shun chaos and the vast void that is lack of meaning. Big Brother defines reality for Winston, in a way that gives his life meaning again, a meaning that he can bear to live with. Winston can not live with himself as a betrayer, as Judas. It to much pain, and without her it has no purpose anymore. It is easier to find new meaning as a disciple of Big Brother.

requiredfields
08-04-2008, 06:37 PM
I agree with the many responses here that state Winston has become completely overwhelmed by the power of the state. Afterall, at any moment they could nab him and strap the rat cage back on his face. Utterly powerless, he succumbs and loves Big Bother at last because he believes he is nothing and the party is ALL. However, in reality, he still has the choice to defiantly commit suicide while still hating Big Brother. They would not be able to stop that. And he may even take a few party members with him when he goes. Sure, why not, a suicide bomber? That's what powerless people become when they have no options.

The Atheist
08-04-2008, 10:09 PM
However, in reality, he still has the choice to defiantly commit suicide while still hating Big Brother. They would not be able to stop that. And he may even take a few party members with him when he goes. Sure, why not, a suicide bomber? That's what powerless people become when they have no options.

Nice try, but no cigar. I won't get into 21st century suicide bombers because A) it's not allowable under the no-politics rule, and B) it has no relevance anyway.

The whole point is that Winston no longer has any free will at all. None, nada, not even a teensy-tiny bit. He has no more individual will than your vacuum cleaner or toaster.

He is powerless to stop loving BB and he's most definitely powerless to think outside of the principles of Ingsoc. Suicide is a concept now beyond Winston's understanding - you wouldn't even be able to explain it to him.

In 2008 terms, Winston has been PWND.

Equality72521
08-04-2008, 10:49 PM
haha, Atheist. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Lily Adams
08-05-2008, 02:10 AM
They helped him see the reason for living in the system!

BuggritHall
05-10-2009, 06:56 PM
My take on the ending to 1984 is a bit different to what most seem to believe. Personally I don't think that Winston meets his end with a bullet to the brain but rather Orwell seems to be saying that upon the moment when Winston is totally changed into a party member he is now as good as dead.

Also think about the many contradictions of Ingsoc. What biggest contradiction, and indeed best show of holding complete power over an individual, than to dangle the carrot of being executed for Thoughtcrime while all the time intending that the victim will live out the rest of their natural span completely in the image of a perfect Party member?

The Atheist
05-11-2009, 03:18 AM
My take on the ending to 1984 is a bit different to what most seem to believe. Personally I don't think that Winston meets his end with a bullet to the brain but rather Orwell seems to be saying that upon the moment when Winston is totally changed into a party member he is now as good as dead.

I'd actually say that's how the majority see it.


Also think about the many contradictions of Ingsoc. What biggest contradiction, and indeed best show of holding complete power over an individual, than to dangle the carrot of being executed for Thoughtcrime while all the time intending that the victim will live out the rest of their natural span completely in the image of a perfect Party member?

It's all about purity - no trace of unorthodoxy can be left. You have to think like O'Brien to see it.

:D

imthefoolonthehill
05-11-2009, 04:11 AM
To answer the original question. perhaps it was stolckholm's syndrom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

Or just plain old fashion brainwashing. (although many believe that this concept is unscientific)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing

My personal opinion is simply that he broke. He chose the easy path, to love big brother. Everyone and everything breaks under enough pressure.

The Atheist
05-11-2009, 10:09 PM
To answer the original question. perhaps it was stolckholm's syndrom.

My personal opinion is simply that he broke. He chose the easy path, to love big brother. Everyone and everything breaks under enough pressure.

I think the whole point was that nobody will ever replicate what Winston went through, so an analysis of what it actually was is impossible. Anyway, the end result is what matters, but I can't see Winston being said to have made any choices in it.

Gladys
05-15-2009, 07:43 AM
I think the whole point was that nobody will ever replicate what Winston went through, so an analysis of what it actually was is impossible.

I presume that 1984 applies to more than just socialist/communist states. Orwell implies that unbridled power in the hands of a few, whether democratic or communist, may harness modern technology to perpetuate its own power at the expense of all else. And that individuals will have very limited capacity to resist the state in the near future.

These totalitarian states will demand and obtain an unquestioning patriotism, unquestioning compliance.

Is there more?

The Atheist
05-15-2009, 04:15 PM
I presume that 1984 applies to more than just socialist/communist states. Orwell implies that unbridled power in the hands of a few, whether democratic or communist, may harness modern technology to perpetuate its own power at the expense of all else. And that individuals will have very limited capacity to resist the state in the near future.

These totalitarian states will demand and obtain an unquestioning patriotism, unquestioning compliance.

Is there more?

No, I'd say you have it spot on.

You can break it down to Lord Acton:

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

aspirer
06-21-2009, 07:55 AM
I think winston was taught/he learnt to love by being aware of his hate for bb. Initially I thought winston was right in wanting to overthrow bb, but then I realised winston was actually wrong in his attitude. By becoming aware of his reactions to bb in this unconventional manner, he learnt to be in the optimal way. It is futile and unproductive to hate, and sets the wrong example. Love is the ultimate way.

The Atheist
06-21-2009, 03:13 PM
I think winston was taught/he learnt to love by being aware of his hate for bb.

No. His mind was destroyed and replaced by what the Party wanted it to be. There was no choice, and the love is a perversion of what we know that emotion as.

aspirer
06-22-2009, 01:18 AM
No. His mind was destroyed and replaced by what the Party wanted it to be. There was no choice, and the love is a perversion of what we know that emotion as.

correct - his mind was destroyed. He was without mind. He stopped hating (a part of his mind). Premise here is the absence of mind is love. Winston underwent accelerated learning, whereas people in society dont get the near instant feedback he got after a thought, and so people continue ignoring habits of thought. Winston got questioned, and so attention and awareness was paid to his thinking.. that resulted in it being replaced with a superior mode of being - love. Just like if you pay attention to any task you do, you'll do it better.
The party wanted it to be love which may be the message Orwell is delivering to the reader for how he realises the ultimate way to be is to any situation

The Atheist
06-22-2009, 01:49 AM
correct - his mind was destroyed. He was without mind. He stopped hating (a part of his mind). Premise here is the absence of mind is love.

That would be one of the strangest premises I've seen.


Winston underwent accelerated learning, whereas people in society dont get the near instant feedback he got after a thought, and so people continue ignoring habits of thought. Winston got questioned, and so attention and awareness was paid to his thinking.. that resulted in it being replaced with a superior mode of being - love.

No, I really think you have it completely wrong. The love that Winston displays towards BB is as false as a $3 bill. It has been implanted by the Party [O'Brien] and it is a perversion of love at the very best.

Love requires free will, which Winston no longer has.


Just like if you pay attention to any task you do, you'll do it better.
The party wanted it to be love which may be the message Orwell is delivering to the reader for how he realises the ultimate way to be is to any situation

No, the message Orwell is delivering is that totalitarianism done right will include complete mind control and that the rulers will be able to subjugate even the most basic human emotions into whatever they choose.

billl
06-22-2009, 02:01 AM
aspirer, you have to realize that it would no longer be winston, once that sort of "learning" occurs. what is happening to winston is de-humanizing. he is not being encouraged to look at the world in a new and healthy way. the absence of mind might be said to be love by some gurus, but that is really just (relatively benign) brainwashing--and a very marketable premise for a book in this high-speed, high-stress modern world!

winston is being taught that his thoughts and feelings are the property of the party. he is to become a "piece" of a whole. he will be disempowered, and the whole will get a little bit more empowered. at the very least, its methods won't be invalidated by his "individual" existence.

it is, of course, good to reappraise things from time to time, and to be as alert as possible to different perspectives. that can help us change, when we need to change. but this argument is a sort of "fig-leaf of virtue." such a truth is no excuse to re-program a person against their will. if the motives were good, there would surely be some way to carry out the "re-education" without resorting to torture. really, they should be able to verbally convince people of it's necessity and/or usefulness. if it's a good idea, then it would be able to survive in a rational debate. but the strong-armed, dehumanizing methods of the party invalidate the project that you are suggesting.

i believe the most advanced forms of love are enhanced by the individuality of those who feel it. big brother reduces individuality, and seeks a conforming, pliable populace. an automatic instinct to feel love, for anyone and everyone, is a wonderful ideal. but to accomplish such a thing via torture and mind-control betrays an underlying culture that knows nothing of love or respect of the individual. anyhow, such a complete surrender to no-mind is already accomplished to vary degrees by cockroaches, amoebas, and dogs. people are different, and things aren't so simple.

winston did not get a superior mode of being. like theAtheist said, he became conditioned to confuse his old notion of "love" with subservience to the pressures in his environment. as an individual, he died. he has been reduced to being another component in a machine that demands subservience.

Gladys
06-22-2009, 05:09 AM
Love perhaps, but in an empty shell.


Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.


By the time we had finished with them they were only the shells of men. There was nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of Big Brother.

bazarov
06-22-2009, 06:56 AM
Bill, great comment.

aspirer
06-22-2009, 09:25 AM
No, the message Orwell is delivering is that totalitarianism done right will include complete mind control and that the rulers will be able to subjugate even the most basic human emotions into whatever they choose.

That sounds reasonable.

Do you think though that Winston could choose to say "I love BB"? who can ever make you say those words? out of all the possible options of what to say, he realised and learnt and then said that sentence. There's pain from the Party (O'Brien) if he says or thinks anything (negative) else, and acceptance if he says he loves BB. Is there truth/ a message in that?
I see it as loving everything, even what some people hate (or what one previously hated), as the best way to exist in that environment. Forgiveness.
That is something Winston learnt.


aspirer, you have to realize that it would no longer be winston, once that sort of "learning" occurs. what is happening to winston is de-humanizing. he is not being encouraged to look at the world in a new and healthy way. the absence of mind might be said to be love by some gurus, but that is really just (relatively benign) brainwashing--and a very marketable premise for a book in this high-speed, high-stress modern world!

winston is being taught that his thoughts and feelings are the property of the party. he is to become a "piece" of a whole. he will be disempowered, and the whole will get a little bit more empowered. at the very least, its methods won't be invalidated by his "individual" existence.

it is, of course, good to reappraise things from time to time, and to be as alert as possible to different perspectives. that can help us change, when we need to change. but this argument is a sort of "fig-leaf of virtue." such a truth is no excuse to re-program a person against their will. if the motives were good, there would surely be some way to carry out the "re-education" without resorting to torture. really, they should be able to verbally convince people of it's necessity and/or usefulness. if it's a good idea, then it would be able to survive in a rational debate. but the strong-armed, dehumanizing methods of the party invalidate the project that you are suggesting.

i believe the most advanced forms of love are enhanced by the individuality of those who feel it. big brother reduces individuality, and seeks a conforming, pliable populace. an automatic instinct to feel love, for anyone and everyone, is a wonderful ideal. but to accomplish such a thing via torture and mind-control betrays an underlying culture that knows nothing of love or respect of the individual. anyhow, such a complete surrender to no-mind is already accomplished to vary degrees by cockroaches, amoebas, and dogs. people are different, and things aren't so simple.

winston did not get a superior mode of being. like theAtheist said, he became conditioned to confuse his old notion of "love" with subservience to the pressures in his environment. as an individual, he died. he has been reduced to being another component in a machine that demands subservience.


Thanks for your perspective. Some thought provoking responses.
Agreed that the methods by the party are not optimal (using pain).
A distinction between humans and animals, insects etc is self-awareness - the capacity to realise ones shortcomings and replace them with a more intelligent way. What could one be more self-aware about then ones own thoughts? which though by cruel methods, did results in would you agree - the ideal attitude?
true the machine demanded subservience, and Winston instead of clashing, gave love. He was the machine/animal/insect/amoeba which are without self-awareness, now he is free.
what is more intelligent - living in a world hating or living in a world loving?
The question then is did he truly love BB? or was he forced to say those words? Did he believe the words he said?

mollie
06-22-2009, 12:13 PM
Winston is not free. His spirit has been annihilated. He is no longer truly human, but an automaton. He has been programmed, as my computer has, to act in certain ways. One of those ways is to love Big Brother.

He believes the words he said, and he believes he utters them willingly. However, he has no more free will than a window or door. His words are sincere, but they are meaningless. If the Party told him tomorrow to hate Big Brother, he would do that, and with the same sincerity.

billl
06-22-2009, 03:37 PM
which though by cruel methods, did results in would you agree - the ideal attitude?

I think the ideal attitude (for real life) would be one in which an individual could speculate, trust, and distrust. To simply have love for everything would not be ideal, because we are in a world too complicated and nuanced for that. For example, it is good that we get sick and avoid food that would kill us if we ate it. If we are in the presence of a loud noise, it is best to cover our ears. If a virus infects us, we find ways to eliminate it. Propaganda-wielding despots are opposed. We protect ourselves.

Winston is right to resist, because the torture and re-programming are harming him physically and teaching him to accept lies about the world. In a perfect world (too perfect perhaps), it would, in theory be fine for everyone to completely love each other, no matter what. But I see no reason to believe that Big Brother (a rather prominent member of Winston's world) actually loves anyone or anything--unless abuse, torture, and distortions of reality are believed to be forms of love. By surrendering to Big Brother, Winston has not helped to bring about a world of universal love. He has, instead, fallen victim to a great debasement of the word "love." I think it's pretty obvious that torture, abuse, and the destruction of individuality are terrible precedents for any march towards a "better" or "more loving" world. An "ideal" society could do much better than that.

I have heard of a word called "agape," which refers to the sort of love aspirer seems to be talking about. I think this sort of love is wonderful and important, and that everyone should investigate it. But I think it would be foolish for us to give up our more personal, more individual, more-richly-filled-by-experience forms of love for our friends, mates, and families. A pre-disposition to love all others is a great idea, however, and I'm not really opposed to it. But that is different than the horrible reflex/habit that has been forced on Winston.

I think it is useful to think of people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, and their response to oppressive systems. They resisted and interfered with the efficiency and acceptance of the oppressing entities. They did not surrender. And I think they understood the love for others that you have been talking about. Winston was right to resist Big Brother because it is the single greatest impediment to love and respect of individuals in his world.

In a church or temple (or in our home, etc.) we might gain much by exploring the abstract ideas of universal oneness, and universal love. But, like many ideals, these could be abused by those who wish to deceive us and and control us. It seems to me that Big Brother is teaching Winston that an entity committed to violence against him should be loved. This love is made more important to him than his love for anyone or anything else. It follows that Winston would then believe that violence and torture were acceptable means for bringing more love into the world. If one is ready to believe that torture, pain, and disrespect for individuals can be an acceptable foundation for love, then I think one will have been prepared to commit (or accept) any crime against others. The word "love" will have come to have a contradictory ("doublethink") quality. Violence/harm to an individual becomes joined with "love" for the individual. It is, really, a destruction of love. The word "love" would have simply been re-defined by those with superior power.

So, no, I don't think Winston has achieved an ideal attitude--although the operators of the torture devices will, by necessity believe that they and Winston have achieved an ideal state.

By the way, I'm not sure why someone would come to Big Brother's defense here (maybe just a playful thought-experiment? ;)), but I think a VERY generous spirit should be careful not to invest itself too much in the "entrancing" writings/techniques of some self-help "experts/assistants." When the pressure builds, it can be tempting to find ultimate solace in "no-mind" and "living in the moment," but these states, when carried into daily life, can leave us quite vulnerable to outside suggestion. The torture carried out by Big Brother is a very obvious form of abuse/mind control, but sometimes religions, cults, governments, advertisers, gurus, door-to-door salesmen, website designers, etc. can be much more subtle and gentle in their deceit--even "friendly." And, I suppose, for some of them, their own commitment to an "ideal" might leave them blind to the detrimental effects they might happen to have on others in the real world. Again, I think "no-mind" and "living in the moment" can be useful strategies, but they should not be the only ones available to us.

Now, maybe more than ever, in a world containing more and more "virtuality," I think it is important for us to retain control over our thoughts and judgments, and not get carried away by out-of-place appeals to love or fear. We might be presented with some safe-seeming slippery slopes, but an all-out commitment to abstract ideals can damage our footing quickly in the presence of well-crafted come-ons.

Gladys
06-23-2009, 01:01 AM
Forgiveness. That is something Winston learnt. Not so much forgiveness as the deranged and paralytic dread of horrific, non-stop torture.

aspirer
06-24-2009, 02:41 AM
Winston is not free. His spirit has been annihilated. He is no longer truly human, but an automaton. He has been programmed, as my computer has, to act in certain ways. One of those ways is to love Big Brother.

He believes the words he said, and he believes he utters them willingly. However, he has no more free will than a window or door. His words are sincere, but they are meaningless. If the Party told him tomorrow to hate Big Brother, he would do that, and with the same sincerity.

What about this quote from '84, the last line:

"He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother"
Is that George Orwell/the narrator commentating or Winston thinking in your opinion?


I think the ideal attitude (for real life) would be one in which an individual could speculate, trust, and distrust. To simply have love for everything would not be ideal, because we are in a world too complicated and nuanced for that. For example, it is good that we get sick and avoid food that would kill us if we ate it. If we are in the presence of a loud noise, it is best to cover our ears. If a virus infects us, we find ways to eliminate it. Propaganda-wielding despots are opposed. We protect ourselves.

Winston is right to resist, because the torture and re-programming are harming him physically and teaching him to accept lies about the world. In a perfect world (too perfect perhaps), it would, in theory be fine for everyone to completely love each other, no matter what. But I see no reason to believe that Big Brother (a rather prominent member of Winston's world) actually loves anyone or anything--unless abuse, torture, and distortions of reality are believed to be forms of love. By surrendering to Big Brother, Winston has not helped to bring about a world of universal love. He has, instead, fallen victim to a great debasement of the word "love." I think it's pretty obvious that torture, abuse, and the destruction of individuality are terrible precedents for any march towards a "better" or "more loving" world. An "ideal" society could do much better than that.

I have heard of a word called "agape," which refers to the sort of love aspirer seems to be talking about. I think this sort of love is wonderful and important, and that everyone should investigate it. But I think it would be foolish for us to give up our more personal, more individual, more-richly-filled-by-experience forms of love for our friends, mates, and families. A pre-disposition to love all others is a great idea, however, and I'm not really opposed to it. But that is different than the horrible reflex/habit that has been forced on Winston.

I think it is useful to think of people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, and their response to oppressive systems. They resisted and interfered with the efficiency and acceptance of the oppressing entities. They did not surrender. And I think they understood the love for others that you have been talking about. Winston was right to resist Big Brother because it is the single greatest impediment to love and respect of individuals in his world.

In a church or temple (or in our home, etc.) we might gain much by exploring the abstract ideas of universal oneness, and universal love. But, like many ideals, these could be abused by those who wish to deceive us and and control us. It seems to me that Big Brother is teaching Winston that an entity committed to violence against him should be loved. This love is made more important to him than his love for anyone or anything else. It follows that Winston would then believe that violence and torture were acceptable means for bringing more love into the world. If one is ready to believe that torture, pain, and disrespect for individuals can be an acceptable foundation for love, then I think one will have been prepared to commit (or accept) any crime against others. The word "love" will have come to have a contradictory ("doublethink") quality. Violence/harm to an individual becomes joined with "love" for the individual. It is, really, a destruction of love. The word "love" would have simply been re-defined by those with superior power.

So, no, I don't think Winston has achieved an ideal attitude--although the operators of the torture devices will, by necessity believe that they and Winston have achieved an ideal state.

By the way, I'm not sure why someone would come to Big Brother's defense here (maybe just a playful thought-experiment? ;)), but I think a VERY generous spirit should be careful not to invest itself too much in the "entrancing" writings/techniques of some self-help "experts/assistants." When the pressure builds, it can be tempting to find ultimate solace in "no-mind" and "living in the moment," but these states, when carried into daily life, can leave us quite vulnerable to outside suggestion. The torture carried out by Big Brother is a very obvious form of abuse/mind control, but sometimes religions, cults, governments, advertisers, gurus, door-to-door salesmen, website designers, etc. can be much more subtle and gentle in their deceit--even "friendly." And, I suppose, for some of them, their own commitment to an "ideal" might leave them blind to the detrimental effects they might happen to have on others in the real world. Again, I think "no-mind" and "living in the moment" can be useful strategies, but they should not be the only ones available to us.

Now, maybe more than ever, in a world containing more and more "virtuality," I think it is important for us to retain control over our thoughts and judgments, and not get carried away by out-of-place appeals to love or fear. We might be presented with some safe-seeming slippery slopes, but an all-out commitment to abstract ideals can damage our footing quickly in the presence of well-crafted come-ons.

sorry about the short answer to a well-thought out long passage by you(short on time at the moment)

surrender can be defined as the absence of resistance/fighting fire with fire etc so its more that I am seeing winstons manner/actions euphymystically and hopefully accurately and realistically according to what the author intended. Thats the current premise I'm providing rationale for.
A loving attitude towards BB goes further than hating it. How would you describe Winstons life now compared to before?


Not so much forgiveness as the deranged and paralytic dread of horrific, non-stop torture.


This can be a description for before room 101,
but afterwards?

Gladys
06-24-2009, 03:12 AM
This can be a description for before room 101,
but afterwards? Before and early in Winston's residence in Room 101, he is understandably terrified of torture.

Afterwards, he experiences an all-consuming, never-ending 'deranged and paralytic dread'...though this understates Winston's trauma. He's an empty shell.

aspirer
06-24-2009, 07:21 AM
Before and early in Winston's residence in Room 101, he is understandably terrified of torture.

Afterwards, he experiences an all-consuming, never-ending 'deranged and paralytic dread'...though this understates Winston's trauma. He's an empty shell.

just checked the online copy of 1984 (http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/22.html) couldnt find that quote, what chapter is it?

there is 1 example of some positive feelings afterwards: "Winston, sitting in a blissful dream, paid no attention as his glass was filled up. He was not running or cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow."

billl
06-24-2009, 11:22 AM
aspirer, this is not a story about universal love. Enlightenment and universal love should be sought, not enforced by inescapable torture by a totalitarian entity.



... I am seeing winstons manner/actions euphymystically and hopefully accurately and realistically according to what the author intended. Thats the current premise I'm providing rationale for.
A loving attitude towards BB goes further than hating it. How would you describe Winstons life now compared to before?

Other people involved in the Orwell discussions are more expert than I am, but here are some quotes I found from Orwell (I've seen better ones regarding his intent, but these are two I found on short notice):

-------
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it." (quote from a (pre-1984) 1946 essay "Why I Write" in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 1 - An Age Like This 1920–1940 p.23 (Penguin)

"..The scene of the book [1984] is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere." (From The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 4 - In Front of Your Nose 1945-1950 p.546) (Penguin)
-------

There is no doubt that Orwell was opposed to totalitarianism, and that he intended 1984 to be argument against totalitarianism, with Big Brother as the totalitarian state. If you are reading 1984 as an example for a path to enlightenment, you are not understanding the author's intent. The error would be so great that I really wonder if you're just joking with us here...
Here's another Orwell quote:
" The great enemy of clear language is insincerity " ;)



A loving attitude towards BB goes further than hating it. How would you describe Winstons life now compared to before?


A loving attitude towards Big Brother is the ultimate goal for Big Brother. It is not something that should have made any sense to Winston, and he was right to resist. In the end, he says and feels that he loves Big Brother, but it is a terrible outcome for Winston, the reader and for the world that the story takes place in. Big Brother had more power than Winston, and Big Brother used that power to control and enslave Winston. The ultimate power was found in destroying Winston's defenses to the point where Winston would believe that he loved Big Brother. It is a story of domination.

Compared to before, Winston's life is worse. He has lost his love for his girlfriend. He has been forced to believe that 2+2=5. He has professed love for his torturer and abuser. His ability to correctly perceive and make judgments has been destroyed.

mollie
06-24-2009, 01:39 PM
What about this quote from '84, the last line:

"He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother"
Is that George Orwell/the narrator commentating or Winston thinking in your opinion?

I believe that the quote is Winston thinking, but it is Orwell's intention that we the readers should be reading this with despair, realising that the cause of freedom is entirely lost, that there is no hope for humanity.

Aspirer, Winston has been hideously abused. He has quite literally been frightened out of his mind. His grip on reality is gone. He believes that he loves Big Brother, but, when in his right mind, he hates him. He has won no victory. He loves Big Brother in the same way that a bear dances, to escape cruel treatment. What is most sinister about the Party's methods is that Winston actually believes this falsehood.

Yes, Winston's own life is more pleasant for him, personally, and means that he escapes death, at least temporarily. But his submission means that the Party has won, and Orwell is quite clear that the Party, in both its ends and its means, is thoroughly evil and hateful.

Gladys
06-24-2009, 07:38 PM
just checked the online copy of 1984 (http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/22.html) couldn't find that quote, what chapter is it? Aspirer, sorry for the confusion, that quote refers to my previous posts:


Not so much forgiveness as the deranged and paralytic dread of horrific, non-stop torture.

And


Before and early in Winston's residence in Room 101, he is understandably terrified of torture.

Afterwards, he experiences an all-consuming, never-ending 'deranged and paralytic dread'...though this understates Winston's trauma. He's an empty shell.

Finally, Winston is scarcely human and less than sane. You had written, 'Forgiveness. That is something Winston learnt'.



there is 1 example of some positive feelings afterwards: "Winston, sitting in a blissful dream, paid no attention as his glass was filled up. He was not running or cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow."

These 'positive feelings' are savage irony from the narrator, because Winston becomes nothing more than a crippled zombie: 'then we shall fill you with ourselves'.

aspirer
06-27-2009, 12:57 AM
aspirer, this is not a story about universal love. Enlightenment and universal love should be sought, not enforced by inescapable torture by a totalitarian entity.




Other people involved in the Orwell discussions are more expert than I am, but here are some quotes I found from Orwell (I've seen better ones regarding his intent, but these are two I found on short notice):

-------
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it." (quote from a (pre-1984) 1946 essay "Why I Write" in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 1 - An Age Like This 1920–1940 p.23 (Penguin)

"..The scene of the book [1984] is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere." (From The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 4 - In Front of Your Nose 1945-1950 p.546) (Penguin)
-------

There is no doubt that Orwell was opposed to totalitarianism, and that he intended 1984 to be argument against totalitarianism, with Big Brother as the totalitarian state. If you are reading 1984 as an example for a path to enlightenment, you are not understanding the author's intent. The error would be so great that I really wonder if you're just joking with us here...
Here's another Orwell quote:
" The great enemy of clear language is insincerity " ;)



A loving attitude towards Big Brother is the ultimate goal for Big Brother. It is not something that should have made any sense to Winston, and he was right to resist. In the end, he says and feels that he loves Big Brother, but it is a terrible outcome for Winston, the reader and for the world that the story takes place in. Big Brother had more power than Winston, and Big Brother used that power to control and enslave Winston. The ultimate power was found in destroying Winston's defenses to the point where Winston would believe that he loved Big Brother. It is a story of domination.

Compared to before, Winston's life is worse. He has lost his love for his girlfriend. He has been forced to believe that 2+2=5. He has professed love for his torturer and abuser. His ability to correctly perceive and make judgments has been destroyed.

I was about to write this:
Does Winston have more freedom now? Does Winston have less fear now? Does Winston have more love and less enemies? Isnt Winston much less of a slave than before? The book contains no passages of Winston increasing anyone else's suffering. Can you admit there are some aspects of his life that are better off? There is a premise here which is being pursued independent of 1 of the purposes of the author which is against totalitarianism (which the quote at the top clearly indicates), that if life is better now that is some evidence that being the best response to evil is love.

But rather I give up....


I believe that the quote is Winston thinking, but it is Orwell's intention that we the readers should be reading this with despair, realising that the cause of freedom is entirely lost, that there is no hope for humanity.

Aspirer, Winston has been hideously abused. He has quite literally been frightened out of his mind. His grip on reality is gone. He believes that he loves Big Brother, but, when in his right mind, he hates him. He has won no victory. He loves Big Brother in the same way that a bear dances, to escape cruel treatment. What is most sinister about the Party's methods is that Winston actually believes this falsehood.

Yes, Winston's own life is more pleasant for him, personally, and means that he escapes death, at least temporarily. But his submission means that the Party has won, and Orwell is quite clear that the Party, in both its ends and its means, is thoroughly evil and hateful.

some good points, and some good insights


Aspirer, sorry for the confusion, that quote refers to my previous posts:



And



Finally, Winston is scarcely human and less than sane. You had written, 'Forgiveness. That is something Winston learnt'.




These 'positive feelings' are savage irony from the narrator, because Winston becomes nothing more than a crippled zombie: 'then we shall fill you with ourselves'.

you could well be right

mollie
06-28-2009, 05:09 PM
Hi Aspirer, and thanks for your kind remarks. While I disagree with you about some aspects of your take on 1984, your fresh view has certainly made me think a lot about a novel I really love, and I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for that, and for prompting me to read 1984 again, which I hadn't done for a year or more.

I was thinking a lot about your points over the week, and it strikes me that your take is similar to Julia's in some ways, though in other important ways, it is very different.

She says to Winston, during a very early conversation with him, that she thinks that it is pointless to work overtly against the Party. She believes that it is more productive to keep your head down, seem to obey the rules and survive, whilst undertaking small and less open acts of rebellion, such as secret love affairs, dealing on the free market etc., as opposed to Winston's more open acts of rebellion. By appearing to love Big Brother, in other words, it is possible to stay in touch with one's humanity and continue to live.

I am interested to know - would you agree with Julia? I understand that your own ideal would be the response of real love in the face of evil, but would you consider this appearance of love, or, as I think you said earlier, loving attitude, to be a better way to rebel against Big Brother?

Gladys
06-28-2009, 05:50 PM
She believes that it is more productive to keep your head down, seem to obey the rules and survive, whilst undertaking small and less open acts of rebellion, such as secret love affairs, dealing on the free market etc., as opposed to Winston's more open acts of rebellion. By appearing to love Big Brother, in other words, it is possible to stay in touch with one's humanity and continue to live. Julia's approach probably fails for the same reason as Winston's. He was under heavy surveillance seven years before his overt rebellion began. So also with Julia?

If so, what hope for her, or indeed anyone? Hope is an illusion in Oceania.

mollie
06-28-2009, 06:17 PM
Julia's approach probably fails for the same reason as Winston's. He was under heavy surveillance seven years before his overt rebellion began. So also with Julia?

If so, what hope for her, or indeed anyone? Hope is an illusion in Oceania.

I don't think that it's ever made clear when Julia comes to the notice of the Thought Police, though I'm open to correction on that. Obviously, if they have been following all of her activities, then yes, there is no hope of fighting the Party, either by undermining it or by open revolution, and I incline towards that belief myself.

However, that is not really my question - it was rather, was feigning love of Big Brother, and so surviving, a more effective method of maintaining one's humanity? Again, to clarify, I do not say that it was a more personally productive or effective method of breaking the power of the Party, which I believe to be impossible.

Gladys
06-29-2009, 12:18 AM
However, that is not really my question - it was rather, was feigning love of Big Brother, and so surviving, a more effective method of maintaining one's humanity? As I have implied, Julia survives at the whim of the Inner Party because it seems improbable that her 'feigning love' would fool the party or delay her arrest.

I understand your question to be: Does Julia maintain her humanity better than Winston in the years leading to their arrest? A difficult question. Both rebel, both feign loyalty to the party (Julia aggressively so), Winston wants to overthrow Ingsoc, while Julia rightly believes overthrow a pipe dream.

Winston has hope based on memories of a time before Ingsoc. He remembers a mother's love. A much younger Julia has neither hope nor love - only petty rebellion. Perhaps Winston creates in Julia the sparks of humanity.

But Winston's own humanity is less than robust, as O'Brien demonstrates:


[Winston:]'Yes, I consider myself superior.'

O'Brien did not speak. Two other voices were speaking. After a moment Winston recognized one of them as his own. It was a sound−track of the conversation he had had with O'Brien, on the night when he had enrolled himself in the Brotherhood. He heard himself promising to lie, to steal, to forge, to murder, to encourage drug−taking and prostitution, to disseminate venereal diseases, to throw vitriol in a child's face. O'Brien made a small impatient gesture, as though to say that the demonstration was hardly worth making. Then he turned a switch and the voices stopped.

mollie
06-29-2009, 07:50 AM
Yes, but I don't remember anything in the text, and again, I am open to correction on that, to suggest that Julia's activities have prompted the notice of the Thought Police before her association with Winston. It is explicitly said that Julia's working in Pornosec is a sign that her reputation is impeccable.

What I am thinking is that as well as being of longer duration -Julia has managed to get away (even in the sense that she has remained uncensured if not unnoticed) with her activities for over ten years, as opposed to Winston's seven - Julia's form of rebellion is more insidious than anything undertaken by the Brotherhood or any similar organisation.

Anyone carrying out overt rebellion becomes an unperson, and their rebellion forgotten and meaningless. I feel that Julia's small acts of rebellion, if unsuspected or allowed to continue by the Thought Police, are more harmful to the Party and may have more enduring resonance than open rebellion. Open rebellion would be immediately suppressed, all record of it removed, and any revolutionary ideas recanted unreservedly before the rebel is shot - an "unrebellion". O'Brien says so.

The question is moot though, in that we agree that the message of the book is that the Party is not to be overthrown.

I am not sure that Julia's humanity is sparked by Winston. Julia's sexuality, and her desire for nice tasting things like sugar and coffee are all very human instincts, which the Party wishes to destroy, but which Julia has been indulging long before she met Winston, through love affairs and dealing on the free market.

By "humanity" I intend to express the idea of a core of instincts or qualities that make one a human being, as opposed to humaneness or morality, I should really point out that distinction.

The Atheist
06-29-2009, 04:42 PM
Yes, but I don't remember anything in the text, and again, I am open to correction on that, to suggest that Julia's activities have prompted the notice of the Thought Police before her association with Winston.

I don't think there's any doubt that the Thought Police weren't aware of what Julia was doing. She was the perfect - if ignorant - catspaw to find Outer Party members whose doctrine had been overcome by sexual desires, so was well worth leaving alone and monitoring until she became essential to O'Brien's destruction of Winston.

Gladys
06-29-2009, 06:28 PM
As The Atheist says so well, Julia's frequent association with less subtle rebels would have brought her to the attention of the Thought Police sooner rather than later.


I am not sure that Julia's humanity is sparked by Winston. Julia's sexuality, and her desire for nice tasting things like sugar and coffee are all very human instincts, which the Party wishes to destroy, but which Julia has been indulging long before she met Winston, through love affairs and dealing on the free market.

By "humanity" I intend to express the idea of a core of instincts or qualities that make one a human being, as opposed to humaneness or morality, I should really point out that distinction. Interesting. Your idea seems to hinge on the question, 'What constitutes humanity?'

In an earlier post, I labelled "Julia's sexuality, and her desire for nice tasting things like sugar and coffee" as merely "petty rebellion", can you persuade me otherwise? Aren't Julia's tastes and desires merely the physical, instinctive and reflex attributes we share with the animals? Surely 'humanity' implies something more than elevated. For instance: comprehension, communication, innovation, hope, faith, love?

aspirer
07-01-2009, 08:46 AM
Hi Aspirer, and thanks for your kind remarks. While I disagree with you about some aspects of your take on 1984, your fresh view has certainly made me think a lot about a novel I really love, and I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for that, and for prompting me to read 1984 again, which I hadn't done for a year or more.

I was thinking a lot about your points over the week, and it strikes me that your take is similar to Julia's in some ways, though in other important ways, it is very different.

She says to Winston, during a very early conversation with him, that she thinks that it is pointless to work overtly against the Party. She believes that it is more productive to keep your head down, seem to obey the rules and survive, whilst undertaking small and less open acts of rebellion, such as secret love affairs, dealing on the free market etc., as opposed to Winston's more open acts of rebellion. By appearing to love Big Brother, in other words, it is possible to stay in touch with one's humanity and continue to live.

I am interested to know - would you agree with Julia? I understand that your own ideal would be the response of real love in the face of evil, but would you consider this appearance of love, or, as I think you said earlier, loving attitude, to be a better way to rebel against Big Brother?


My attitude is changing/shaping daily, I am unattached to any remarks previously said. Currently my thoughts are:
We can accept Big Brother, rebel against Big Brother, or be/love (ie loving as a process and end in itself, rather than with an agenda/purpose eg to rebel against Big Brother). Option 3 is purifying/giving attention to oneself. I see that as the real solution. I know previously I said ~having a loving attitude towards Big Brother, I now change that to attention narrowed down and exclusively on loving itself. I currently believe aiming to change/rebel against (or putting attention on) Big Brother before purifying oneself, results, if successfully achieved in a new but still evil authority eg animal farm. I believe attention on what these words and synonyms: truth, love, now, “I am” and reality, point to (with sincerity, earnestness and curiosity) is the “solution”. It is like attention to love rather than attention against war (kind of similar to: “I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.” Mother Teresa).
And thanks for the thanks and your questions, you’ve inspired me.

Gladys
07-01-2009, 06:29 PM
We can accept Big Brother, rebel against Big Brother, or be/love ...Option 3 is purifying/giving attention to oneself. I see that as the real solution. Following this line of argument, can we say that all thought criminals, who finally leave the infernal torture of Room 101, have reached a state of nirvana: a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world? Perhaps the party would be pleased with that result.

In the context of love or Nirvana, what do you make of the second to last paragraph, "The long hoped-for bullet was entering his brain"?

libernaut
07-01-2009, 06:58 PM
The ending is tragic. He has given up fighting because there is no fight, big brother (a boot smashing down on the face of humanity for eternity) is what he has come to "love".

He too has finally come to "love big brother" is just another person put in their place without question. It is meant to show the hopelessness of this society, it is not as if he had a choice in the first place. He, like all others, were forced to give up fighting/rebelling the social construct die. there were no other options.

aspirer
07-02-2009, 08:18 AM
Following this line of argument, can we say that all thought criminals, who finally leave the infernal torture of Room 101, have reached a state of nirvana: a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world? Perhaps the party would be pleased with that result.

In the context of love or Nirvana, what do you make of the second to last paragraph, "The long hoped-for bullet was entering his brain"?

my thoughts are now directed more with a personal opinion that being pure is the right way.

mollie
07-02-2009, 03:12 PM
I don't think there's any doubt that the Thought Police weren't aware of what Julia was doing. She was the perfect - if ignorant - catspaw to find Outer Party members whose doctrine had been overcome by sexual desires, so was well worth leaving alone and monitoring until she became essential to O'Brien's destruction of Winston.

Again though, I don't remember anything in the text to suggest that. We are told specifically that Julia's first lover killed himself before the Thought Police caught up with him. Nothing is said of any of the others, which leaves the possibility, however slight, that some may have survived, and continued to defy the Party. I admit that it seems unlikely, but I really don't remember in the text a suggestion that Julia had been under surveillance all along. Orwell usually sticks so rigidly to his standards of clarity of expression and directness that I am surprised that he did not mention it.

As I said before, if there is something I have missed, it would be great if someone would let me know.

The Atheist
07-02-2009, 05:21 PM
I admit that it seems unlikely, but I really don't remember in the text a suggestion that Julia had been under surveillance all along. Orwell usually sticks so rigidly to his standards of clarity of expression and directness that I am surprised that he did not mention it.

As I said before, if there is something I have missed, it would be great if someone would let me know.

There's certainly no mention of it, but I think Orwell shows that the Thought Police have total control and that nobody can get away with anything, therefore they must have been aware of Julia for a long time.

mollie
07-02-2009, 06:16 PM
As The Atheist says so well, Julia's frequent association with less subtle rebels would have brought her to the attention of the Thought Police sooner rather than later.

Interesting. Your idea seems to hinge on the question, 'What constitutes humanity?'

Since I characterised 'Julia's sexuality, and her desire for nice tasting things like sugar and coffee as 'petty rebellion', can you persuade me otherwise? Aren't these taste and desires merely physical, instinctive, reflex, animal attributes? Sure 'humanity' implies something more than the basic. For instance, hope, faith, love?

Gladys, I'm sorry, I'm not really clear on what the question is! :) Persuade you of what - that Julia's rebellion is not petty?

Gladys
07-03-2009, 03:13 AM
Gladys, I'm sorry, I'm not really clear on what the question is! :) Persuade you of what - that Julia's rebellion is not petty? Yes. I apologise, Mollie, for a less than coherent post.

My post as amended today (www.online-literature.com/forums/showthread.php?p=743902#post743902)

mollie
07-05-2009, 08:13 AM
Yes. I apologise, Mollie, for a less than coherent post.

My post as amended today (www.online-literature.com/forums/showthread.php?p=743902#post743902)

No, I was reading this late at night and it was my brain that was unclear, not your post! Sorry for the delay in replying.

Julia's rebellion tends to be dismissed, I think because people view promiscuity as either immoral or meaningless self indulgence. In the context of 1984, however, I think it takes on a more pointed political meaning, in two ways.

Orwell shows us Winston as enchanted by Julia's promiscuity for the first reason that I think it is important - it strikes directly at one of the most important means of mind control the Party has.

Winston states during one of their early meetings that he did not realise the importance of the warping of the sexual urge into bitterness, frustration and hatred until Julia pointed it out to him. "All of this (the Two Minutes Hate, slavish devotion to Big Brother and the Party)...is simply sex gone sour." says Julia, and we may infer that Orwell agrees with her.

It is also proof that the Party's grip on the minds of its members is not so strong that they are unwilling to defy the Party's teaching. If defiance of the Party's dictates can and has been successfully done, that means that it is possible to "corrupt" the "purity" that the Party preaches and Winston so hates, and all may not be lost - we cannot know how much damage may have been done to the Party through Julia and her lovers' (and their lovers'?) seeing that sexcrime may apparently be committed with impunity or at least delayed punishment - she got away with it for years!

Secondly, Julia's sexuality is an expression of herself, her individuality, her refusal to conform to all that the Party has thrown at her in the way of training and brainwashing. Winston has his memories of a time before the Party held power on which to base his hope and belief that there should be something better and this fuels his rebellion. Julia has no such memories, and yet she goes against the Party's teaching out of a seemingly innate knowledge that the Party has no right to dictate to her.

She may only rebel in ways that impinge on her personally, but I think those ways are important, firstly in the sense that her promiscuity, in which many Party members have been complicit, may do real damage to the Party's power - if not, why does the Party go to so much trouble to try to stamp out such behaviour? - and secondly, in the sense of what it says about her as a character - that she has a nature inimical and indifferent to the Party's doctrines, the very quality that Winston sees in the proles that led him to put his hope in them.

I probably haven't persuaded you of anything, but sure there you are, anyway! :)

Gladys
07-06-2009, 12:43 AM
She may only rebel in ways that impinge on her personally, but I think those ways are important, firstly in the sense that her promiscuity, in which many Party members have been complicit, may do real damage to the Party's power

I agree and so would the party.


It is also proof that the Party's grip on the minds of its members is not so strong that they are unwilling to defy the Party's teaching. If defiance of the Party's dictates can and has been successfully done, that means that it is possible to "corrupt" the "purity" that the Party preaches and Winston so hates, and all may not be lost

Well aware of this sexual threat to its power, the party is responding with Newspeak, Hate Week, the Junior Anti-Sex League and other long term propaganda measures. As Julia says:



And in the Youth Movement. They rub it into you for years. I dare say it works in a lot of cases. But of course you can never tell; people are such hypocrites. If 'people are such hypocrites', the party has decades of brutal work ahead. But there is no hurry in stable Oceania.


she got away with it for years! Julia's promiscuity would provide the party an easy way to flush out rebels.

libernaut
07-06-2009, 02:49 AM
so wait, after reading this post idecided to re read the end of the book.

i didn't see this before, but he is actually being assasinated isnt he?

is that up to interpretation?

i guess they were killing him and thats why it had that sense of "finally free" or whatever

mollie
07-06-2009, 01:59 PM
I agree and so would the party.



Well aware of this sexual threat to its power, the party is responding with Newspeak, Hate Week, the Junior Anti-Sex League and other long term propaganda measures. As Julia says:



And in the Youth Movement. They rub it into you for years. I dare say it works in a lot of cases. But of course you can never tell; people are such hypocrites. If 'people are such hypocrites', the party has decades of brutal work ahead. But there is no hurry in stable Oceania.

Julia's promiscuity would provide the party an easy way to flush out rebels.


Our original point of debate was whether or not Julia's rebellion is petty, not whether or not it is counter productive. As supported by your own quotes above, I think the argument is well made that the Party is going to an enormous amount of time and trouble to stamp out sexcrime - why would they do that if such rebellion is petty? It is vitally important, and if it were not, they would ignore it, in the same way that they ignore the sexual habits of the proles, or the odd bit of trading on the free market for razor blades, etc.

Any form of rebellion provides a way to flush out rebels. Winston's own rebellion is an even easier way to flush out rebels, if it comes to that - he says himself that his behaviour is downright suicidal.

She goes to considerably greater lengths to cover her tracks, and Winston gives her credit for her ingenuity. Julia's rebellion having exposed or implicated others does not mean that it is petty or unimportant, any more than Winston's is.

The Atheist
07-06-2009, 03:12 PM
so wait, after reading this post idecided to re read the end of the book.

i didn't see this before, but he is actually being assasinated isnt he?

is that up to interpretation?

i guess they were killing him and thats why it had that sense of "finally free" or whatever

No, Winston's death at the end of 1984 is purely petaphorical - the bullet is his real and overwhelming love for BB.

Richier
07-06-2009, 05:28 PM
I think the argument is well made that the Party is going to an enormous amount of time and trouble to stamp out sexcrime - why would they do that if such rebellion is petty? It is vitally important, and if it were not, they would ignore it, in the same way that they ignore the sexual habits of the proles, or the odd bit of trading on the free market for razor blades, etc.

Any form of rebellion provides a way to flush out rebels. Winston's own rebellion is an even easier way to flush out rebels, if it comes to that - he says himself that his behaviour is downright suicidal.

She goes to considerably greater lengths to cover her tracks, and Winston gives her credit for her ingenuity. Julia's rebellion having exposed or implicated others does not mean that it is petty or unimportant, any more than Winston's is.

The whole tenet of the book seems to be how the party responds to rebellion, by tolerating, nurturing, then ultimately crushing it. The question I had until Winston & Julia's last meeting was whether Julia was working for the party or herself.

Gladys
07-06-2009, 11:50 PM
Our original point of debate was whether or not Julia's rebellion is petty, not whether or not it is counter productive. As supported by your own quotes above, I think the argument is well made that the Party is going to an enormous amount of time and trouble to stamp out sexcrime - why would they do that if such rebellion is petty? Without question, the party deems Julia's rebellion as far from petty. Parson's arrest shows the party has a low threshold for tolerating rebellion. Is any rebellion considered petty?

Julia, herself, considers promiscuity a subversive political statement, although her political objective is little more than vengeance coupled with contempt. She's like a confined animal, blindly striking out at her jailers. 'Humanity' implies something higher, nobler.

mollie
07-07-2009, 07:32 AM
Again, our point of debate was whether or not we should consider her rebellion petty. She doesn't think it is, the Party doesn't think it is, Winston doesn't think it is. I see no reason why we should second guess them.

You characterised humanity as something higher. Love, faith, hope, communication, comprehension, innovation were the characteristics you cited. I characterised it as that core of desires, tastes and instincts that makes us a personality, an individual, and would consider those higher things to be spiritual. However, taking your definition of humanity:

It is Julia, not Winston, who makes the first move, establishes the bond of trust, by writing a letter that she must have known would land her in the Ministry of Love eventually. It is she who falls in love with Winston first. He hated her, he wanted to rape and murder her.

She puts herself in danger to come and meet him. She makes all the plans, she makes all the arrangements for them to meet at first, tries her best to ensure his safety. She tries to takes care of him.

It is she, not Winston, who unhesitatingly refuses to contemplate the idea of their separating for the cause of the Brotherhood. She loves him. She, as well as Winston, dreams of their being married and living together, though they both know such dreams are futile.

During the meeting in Charrington's room, she brings with her good food, sweet things, nourishment for body and soul (Winston makes that point explicitly), makes her face up with cosmetics to make herself beautiful, small things but things of the civilised times that Winston craves so much, again, putting herself in danger to do so. Trying to make him and herself happy for a short time. Understanding how much such things will mean to him and to herself.

Faith. Love. Loyalty. Hope. Understanding. The higher things of life, humanity. She displays all of these. All the training, all the brainwashing, has failed utterly. She is naturally unorthodox, unwilling to submit to control. She is supposed to be denied sexual freedom and pleasure by the Party, but she pursues it anyway because she enjoys it, calmly making her plans, joining the Junior Anti-Sex League to allay suspicion. That is not the act of a caged animal, it a human being saying that they will not accept burdensome and unjust conditions. The laws are there and she calculatedly breaks them, just as Winston does.

When people talk of Julia, why are they so harsh in judgement of her? Her rebellion is petty, unproductive, counterproductive. She plays into the Party's hands. She's a danger to herself and others. We're not sure she isn't working for the Party. She's ignoble. She's sub-human. Why are they so quick to dismiss her, suspect her?

I don't accept that the Party nurtures rebellion. Parsons landed up in the Ministry of Love after few incidents (or a single incident?) of talking in his sleep after a lifetime of goodthinkfulness. Ampleforth the same.

Gladys
07-08-2009, 06:05 AM
Again, our point of debate was whether or not we should consider her rebellion petty. She doesn't think it is, the Party doesn't think it is, Winston doesn't think it is. I see no reason why we should second guess them.

You make a convincing case that Julia has more humanity than Winston, who among other things, would 'throw vitriol in a child's face'. If her rebellion is petty at first, I would agree that her humanity grows through her relationship with Winston, even to the extent of faith, love, loyalty, hope and understanding. O’Brien would see both their rebellions as ‘petty’, while he suppresses them.


That is not the act of a caged animal, it a human being saying that they will not accept burdensome and unjust conditions.

What she says she achieves, before meeting Winston, seems little more than sex for sex sake, her goals being so limited. Clearly many, and perhaps most, Outer Party members rebel.


I don't accept that the Party nurtures rebellion. How then do you explain the more than seven years of surveillance of Winston before the Thought Police arrest him? Surveillance that would have exposed the diary bought from Charrington's junk-shop, prior to the novel's start.

Richier
07-12-2009, 05:54 AM
When people talk of Julia, why are they so harsh in judgement of her? Her rebellion is petty, unproductive, counterproductive. She plays into the Party's hands. She's a danger to herself and others. We're not sure she isn't working for the Party. She's ignoble. She's sub-human. Why are they so quick to dismiss her, suspect her?

I don't accept that the Party nurtures rebellion. Parsons landed up in the Ministry of Love after few incidents (or a single incident?) of talking in his sleep after a lifetime of goodthinkfulness. Ampleforth the same.

Well how can we be sure she isn't working for the party until they meet up at the end? O'Brien and Charrington work for the party, why not Julia as well?

Julia's rebellion seems much stronger than Winston's until she shows no interest in reading Goldstein's book in the Attic. This is the turning point for me.

Gladys
07-12-2009, 07:05 AM
Julia's rebellion seems much stronger than Winston's until she shows no interest in reading Goldstein's book in the Attic. This is the turning point for me. In what way 'the turning point'?

Richier
07-13-2009, 05:53 PM
In what way 'the turning point'?
Up until that point, Julia was more convincing in her commitment to rebellion against the party, but how could someone wanting to join the resistance movement fall asleep reading/listening to the clandestine book that explains their struggle?

What would you say Julia wants to do? Not topple the party.

Gladys
07-15-2009, 05:02 AM
What would you say Julia wants to do? Not topple the party. Since the party is invincible, sensible Julia is a realist.

mollie
07-21-2009, 08:41 AM
To Richier - Goldstein's book is a fraud. It is written by the Party, to serve the Party's purposes. Winston is as taken in by it as he is by O'Brien - it later comes to light that Julia's reaction (or non-reaction) to the book is entirely appropriate. Also, I should like to add my agreement to Gladys's opinion above, stating that Julia is a realist, and more concerned with the practical than the theoretical; I do not believe that her lack of interest in the book is a proof that we should find her motives suspect.


You make a convincing case that Julia has more humanity than Winston, who among other things, would 'throw vitriol in a child's face'. If her rebellion is petty at first, I would agree that her humanity grows through her relationship with Winston, even to the extent of faith, love, loyalty, hope and understanding. O’Brien would see both their rebellions as ‘petty’, while he suppresses them.



What she says she achieves, before meeting Winston, seems little more than sex for sex sake, her goals being so limited. Clearly many, and perhaps most, Outer Party members rebel.

How then do you explain the more than seven years of surveillance of Winston before the Thought Police arrest him? Surveillance that would have exposed the diary bought from Charrington's junk-shop, prior to the novel's start.

I thoroughly agree that Winston and Julia grow and flourish as human beings by means of their relationship, and indeed, I think that is one of the main themes of the book, though one that tends to get a little lost in the midst of the reader's interest in the Party's methods and theory and the portrayal of life under its regime.

I would point out that Julia also agreed to throw vitriol in a child's face, and it was certainly not my intention to portray her as more human than Winston, but to point out that she does not derive her humanity from her association with him, that it was there already, and flourishes through his love and companionship.

I think that O'Brien would see their rebellions as useless rather than petty, as he knows the power of the Party, but also knows that little or nothing in the way of rebellion is seen as petty by the Party; every particle of individuality, humanity and spirituality is a threat to the Party's supremacy and must be destroyed.

"Sex for sex's sake" seems a limited goal only from the perspective of someone living in a liberal democracy, but not to one living in a sexually repressive totalitarian state. Sex for sex's sake in a convent in the Middle Ages would be sufficient for the offender to be buried alive, and such risk and gruesome punishment does not suggest a limited goal - it depends on context.

The seven years of surveillance I account for by Winston's lack of goodthinkfulness. The word goodthinkful, ascribed to Winston's wife, is explained by Winston as meaning naturally orthodox and incapable of thought contrary to Party doctrine. Winston, despite his efforts, has at some time over the years prior to the surveillance clearly displayed ungoodthinkfulness, and has betrayed himself to the Thought Police as someone who must be destroyed. I believe that he did so by talking in his sleep. He believes that he has had a dream during which a person has said to him that they will meet him in the place where there is no darkness - I think that O'Brien has planted this idea in his head subliminally, talking to him in his sleep by means of the telescreen, after he has betrayed himself. Much is made of the danger of talking in one's sleep, and I think that it is not a great leap to make to assume that that is what Winston has done.

Gladys
07-21-2009, 11:42 PM
I would point out that Julia also agreed to throw vitriol in a child's face, and it was certainly not my intention to portray her as more human than Winston, but to point out that she does not derive her humanity from her association with him, that it was there already, and flourishes through his love and companionship.

It's less than clear that 'Julia also agreed to throw vitriol'. At very least, she lacks Winston's enthusiasm for committing atrocities. I suspect she retains to the end a cynical view of opposition to the party.


O'Brien had turned himself a little in his chair so that he was facing Winston. He almost ignored Julia, seeming to take it for granted that Winston could speak for her.

As for Winston, in another life, he and O'Brien might have changed places seamlessly. Both zealots without principles.

mollie
07-22-2009, 03:57 PM
Yes, you're quite right, it's not clear that Julia herself says that she will do so. However, since she refused to separate and never see Winston again, but does not break in to refuse to do any of the other acts proposed, I think her agreement may be inferred.

I don't think I agree with your reading of Winston and O'Brien both being zealots without principles. O'Brien, is willing to do (and does) any amount of appalling things, but cares for nothing but the power of the Party, and his own power, I suppose. Winston is willing to do appalling things, but in the name of freedom and humanity. While that does not necessarily excuse the things that he says he would have done, I think it is somewhat unfair to say that he is without principles.

Gladys
07-22-2009, 05:01 PM
I don't think I agree with your reading of Winston and O'Brien both being zealots without principles. O'Brien, is willing to do (and does) any amount of appalling things, but cares for nothing but the power of the Party, and his own power, I suppose. Winston is willing to do appalling things, but in the name of freedom and humanity. While that does not necessarily excuse the things that he says he would have done, I think it is somewhat unfair to say that he is without principles.

It seems to me that the Stalins, Hitlers, Maos, Pol Pots and Mugabes of this world begin, like Winston, with high ideals. Principles tend to be sacrificed in the face of ongoing, practical realities - like retaining power and influence. O’Brien had this in mind in Room 101. And I suspect this was Orwell's painful experience, particularly in Spain before World War II .

mollie
07-23-2009, 08:17 AM
It seems to me that the Stalins, Hitlers, Maos, Pol Pots and Mugabes of this world begin, like Winston, with high ideals. Principles tend to be sacrificed in the face of ongoing, practical realities - like retaining power and influence. O’Brien had this in mind in Room 101. And I suspect this was Orwell's painful experience, particularly in Spain before World War II .

A good point, and well made :).

Richier
07-29-2009, 04:50 AM
To Richier - Goldstein's book is a fraud. It is written by the Party, to serve the Party's purposes. Winston is as taken in by it as he is by O'Brien - it later comes to light that Julia's reaction (or non-reaction) to the book is entirely appropriate. Also, I should like to add my agreement to Gladys's opinion above, stating that Julia is a realist, and more concerned with the practical than the theoretical; I do not believe that her lack of interest in the book is a proof that we should find her motives suspect.

Mollie, I do apologise for the time delay in replying, and hope I don't confuse the thread as it has moved on since your post...
In what sense is Goldstein's book a fraud (I'm not suggesting it is or isn't)? The party controls what is truth and what is not, and O'Brien explains that Goldstein's book is fictional while he is convincing Winston that 2 + 2 = 5, if the party says it is.

My point about the difference between Julia and Winston's rebellion is that both were led to believe that Goldstein's book was the key document for the brotherhood and surprisingly, Julia wasn't interested in it. Why Orwell made Julia's character do this I can't quite fathom out, is there a point being made or was it due to the poor attitude towards women in the early 20th century?

The Atheist
07-29-2009, 02:47 PM
Why Orwell made Julia's character do this I can't quite fathom out, is there a point being made or was it due to the poor attitude towards women in the early 20th century?

I don't think it shows a poor attitude towards women as being honest about the difference between men and women. Men are idealists, women realists. Julia knew that there was nothing any putative "brotherhood" could do and that their only option was to go on until they were caught, while Winston held hopes of overthrowing the Party.

Julia being right tends to emphasise Orwell's respect for their pragmatism rather than anything else.

Gladys
07-29-2009, 08:12 PM
In what sense is Goldstein's book a fraud (I'm not suggesting it is or isn't)? The party controls what is truth and what is not, and O'Brien explains that Goldstein's book is fictional while he is convincing Winston that 2 + 2 = 5, if the party says it is.

Interesting. The narrator of 1984 is omniscient and infallible, but what of O'Brien? Can we believe anything, or should we believe everything, he says to Winston in Room 101?

For instance, did O'Brien really write Goldstein's book, and is there really no Brotherhood in Oceania? Winston 'trusts' him, should we?

mollie
07-31-2009, 10:01 AM
Mollie, I do apologise for the time delay in replying, and hope I don't confuse the thread as it has moved on since your post...
In what sense is Goldstein's book a fraud (I'm not suggesting it is or isn't)? The party controls what is truth and what is not, and O'Brien explains that Goldstein's book is fictional while he is convincing Winston that 2 + 2 = 5, if the party says it is.

My point about the difference between Julia and Winston's rebellion is that both were led to believe that Goldstein's book was the key document for the brotherhood and surprisingly, Julia wasn't interested in it. Why Orwell made Julia's character do this I can't quite fathom out, is there a point being made or was it due to the poor attitude towards women in the early 20th century?

I'm sorry, I hadn't been checking this thread, so I apologise for the delay in replying to you!

By "a fraud", I mean that I think that Goldstein's book has been written by the Party, as O'Brien suggests. If a book existed which had been genuinely written by Goldstein, I do not think that O'Brien would have given a copy to Winston. I think it makes more sense that he would give Winston material that the Party had produced. If Winston had managed to get hold of a book allegedly written by Goldstein from another source, and O'Brien had claimed that that was written by the Party, I might be a little more suspicious of whether or not O'Brien was speaking the truth there. But since Winston has been given the book by O'Brien himself, I think it more likely that the book is a product of the Party.

I agree with Atheist, I think Julia's lack of interest in the book reflects a nature which concentrates on the practical rather than the theoretical, and I do not construe this as a criticism of women or of Julia.

How much of O'Brien's words can be trusted is a good question though!

mauriciogracia
09-02-2011, 11:09 AM
Julia and Winston were able to express their feellings and thoughts by loving and caring for each other using different hideouts

They enjoyed the fact of sharing the vision that the present "was wrong" and that by making love was a rebeld act that could change the terrible present into a more human future.

Since the torture tranformed them and made them betray each other, they both became different persons, making loving each other imposible

Since both probably loved the way they felt and share in the past, but there was no hope to feel any of that in present, it was better to "move on"...and convincing your self that you "love the big brother" was like geting shot in the head and just stop thinking.

The Atheist
09-02-2011, 02:25 PM
Julia and Winston were able to express their feellings and thoughts by loving and caring for each other using different hideouts

They enjoyed the fact of sharing the vision that the present "was wrong" and that by making love was a rebeld act that could change the terrible present into a more human future.

Since the torture tranformed them and made them betray each other, they both became different persons, making loving each other imposible

Since both probably loved the way they felt and share in the past, but there was no hope to feel any of that in present, it was better to "move on"...and convincing your self that you "love the big brother" was like geting shot in the head and just stop thinking.

Not bad, but you're missing one important point:

It wasn't a case of "better to move on", they had been completely re-programmed and were incapable of doing anything unorthodox.

mauriciogracia
09-02-2011, 03:51 PM
Not bad, but you're missing one important point:

It wasn't a case of "better to move on", they had been completely re-programmed and were incapable of doing anything unorthodox.

That is true !! they were not themselves after seeing that no matter how many precautions the took the "hand of the big brother" reach them and torn them apart

I think that if anybody feels that their actions are not going to have any positive effect in the present or near future..is better to live in oblivion loving the Big Brother and fofgeting about using your memory to remember an always changing past

mauriciogracia
09-02-2011, 04:14 PM
.....My point about the difference between Julia and Winston's rebellion is that both were led to believe that Goldstein's book was the key document for the brotherhood and surprisingly, Julia wasn't interested in it. Why Orwell made Julia's character do this I can't quite fathom out, is there a point being made or was it due to the poor attitude towards women in the early 20th century?

There might be many factors here
- Julia worked producing books not by means of human intervention, but by means of machines that had a few "history lines" avaible. So maybe she could not apreciate as much as Winston a "normal" Book
- Since Julia was a lot younger than Winston she did not live in the time before the Big Brother existed, and reading about a past that was part of her Granfather past but not her past is not as significant since it does not bring her back memories
- She seemed to be more insterested in cheating the rules of The Party "just for another day" and enjoying her few minutes/hours of aparent freedom than to produce big changes in the whole world/country
- I think since the beggining Winston was the one interested in getting a copy of the book and she just agreed

burgersjaap
06-01-2012, 06:32 AM
to whom ever it may concern. if we are not allowed to discuss politics on a topic like this than that completely defeats the purpose of the book in question. it is a futuristic dystopian novel that functions as warning. it begs for analogies and comparison with contemporary situations. I believe Karl Marx is on this website? would it be allowed to talk of ideologies? capitalism vs communism or even fascism perhaps. I understand that this should by no means serve as a political platform but explain to me how one could discuss July's People but not mentioning apartheid? or to draw examples from the real world? Thank You Big Brother for watching us.... apart form this 1984 does present hope> read the footnote on page 6 and the prologue it refers to and one can read perhaps the one objectively expressed part of the book. a hint Orwell gave us right at the start.

burgersjaap
06-01-2012, 06:42 AM
you state that the narrator is omniscient but is that true? we only see what he wishes to describe. though in third person singular and in past tense but there is no reason that the narrative is omniscient. how much can this narrative be trusted?

Tastidian
09-14-2012, 08:38 PM
I think that Winston was so converted because the party's schemes had already began to act upon him. Because we have lived in the free world, we can't understand how he feels. I think that solipsism is what really broke Winston. After that he just fell apart.