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Thread: Why Winston?

  1. #1
    Machiavellian. Enjoi.'s Avatar
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    Question Why Winston?

    Why of all people would the Party choose Winston? What event set off this massive scheme of taking down Winston? Was it as soon as he bought the journal? Or was it sooner or later? What do you guys think?
    The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.

    -Machiavelli

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    Registered User Guernica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enjoi. View Post
    Why of all people would the Party choose Winston? What event set off this massive scheme of taking down Winston? Was it as soon as he bought the journal? Or was it sooner or later? What do you guys think?

    Winston's buying the journal definately sparked something for the Thought Police... especially since Mr. Charrington was a member. Writing, or any form of personal expression was illegal. The Thought Police probably also picked up something, or anything, else from the Telescreens; may it be a facial expression or a slip-up while Winston was trying to act as brainwashed as the rest of his community. Whatever it was, they were tracking Winston for years.
    I think that it was buying the journal that decided Winston's fate.

    The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
    In your head and in your mouth in your soul.

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    I think that they most likely started watching Winston after his dream of O'Brien's voice seven years before the story takes place. In the story Winston says that he realized that the thought police had been watching him for seven years. He must have cried out in his sleep or made some other betraying movement that made the thought police suspicious. Obviously, as we see from O'Brien's ability to figure out what Winston is thinking throughout the "interrogation", the thought police can decode thoughts very easily. Winston probably made many small mistakes that gave him away, but when he bought the diary they probably realized that he had some potential to be dangerous to them, since he was beginning to take small steps of action.

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    i think they noticed hints of unorthodoxy in his work for the ministry as well, many years before the book starts.

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukgem View Post
    i think they noticed hints of unorthodoxy in his work for the ministry as well, many years before the book starts.
    No doubt whatsoever.

    For a start, I think Orwell's quite specific with the level of set-up in Cherrington's shop, that the Thought Police has had him under the microscope for years.

    In Winston's case, he is never out of observation - never, not for a split second. This is what he forgets most of the time, but look at how careful he is in the Two-Minute Hate.... not even a tic in the eye... It's only then that he clicks onto the fact that he doesn't escape their notice - even after the giveaway of the physical jerks.

    I think this is one of Orwell's points which gets overlooked - the ability of humans to be contemptful through familiarity. Winston just keeps forgetting, as any of us would, that he was being watched that same way all the time. Why else was he given the alcove where he could stay out of sight?

    That in itself was a clear unorthodoxy - why would a loyal Party member want to be unseen by the watchers? A good practitioner of Doublethink would have knocked the wall down, or avoided that area by drawing a line on the ground and pretending the space isn't there. "If I can't be watched, I don't exist in that space, ergo, it doesn't exist."
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    Machiavellian. Enjoi.'s Avatar
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    I never considered the alcove to be a place to draw an non-loyal Party member. Almost to entice them to go there. Good eye The Atheist
    The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.

    -Machiavelli

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    Idle Toerag
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    Why Winston? - Winston is the biggest threat to the stability of the party, and the status quo of society.

    What event started the chain of actions? How about Winston chancing upon the photo of Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford? This was around 1973, long predating any other known unorthodoxy. He put the photo in the memory hole, assuming it would be ashes within seconds... and O'Brien has it later in the Ministry of Love.

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    Machiavellian. Enjoi.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richier View Post
    Why Winston? - Winston is the biggest threat to the stability of the party, and the status quo of society.

    What event started the chain of actions? How about Winston chancing upon the photo of Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford? This was around 1973, long predating any other known unorthodoxy. He put the photo in the memory hole, assuming it would be ashes within seconds... and O'Brien has it later in the Ministry of Love.
    I forgot about the photo, i don't think Winston alone is the biggest threat to the Party, he really isn't a threat. Why did the Party put off erasing his memory and forcing him to accept the Parties ideals for so long? He was just one of few that oppose the Party.
    The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.

    -Machiavelli

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    I was going to say people like Winston are the biggest threat, but I have learned (from this forum) that the original title of the book was 'last man in europe', and there is no evidence of any others with Winston's mindset.
    In Goldstein's book it is made clear that in history, groups in power are eventually overthrown by the middle classes. This means cynical people not in the ruling inner party. The whole process is to turn these people without making them martyrs, which was the fundamental mistake of earlier empires.
    There are no threats from Eastasia or Eurasia (war is peace). There are no threats from the proles (ignorance is strength).

    As for the elaborate plan, here's my suggestion: remember in the 2 minutes hate, Winston's emotion switches between Love and Hate? I think his hatred of BB is nurtured, then turned to Love. Then he is ready to be vaporised after the book finishes.

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    Registered User delta-fan's Avatar
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    What I don't understand is why they kept a close eye on Winston for years and then arrested him, when Parsons was arrested much quicker.

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Parsons was no threat, he was just an orthodox member who had a brain fart while asleep. Continuing observation would find nothing new, while Winston was secretive right from the start.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    Registered User delta-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    Parsons was no threat, he was just an orthodox member who had a brain fart while asleep. Continuing observation would find nothing new, while Winston was secretive right from the start.
    Fair enough- and I like your term 'brain fart'
    Last edited by delta-fan; 02-24-2009 at 06:05 PM.

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