August 2012



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[info]tigresslilly wrote
on November 9th, 2009 at 09:16 am

1984 Thoughts so Far

"V for Vendetta" both the movie and the graphic novel did it sooo much better. "1984" is one of those books that so far (I'm only a fourth of the way through part three) could have benefited from major editing. I mean this tome goes on and on and on on on about doublespeak. I got the concept the first eighty times. Seriously, the book dedicates over twenty pages and two separate sections to the idea of doublespeak.

Also, I love a good metaphysical discussion as much as the next person, but how long can a dude talk about the realities of history? Some of it might just be that I don't think our current history records or our current reporting styles are so pristine that I can get too worked up about the Ministry of Truth's work. It's bad sure, I don't know if destroys objective history (as such a thing doesn't exist) or if it would bring every aspect of my life and personal thoughts into question.

Whole swaths of women's history and non-white people's history is still trying to be pieced together and learned. Whether or not we know it or understand it doesn't change that it happened.

In the neo-pagan movement one of the many questions that has to be faced if you want to use British witch-craft as a source or Wicca outer court material is whether the history matters. After all, the creations there are new with faked older lineage. If the material is valid regardless of age the good for you and if it's not good, then it's just not going to work with you.

Winston is horrified by something that we all deal with to a certain degree. Maybe it's just one of those horrors you have to be there to really understand-though if that's the case then maybe 1984 shouldn't have relied so heavily on it.

On a completely different note, how come all these super controlled societies are run by men and questioned only by men? I know what you're going to say, Juila is the catalyst for Winston's true rebellion. Without her, Winston would have just gone on being unhappy and frustrated and probably would have one day given himself away without ever experiencing any of the joy of rebellion.

I like Julia. She sneaks around eating good food pilfered from the elite's store. She sleeps with whomever she pleases. She knows where the safe areas are to go to talk or relax. She knows how to hide in plain sight and she can pick out others who are probably doing the same. Why the hell didn't we start the book off with someone who was frustrated with society and doing something about it the way Julia was? Seriously Winston is just a hopeless little whiner before Julia comes along and he would have stayed that way without her.

What gets me the most about the whole situation is even though Winston "loves" Julia and even though he would be nothing without her, he still looks down on her. She doesn't "care" about The Party's motives or larger goals. Julia doesn't get into a froth over who the party is at war with. She's not surprised that they go back and change information to suit their goals and needs, but she's not horrified either.

Of course, Julia doubts the reality of a war at all, something Winston never even considers. She believes The Party is a bunch of liars but she just doesn't care about what the truth is as it doesn't affect her. Julia believes these things are nebulous and far away compared to immediate concerns over the quality of life.

Winston is on such a high horse about the big issues. Something has to be done. The truth has to be preserved. Would he even care if his quality of life hadn't been impacted?

Beyond that, realistically what is Winston going to do? What can anyone in a society set up as Oceania do? Julia is smart enough to see that her acts of rebellion are probably the limit. You could escape into the proles maybe and then create unrest among them strong enough to cause a revolt, though it seems unlikely as Winston doesn't have the skills or the understanding he'd need to do that. You could stand up publicly in the middle of Oceania against Big Brother and be taken and hope other would follow you example, hope somehow that enough people would protest that the thought police couldn't take them all.

It's a hopeless scenario, sometimes surviving and surviving with some private joys has to be enough.

Another thing why would you trust Charrington? Seriously has Winston ever been in another party building without a telescreen? Did he really believe that The Party let people choose to install them and you know Charrington never found the time or didn't have the money or something?

And why wouldn't Charrington have brought Winston in when Winston first bought the journal or when Winston came back for the paperweight or the first time he and Julia met in the room? How much thought crime did he have to show before he got busted? I thought these people just pulled you off the street for looking at people wrong and now they take their sweet time messing with Winston before they take him in. Heck why didn't O'Brien bring him in at his apartment? It all seems really pointless to me.

Winston seemed far too afraid of pain to really be interested in a change. He cowers at the sight of the thought police. He obeys them even though he knows death and pain are unavoidable. I guess fear can do that to you, but all those words about going down swinging and doing anything to attack at the party seem really hollow when he won't even show rebellion or resistance in the face of what is certain death. How long has he been insisting that he is the dead already only to be suddenly afraid all over again when he has to face it?

Some of the torture seems uninspired and I think that Orwell didn't give human resistance enough credit. He made the human spirit's will to live unbelievably strong and yet it's ability to resist change through brutality is unexplored. I don't know, maybe Orwell was on the ball and people completely collapse all the time the minute torture is implemented. I've been led to believe that torture doesn't work partially because people won't give up correct information or any information even.

One thing Orwell did really well was talk about how once someone breaks they will tell you anything to stop the pain. I liked that Winston just confessed and confessed and confessed. I also like the scene where the one emaciated dying man begs to avoid room 101 and says he will tell them anything so long as he knows what to repeat to them.

It's still a chilling read and it's worth the time, I just think it could have been edited some is all. The book really only has 150 pages of plot and general thought in it worth reading the rest of it seems be be repetition because Orwell thought we should be beaten over the head with a concept that is easy to grasp.

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