Thursday, May 31, 2007

Parallels Between 1984 and Our World Today

There are many similarities between the world in 1984 and ours today. For example, the Thought Police can be related to our regular police. I feel that the Thought Police have taken their unofficial laws and rules to a severe extreme and impressed the people so bad under them that they are forced to live in fear. Now-a-days, people actually live in fear when a cop is around. I don't think I've ever seen someone not say, "Look! It's a cop! Watch out!", or something to that effect in which they are afraid to act as if they would without the cop's presence. Therefore, both the citizens in our world and 1984's are forced to feel fearful and guilty when a face of authority is around, but obviously with the Thought Police it was a bit more stressful and strict. As stated in an earlier blog, I've also noticed that there is a large symbolic meaning to how "Big Brother" can invade the people's privacy in the novel, and how our government today can very well invade ours too. President Bush's passing of the Patriot Act enabled the random government officials to snoop around with our phone lines, therefore violating our freedom of speech in a sense. And, once again, in challenging our rights, we are forced to live under a stronger sense of fear. I feel that Orwell is really trying to say that our government and nation is and can become a dystopia, if we allow it to. The people need to take a stand and fight for their rights. If everyone remains silent, then no changes will take place. Speaking out is truly the key to getting what you want, and it will keep us from forming a dystopiatic lifestyle.

Important Ideas Learned From Other Classmates

Overall, I feel that the entire blogging process was great. It gave us a chance to view other's work and incorporate their ideas with ours. And, there were even a few parts to the book in which I did not truly understand, and I checked out Adam's blog to help guide me through that part. The particular concept that Adam explained through his blog was doublethink, which didn't come to me real easy. Through his examples I was able to find out what that word truly meant. This is one of the many benefits I have from blogging. Also, when I wanted to comment on my friend Eric's blog to show that I agreed with him on the topic of safe blogging, I was able to. If we were to have been doing ordinary homework, these options aren't available to me. I can see other's work for whatever necessity I have. Whether I needed someone to interperet something for me, to comment another's thinking, or to even use someone's else's ideas to start my own, blogging was there for me. That's why it's so great, it gives you those options that handing in separate pieces of paper to your teacher don't. Therefore, blogging is more beneficial than all other forms of homework for those simple reasons.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

1984: A True Warning Toward Our Nation

Overall, I feel the true point that the author was trying to make was that we need to be prepared and ready. The government has the main say in our country, and when they start taking our rights away, we need to act. We cannot wait until the point where the oppression and pressure that the government inflict on us is so severe that we can't stand on our own two feet. And, that is what Winston did, he waited until boiling point and it was clearly too late. He wasn't thinking in advance, and the government quickly put an end to his little rebellion because they were ready, and waiting. If our government becomes too powerful as Winston's did, we may not have the strength or potential to gather enough citizens to rebel, because they already fear the government and are manipulated by whomever the dictator is. As well, the author tried to show how the government had taken total control over privacy. At any given time they could be watching you, listening to you, or reading your thoughts. It is completely unfair and Orwell is trying to depict for us the possibility that this may happen. And, it has in fact showed up a bit, through our Patriot Act. This act gives the government the ability to listen to any random phone conversation, unnoticed. It is clearly a violation of our rights as were the Thought Police's ability to control the citizens in their society. The book may have exaggerated the emphasis toward how much control their government had, but it is the point that matters: the government can take one bad turn and their feet will be at your doorstep the next day. It is our true responsibility to make sure that our rights are not interfered with and that they're constantly guaranteed. We need to be ready, because the possibilities are endless. As Shane said: "Orwell was trying to tell us how if we give too much power to the government that they’ll use it all, and never give it back. "

O'Brien's Torture Scene

This portion of the end of the book was awful to endure through and read. I felt the pain as much as Winston, and I was only reading it. I feel the author did a very good job on making this scene awful and gruesome. It was clear to me that O'Brien enjoyed hearing the deafening screams coming from Winston due to how much this "torture machine" really hurt. Whereas now-a-days we'd look at that as something probably impossible to do unless you were a serial killer, O'Brien did it with pleasure and ease, and quite often he did it daily. The fact that Winston saw four fingers constantly, which was in reality the truth, he was continuously struck by this machine. This is clearly an example of symbolism towards how the Party would manipulate every single citizen. If they said five, you had to say five, and if you didn't, you were tortured. Whatever they say, you must go along with and act as if it's the complete truth. Big Brother had quite the handle on these people, making them believe that whatever the Party decided was a moral fact and correct. It truly put the people in a very unfair situation in which they had no freedom or say.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Thoughts On The Novel

Thus far, I have numerous thoughts, opinions, and requests towards the outcome of the book, on the whole. The parts where both Syme and the Parson children talk about the "hanging" made me sick. The thought that someone could see a hanging as a form of entertainment is just wrong and twisted. It is meant to be a severe punishment in the form of torture, not a sport or game. Syme said how he liked when the victim's blue tongue sticks out. People now-a-days would throw up if they heard of somebody that found that awful site pleasurable. It is completely disguisting and horrible. This society is truly a dystopia. Everything that happens (other than Winston's few sneaky, rebellious moves) is totally undesirable. I would hate living here. It is about time for Winston to rebel.

I also hope that the Proles decide to rebel, alongside with Winston. They have the power to and all that they need to do is set their minds to it. This controlling, totalitarian dictatorship must be impeached by the power of the people. There is not enough freedom for people to even enjoy themselves. Living in fear your whole life is something that nobody should ever want or hope for. Yet, the Proles could change this. They have the power and the number of people to do it. I'm sure there's many more citizens who feel the same way and would join them in the rebellion. He who questions authority is more likely to get what he desires, while he who remains silent will be more likely to cause little or no effect on his leader's thoughts and decisions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Big Brother Is Watching You"

For my own chosen blog, I have decided to discuss the excerpt "Big Brother Is Watching You" as a topic. I feel, and obviously know, that it plays a significant role on both the novel and today in our society. In the novel, it shows that "Big Brother", or the government, is always in control. No privacy is allowed and almost all freedoms are taken away. Recognition of the past is prohibited to therefore ensure a pre-planned future in which the government powers everything. Any idea of rebellion could result in potential death or severe punishment. Thoughts are even being interpereted by the Spy Police. All in all, everything that you say, do, or think is being monitored by any governmental official at any given time. You need to think before you act in whatever circumstance.

This quote still plays a large role in our society's response to certain governmental-based decisions. I have seen this quote re-stated in places such as editorials in newspapers where the citizens are allowed to express their opinion toward a political action. People use this quote to show that they feel the government is keeping too strong of a hold on the people and their possible activities. It is used as a warning to show the resemblence of our government's power to that of the political party in 1984. It is basically one large comparison to bring the fact that our government may have too much power to our attention. There are many symbolic quotes or ideas from this novel that are used to exemplify the status of our country's government.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Responsible Blogging

Responsible blogging is clearly necessary to avoid the dangers and threats that could potentially come along with it. One must draw the line between his or her freedom of speech and possibly dangerous comments that he or she may make. Therefore, a few examples of dangerous blogging shown to our class by Mr. Miller could be a threat, racist remark, or sign of a predator. In case of a predator, one shouldn't give out any personal information, such as their full name or telephone number. As well, if you are posting an online job interview, one can keep record of or find a blog that you've created in the past which may contain immature language, behavior, etc. They could use it against you to keep you from obtaining that job. I feel that all of these concerns are legitimate because with the internet now-a-days, anything is entirely possible. There are creeps everywhere and sometimes we are too ignorant to realize this. Putting personal information on your blog is just asking for the attention. A few rules the class should follow for safe blogging should obviously be to not include personal information, to not use profanity or obscene language, and to use it for solely an educational purpose. One shouldn't try to make friends as if it were myspace, attracting the wrong type of people. The key to safe blogging is to use your own good judgement in what you say or do.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Beginning of 1984

After reading an excerpt from the early text of 1984, I can get the whole overall picture of what the story is going to be about. Winston Smith, an everyday man is this totalitarion society, is likewise forced to live under the fear due to his government. "Big Brother" is their leader and he controls everything through the five "ministries." Everything that one does and even says is recorded and watched by "Big Brother." Therefore, you must think before you act, every single time. The conditions of the setting in this novel are described as a "dystopia", and are therefore quite undesirable and not too intriguing. Overall, the story seems like it will be very interesting and I hope that Winston attempts to overthrow this control-freak of a government.