Just another hanging

25 Oct

In chapter 2 of 1984 we meet Winston’s neighbors, the Parsons.
There’s dreary, whiny Mrs. Parsons.
Not at home is her overgrown, sweaty, man-child husband Tom.
They have two children.  Bratty, rotten children who sling a catapult bullet at Winston.

The children are mad because they want to go see the Eurasian prisoners’ hanging.  Dad won’t be home in time to take them, and mom’s too busy.

Winston explains that a hanging is a popular event for people to attend.
“Children always clamored to be taken to see it.”

This is a culture that embraces violence.

Sikes' hanging Bullseye Step into Classics

Remember when we read Oliver Twist?  I was concerned by this illustration in a children’s edition of the classic that showed dead Sikes dangling from the rooftop.  I wanted to shield my children from the pen and ink drawing of the violent scene.  The Parsons’ kids begged to experience the horror in person.

The three INGSOC slogans are

War is Peace.

Freedom is Slavery.

Ignorance is Strength.

I’d add, “Murder is Entertainment.”

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in 1984


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