RSS

Tag Archives: 1984

Diagnosis

Invisible Man chapter 3

Mr. Norton is having a most “interesting” afternoon.  In search of refreshment, our narrator rushes the trustee to the local watering hole, The Golden Day.  The bar choice could have been better.  In the midst of Mr. Norton’s fainting spells, the mentally unstable, veteran doctor gives a diagnosis.  First to Mr. Norton.  But his ailment is not shared with the reader.  A few pages later the vet describes the narrator’s troubles.

… “Behold! a walking zombie!  Already he’s learned to repress not only his emotions but his humanity.  He’s invisible. a walking personification of the Negative, the most perfect achievement of your dreams, sir!  The mechanical man!”

Repressing emotions and humanity?
Sounds to me like the narrator has a serious case of 1984-itis.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Invisible Man

 

Tags: , , , ,

Big Founder

Maybe it’s because I so recently finished 1984, but every time I read about the Founder in Invisible Man, I think of Big Brother.  In my mind, the bronze statue of the college Founder has a moustache and piercing eyes.  Is anyone else having this problem?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Invisible Man

 

Tags: , , ,

Finished

book%2Bcover%2B1984%2BcopyI finished 1984.

So let me get this straight.

For seven years O’Brien turned Winston away from The Party.  He whispered to him through the telescreen; he set temptations in front of him; he lured him into Thought Crimes…

just so he could torture him and bring him back to being a proper comrade and member of The Party (a broken member, but a member).

Did I miss anything?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 14, 2013 in 1984

 

Tags: , ,

A Confidant

1984
Book III chapter ii

O’Brien is taking his time torturing Winston.  He’s using the special machine with the dial to reteach Winston the proper way to think: doublethink.  In the midst of unspeakable pain, Winston is finally able to say all the things he’s always wanted to.  He talks about the war and its ever-changing enemy.  He talks about his diary.  He talks about the newspaper photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford.

O’Brien is determined.  He will teach Winston that 2+ 2=5.

The torture continues until finally Winston can’t even answer the simple math question.  He receives pain medicine.

He opened his eyes and looked up gratefully at O’Brien.  At sight of the heavy, lined face, so ugly and so intelligent, his heart seemed to turn over.  If he could have moved he would have stretched out a hand and laid it on O’Brien’s arm.  He had never loved him so deeply as at this moment, and not merely because he had stopped the pain.  The old feeling, that at the bottom it did not matter whether O’Brien was a friend or an enemy, had come back..  O’Brien was a person who could be talked to.

“O’Brien was a person who could be talked to.”

In the margin of my book I wrote, “like Bigger with Max”.

Certainly Max isn’t like O’Brien.  Native Son ‘s Jewish lawyer really did want to help his client Bigger Thomas, but Winston and Bigger have experienced the same kind of isolation.  Both men were alone with their thoughts… always.  It was never safe for them to share ideas… with anyone.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 13, 2013 in 1984

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thought Crime

1984 check-in

I finished Part III of 1984 this weekend.  I think I need to make more doctor’s appointments for my children.  Waiting rooms are where I’m most productive with WEM reading.  How many of you went ahead and read Orwell’s Appendix?  I’m tempted to skip it but don’t want the WEM Thought Police to come after me.  Help me decide?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 11, 2013 in 1984

 

Tags: ,

Ridiculous

19841984 CCOM
Book II chapter viii

It’s Hate Week.  In the midst of “celebrating”, the war switches from Eurasia to Eastaisa with the explanation that it was Goldstein sabotage.  Five year’s worth of corrections must be made by Winston’s department, but when the work is done, no evidence remains and the war is transferred.  No questions asked.

Really.

Really?

Have you ever told your kids the plan for the day and then switched it, pretending nothing’s changed?

Mom: Children, we’re going to run some errands and end the day by going out for pizza.
Children: Yea!  We’re going out for pizza.  We’re going out for pizza.
Mom: Children, you are absolutely correct.  We’re going to run some errands and end the day by going out for fried chicken.

Children: crickets.    What?!  Mom, you said we’re going out for pizza!  I heard you!  She said, “pizza,” didn’t she?!  You heard her.  Mom said pizza and now she’s switching it to chicken.  Mom, you can’t switch it.  You promised!

Oceania doesn’t even blink.

Doubleplus Ridiculous.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 10, 2013 in 1984

 

Tags: , , ,

Feelings

1984
Book II chapter vii

Winston and Julia are talking about what will happen when they’re caught.

“If you mean confessing,” she said, “we shall do that, right enough.  Everybody always confesses.  You can’t help it.  They torture you.”

th
“I don’t mean confessing.  Confession is not betrayal.  What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter.  If they could make me stop loving you–that would be the real betrayal.”

I was struck by how different Winston and Julia’s relationship is from the one in our last book.  Can you imagine The Stranger’s Mersault telling Marie, “only feelings matter”?  Mersault?  When Marie brought up the topic of marriage, Mersault could take it or leave it

Ahhh, a character who emotes.  It’s nice to be back in the land of feelings.
Even if they are Ingsoc suppressed feelings.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 6, 2013 in 1984

 

Tags: , , , , ,