Notes About the Author ORWELL, George (1903-1950) Published Animal Farm in 1944. In 1949 he published 1984, which was highly successful. Animal Farm and 1984 are considered two of the most important literary works of the twentieth century. Before you go anywhere define these words! You will see them again! • Big Brother • Where did the idea of • Bureaucratic Big Brother first appear? • Corporate • Dystopia • Dictatorship • Demagogue • Written in Orwell's inimitable • Ideology journalistic style, 1984 is a • Oligarchy tribute to a man who saw the • Omnipresent true dangers of historian • Omnipotent Lord Acton's(1834- • Philosophical 1902)statement: • Propaganda • Society • Socialist "Power corrupts; absolute • Slogan • Theocratic power corrupts • Totalitarianism • Technological absolutely." • Utopia Structure = 1984 is divided into 3 parts plus an appendix. • Part 1 sets up Winston's world, which readers see through his eyes and his thoughts. They understand his loneliness and why this leads him to take risks that will lead to his downfall. • In part 2, the lengthiest part of the narrative, Winston becomes connected with people he believes are rebels like himself. It is interesting to note that his publishers originally wanted Orwell to delete this material, because it stops the action of the narrative. • In part 3, Winston and Julia are caught by the Inner Party and we are pulled in to the dramatic tension through his dialogue and interaction with O'Brien. • The book ends with an appendix on the development and structure of the language called "Newspeak." The appendix is written as if it were a scholarly article, and while it serves to clarify the use of Newspeak in the novel it is interesting to note that the publisher originally wanted to cut it, thinking it unnecessary. Style = Point of View • Orwell's 1984 is told in the third person, but the point of view is clearly Winston Smith's. Through his eyes, readers are able to see how the totalitarian society functions, in particular how an individual deals with having illegal thoughts that can be detected easily by spies and telescreens that monitor one's every movement. Because readers are in Winston's head, they make the mistakes he makes in judging people. At one point he looks around a room at work and tells himself he knows just who will be vaporized within the next few years and who will be allowed to live. His perceptions of who is a loyal party member and who is not turn out to be inaccurate, however. In this way, Orwell shows that in a paranoid society, where personal relationships with others are at best only tolerated and at worst illegal, no one can really know his fellow man. • Winston is a well-drawn character with clear opinions (clear to the reader, that is; he cannot reveal his opinions to anyone in his society). Often, critics have claimed that these opinions echo George Orwell's. For example, Winston admires the spirit of the proletariat, but looks down on them because they will never have the means or intelligence to change their lives and their government. On the other hand, he admires the sophistication of the wealthy, cultured O'Brien, even though he is an evil character. This may reflect Orwell's own class prejudices, as someone who was far more educated and worldly than most of the people from the economic class in England (the lower middle class). Setting • Written between 1947 and 1948, 1984's original title was 1948, but Orwell changed it so that it would be set in the future, but still be close enough to the present to be frightening. The action takes place in London, which is now part of a country called Oceania. Oceania is one of three world superpowers, and it is continually at war with one of the other two superpowers, Eastasia and Eurasia. Enemies can change overnight and become an ally, although the Party automatically rewrites history when this happens so that no one will remember that circumstances were ever any different. This perpetual state of war consumes most of the state's resources, so city buildings are in a constant state of disrepair. All consumer goods, from food to clothing, are rationed, just as they were in England during World War II. Winston lives in what was once London, now a drab, gray, and decaying urban area. Who Decides the Perfect World • Utopia: Definition and Characteristics Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions. • Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst- case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? With these slogans, Orwell's WAR IS PEACE 1984 burst upon ◙ the literary world FREEDOM IS as the definitive SLAVERY anti-utopian novel ◙ for the 2nd of the 20th Century. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH ◙ 1984 This darkly cautionary and prescient vision of the near future was a warning against the dangers of a totalitarian government fueled by high technology. Orwell envisions a world devastated by nuclear war and poverty, where the West has fallen under the spell of a totalitarian socialist dictator, Big Brother. A political demagogue and religious cult leader all rolled into one, Big Brother's power and mystery are so immense that one may wonder if he even exists at all. How Close Are We? • Big Brother's Ingsoc Party (English Socialism) perfected the uses of high technology to monitor the lives of its populace, to insure unswerving loyalty through surveillance, propaganda and brainwashing. • The government's most brilliant and most appalling project is the actual deconstruction of the English language into Newspeak, the language of the Party. Each successive edition of the Newspeak Dictionary has fewer words than its predecessor. By removing meaning and nuance from the vocabulary, the government hopes to eradicate rebellious and anti-social thinking before it has the chance to enter a person's mind. • Without the vocabulary for revolution, there can be no revolution! Right? • For those who persist in thinking for themselves, so-called Thought Criminals (Ingsoc's stormtroopers), the Thought Police, are there to intervene, incarcerating the free-thinkers in the Ministry of Love, where they will be re-educated, or worse. Characteristics of a Dystopian Society • Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society. • Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted. • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society. • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance. • Citizens have a fear of the outside world. • Citizens live in a dehumanized state. • The natural world is banished and distrusted. • Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad. • The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world. The Dystopian Protagonist • Often feels trapped and is struggling to escape. • Questions the existing social and political systems. Winston = • Believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives. • Helps the audience recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective. Types of Dystopian Controls Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls: • Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include Minority Report and Running Man, Blade Runner. • Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Examples in film include Brazil, Mad Max, I Am Ledged. • Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples include The Matrix, The Terminator, and I, Robot. • Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government. Examples include Fifth Element, The Village. The Bottom Line Is • You have no freedom, no power, • You feel no need or desire for freedom or power, and, what's worse • You don't even know that you don't have it. Think about it: • You can shut off your TV, but do you really want to? • You live in a democratic society and have the right to vote, but only 5% of registered voters in the U.S. actually contribute money to political campaigns. And you wonder why it's so tough to pass campaign finance reform? • And barely half of registered voters vote. 2008* 56.8% 2006 37.1%2004 55.3 200237.0 • You are free to spend your money however you choose. But why do you feel compelled to spend it? Is advertising just the free market at work, or is it the ultimate form of brainwashing to part you from your hard-earned cash? • How come you're pre-approved for so many credit cards? Isn't debt just another form of indentured servitude? Big Brother Is Watching! • 1984 is the definitive dystopian novel, set in a world beyond our imagining. A world where totalitarianism really is total, all power split into three roughly equal groups--Eastasia, Eurasia, and Oceania. • 1984 is set in Oceania, which includes the United Kingdom, known as Airstrip One. • Winston Smith is a middle-aged, unhealthy character, based loosely on Orwell's own frail body, an underling of the ruling oligarchy, The Party. The Party has taken early 20th century totalitarianism to new depths, – each person subjected to 24 hour surveillance, – people's very thoughts are controlled to ensure purity of the oligarchical system in place. – The figurehead of the system is the omnipresent and omnipotent Big Brother. • Winston believes there is another way. • 1984 joins Winston as he sets about another day, where his job is to change history by changing old newspaper records to match with the new truth as decided by the Party. • "He who controls the past, controls the future" is a Party slogan to live by and it gives Winston his job, but Winston cannot see it like that. Barely old enough to recall a time when things were different, he sets out to expose the Party for the cynically fraudulent organization that it is. He is joined by Julia, a beautiful young woman much in contrast with Winston physically, but equally sickened by the excesses of her rulers. The Good and The Bad • Winston Smith – The main • O’Brien – a prominent member of protagonist of Orwell’s 1984. He the Inner Circle of the Party. He resents the authoritarian regime of traps Winston into betraying his the Party and tries to rebel, but is unorthodox views and presides finally crushed in body and soul. over his torture and degradation. • Julia – Winston’s girlfriend. She • Mr. Charrington – a member of also starts out with a strident anti- the powerful thought police, who party stand and is suppressed in disguises himself as a ―prole‖ and the same way as Winston is. entraps Winston. • Emmanuel Goldstein – The • Ampleforth – One of Winston’s number One Enemy of the People colleagues at the Ministry of Truth, according to the Party. He is whose job is to ―rewrite‖ old poems believed to have written a in keeping with Party ideology. He subversive book and to head a is arrested for thoughtcrimes. mysterious anti-party organization called The Brotherhood. • Parsons – Another colleague of Winston’s who despite stupid and • Symes – Colleague of Winston’s unquestioning adherence to the who is executed. Party line is still arrested. • Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford Big Brother – the symbol of Party – three original leaders of the Party dominance. Big Brother’s presence who were later denounced as is everywhere on posters, on traitors and executed. cigarette covers, on coins and on telescreens. Who/What Characters – Winston Smith · Julia · O'Brien Big · Brother Emmanuel Goldstein · Syme Thought Police ◙ Places – The Gold Country · Airstrip One · Room 101 ◙ Classes – Inner Party · Outer Party · Proles · The Brotherhood ◙ Ministries –Ministry of Love · Ministry of Peace · Ministry of Plenty · Ministry of Truth ◙ Concepts – Ingsoc · Newspeak (wordlist) · Doublethink · Goodthink · Crimestop · Two + two = five · Thoughtcrime · Thought Police · Telescreen · Memory hole · Two Minutes Hate · Hate Week ◙ Who is “Big Brother”? Big Brother is a fictional character in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the enigmatic dictator of Oceania, a totalitarian state taken to its utmost logical consequence - where the ruling elite ('the Party') wield total power for its own sake over the inhabitants. ◙ In the society that Orwell describes, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you", which is the core "truth" of the propaganda system in this state. The physical description of Big Brother is reminiscent of Joseph Stalin or Lord Kitchener. His moustache is also similar to that of Adolf Hitler. ◙ Eastasia, Eurasia, & Oceania. 1984 Big Brother Oceania Eurasia Eastasia Air Strip 1 Winston Julia O’Brian Literary Focus • Conflict A conflict, between opposing forces, exists at the center of every plot. Conflicts can be internal or external. An internal conflict occurs within a character who, for example, struggles to accept reality or to understand a new idea. An external conflict occurs between 2 characters or between a character and nature, society, or fate. For example, Winston’s struggle to understand his past behavior with his mother and sister is an internal conflict for Winston. His struggles to meet with Julia while avoiding detection by the Party, on the other hand, are an example of an external conflict. • Connotation Besides its denotation, or dictionary definition, a word carries with it various connotations. Connotations are the association that a word takes on in a specific context. For example, George Orwell describes Winston ―embellishing‖ news items at his job. Denotatively, the word embellishing means ―improving by adding details.‖ The reader understands, however, that the connotations of the word embellishing-as the word relates to Winston’s job-suggest falsifying and outright lying. Innovation • 1984 tells the story 1. Name possible of the main characteristics of character’s such an desperate struggle oppressive regime. against a political 2. Briefly describe system that seeks what life might be to eliminate like in such a individual freedom. society. Motivation • One central 1. Are there any such concern of 1984 is organizations in the control of our own society? individual’s 2. Can you think of thinking by subtle ways in organizations and which our own institutions. thinking is ―controlled‖ every day. The Power of Language and Meaning • Orwell was very aware of the power of language, so for the totalitarian government of the future he created a new language called Newspeak. Newspeak is used throughout the book by the citizens of Oceania and explained in detail in an appendix. • The basic idea behind Newspeak is to take all words that refer to ideas the Party disagrees with and strip them of their original meaning or eliminate them entirely. The purpose of Newspeak is to narrow the range of ideas that can be expressed, so as the language develops it contains fewer and fewer words. Word forms and grammar are simplified, as is pronunciation. Newspeak also contains words to express new ideas, such as oldthink, which means the way people thought before the revolution. • Simplistic slogans replace more complicated ideas. The Party's most famous slogans are "War Is Peace," "Freedom Is Slavery," and "Ignorance Is Strength." • Through the device of a fictional language, Orwell is able to point out that language can be misused to mislead people. In creating Newspeak, Orwell was influenced both by political rhetoric that takes the place of substantive communication and advertising lingo that makes ridiculous and vague promises. Ministries of Oceania ―Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, Ministry of Truth with lies, Ministry of Love with torture and Ministry of Plenty with starvation‖. Oceania's 4 ministries are housed in huge pyramidal structures. The ministries' names are ironic antonyms of the true nature of their actions. Examples of Double Think Ministry of Peace Ministry of Plenty Ministry of Truth Ministry of Love (Minipax) (Miniplenty) (Minitru) (Miniluv) Responsible for Responsible for Controls information: the id, monitoring, Conducts Oceania’s rationing news, entertainment, arrest and torture perpetual war and controlling food education, and of dissidents, and goods. the fine arts. real or imagined. Winston Smith Works for the Records Department of Minitru International Relations & Controversy International Relations • The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four exists in a state of perpetual war between the 3 major powers. At any given time, 2 of the 3 states are aligned against the 3rd; however, as Goldstein's book points out, each Superstate is so powerful that even an alliance of the other 2 cannot destroy it, resulting in a continuing stalemate. From time to time, 1 of the states betrays its ally and sides with its former enemy. In Oceania, when this occurs, the Ministry of Truth rewrites history to make it appear that the current state of affairs is the way it has always been, a perfect example of doublethink. • Goldstein's book states that the war is not a war in the traditional sense, but simply exists to use up resources and keep the population in line. Victory for any side isn't attainable or even desirable, but the Inner Party, through an act of doublethink, believes that such victory is in fact possible. Although the war began with the use of atomic weapons in the 1950s, none of the combatants use them any longer for fear of upsetting the balance of power. Relatively few technological advances have been made (the only two mentioned are the replacement of bombers with "rocket bombs" and of traditional capital ships with the immense "floating fortresses"). Controversy • The war, may be entirely, or in part, fiction. The whole Earth may well be controlled by one state which pretends to exist as three states, perpetually warring in order to maintain the climate of fear needed for totalitarian rule. Is Thought Free? • In Winston’s journal he explains thoughtcrime: Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime IS death. The Thought Police have two-way telescreens (in the living quarters of every Party member and in every public area), hidden microphones, and anonymous informers to spy potential thought-criminals who might endanger The Party. Children are indoctrinated to informing; to spy and report suspected thought-criminals — especially their parents. 4 Major Themes to Contemplate Write each question and answer in complete sentences. 1. Individuality can be 2. Language is a destroyed by a powerful tool for political system. controlling how people view the world. – Do you believe this could be true? – How does language – Who might believe this shape your view of statements more reality? readily than others? – Do you think that a broader vocabulary would increase or decrease your ability to understand the world you live in? 4 Major Themes to Contemplate Write each question and answer in complete sentences. 3. A knowledge of the 4. People can be forced past is essential for to give up their beliefs and even alter their evaluation the feelings if their present. survival is – What connections can threatened. exist between past and – What kinds of beliefs or feelings might be easier present events? to give up? Most – In what way does a difficult? knowledge of history – Do you have beliefs help you understand that you would not give up under any current events? circumstances? Explain.