There was a lot of talk about equality and during the discussion how can we know (yet) that they are or are not treated equal there could be more to the society than we know. Personally at this point in the book I'm not sure that the system is capable of being changed because so little people are capable of complex thoughts in other words it's hard to change someone's mind when they don't have one. Some questions I would have liked to discuss are:How does Big Brother compare to Mao Zedong, Hitler, or Putin?And which is better to know that your being controlled and miserable to be controlled and miserable but completely unaware?
Questions I would like to answer: @annie - Annie asked about the children spies and what it says about the society or world they live in and I think it has a lot to do with pushing the limits. In a way, the government pushes the limits of privacy and conformity so much that they are willing to use the children, the future of the world to make it happen. @alex - She asked how BB could have risen to power when he made promises he couldn't keep and everyone's living conditions were terrible and I like to relate this to Hitler and WW2. Germany's economy was collapsing, everyone was sad and embarrassed for being defeated in WW1, they were desperate for anything they could get there hands on to regain their power. I think this is kind of the same in the book, the economy was collapsing and everyone was just desperate for something or someone to look up to. Questions I would like to ask: If we had the Ministry of Peace (wages war), the Ministry of Plenty (plans economic shortages), and the Ministry of Love, etc, how do you think these ministries would affect our economy as it is? Would this change be a good or bad thing? and The stories that we were reviewing at the beginning of the semester dealt a lot with (what I took away from them) technology and that we would soon go from issues with equality to issues with conformity. Do you think this book is giving the same message just in a different time period? How is it different?
1. @Conner (On page 7, it says that it was impossible to pin down a date within a year or two. What purpose could this serve the government and why would it be put in place?) This could serve the government by allowing them to change history and timelines without anyone being able to knowledgeably question the new information. If the government is able to “change” history, they can fabricate it so much that they can turn the bad guy into the good guy and vice versa. This control means the ability manipulate people and, eventually, brainwashing them.2. @Joe (Would you like Winston better as a conformist or a nonconformist?) I do not think that there would have been a book if Winston was a conformist. There is nothing special about someone who is exactly like everyone else is society. Therefore, I do like Winston more as a nonconformist. The fact that he is able clearly see the flaws of BB and the ideas that stem off of this vision are the only things that set Winston apart from all of the other brainwashed people in Oceania. Additionally, because he sees the truth and decides to fight to change it only proves his strength as a character, and only makes me like his nonconformity more.3. @Drake (Do you think that the people in this society are brainwashed similarly to the people in F514?) I think that the brainwashing in 1984 and F451 are similar, but not the same. In 1984, the brainwashing is much more psychological. The psychological torture used in the book is overwhelming. The characters do not know when they are being watched or what will happen to them if they get caught. While the brainwashing is largely psychological in 1984, it is much more concrete in F451. The threats in F541 are very real and the characters see them in action every day. While the characters are not being watched all the time there is an almost 100% chance that if you have a book it will get burned and if you are even the slightest bit different, you will “disappear” as well. Overall, the brainwashing is definitely present in both books, but the methods used to move people into a foggy state are very different.Questions:1. How does 1984 relate to some of the other books we have read (Othello, A Long Way Gone, etc.) in terms of brainwashing methods and results?2. What is worse psychological or physical torture? and how does 1984 as compared any of the books we have previously read demonstrate your answer?