Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Section II Chapter III Julia's Rebellion.

Julia " I'm going to be a woman not a Party Comrade!

Julia and Winston embark on an affair. In May they meet in an abandoned Church tower ( hinting at the sacredness of their love being ruined by INGSOC). They converse on the street covertly,'talking by instalments' according to Julia. On one occasion when a rocket bomb explodes nearby and Julia is knocked unconscious  while covered in plaster dust Winston cannot stop himself expressing his feelings by clasping her against him.Julia gets Winston to join in her camouflage by undertaking extra work for Big Brother to hide their rebellion.

JuliaAged 26 yearsAccommodation Hostel
EmploymentMechanic Fiction Dept Minitrue
AchievementsHockey CaptainGymnastics Trophy
CareerTroop leader-SpiesJunior Anti-Sex League
PhilosophyHave a good timeHate the Party

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Section II Chapter II The Golden Country

Julia in the Golden Country

Winston looked out into the field beyond and underwent a slow curious shock of recognition.He knew it by sight...'It's the Golden Country-almost,' he murmured. 'The Golden Country?' 'It's nothing really. A landscape I've seen sometimes in a dream.'

Orwell brings us out of the grime and grind of the dystopian London to the countryside. His descriptions are gentle,beautiful and full of light.Here he tries to escape surveillance by telescreens or concealed microphones. The distance is too short to require a passport but he must avoid awkward questions from patrols.he meets the girl and they go to a hidden clearing.As they take the chance to study one another Winston tries to probe her motives and reveals that he is married and has varicose veins. She says she doesn't care and throws herself into his arms.

"The next moment , it was hard to say by whose act, she was in his arms. The youthful body was strained against his own, the mass of dark hair was against his face  and yes actually she had turned her face up and he was kissing the wide red mouth...She had clasped her arms about his neck and was calling him darling, precious one,loved one.He had pulled her down onto the ground, she was utterly unresisting, he could do what he liked with her. But the truth was that he had no physical sensation, except that of mere contact. All he felt was incredulity and pride.He was glad that this was happening but he had no physical desire.It was too soon, her youth and prettiness had frightened him, he was too much used to living without women- he did not know the reason."

Winston is abashed and his instincts lie dormant beneath suspicion he is confused not aroused. He decides to try to get to know this girl before he can make love to her. He admits to the girl  who calls herself Julia that at first he wanted to rape and murder her because he imagined she had something to do with the thought police. Julia laughs at the idea and when Winston asks why she is attracted to him she answers,
"As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them.
Julia hates the Party, especially the Inner Party, passionately.
They make love but Winston expresses that to him it is an act of defiance."Listen. The more men you've had the  more I love you."and "I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want  everyone to be corrupt to the bones."
Orwell finishes linking the personal and the political by stating 
No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Section II Chapter I An Unbearable Sensitivity!

The Canteen in Minitrue

One day Winston receives a note from the girl with the dark hair. she contrives to fall just in front of him near a telescreen and passes him a concealed note to his hand. Although he is convinced that she is an enemy who is out to kill him he sees her also as a person in pain with her right arm in a sling. At first he thinks that the hidden note is a political message but five minutes later in his cubicle ,when he thinks he mightn't be being watched he reads id briefly before destroying it. It says I love you.

From that point on Winston is consumed by the thought of developing a personal relationship with the girl. He doesn't know her name or where in the fiction section she works. How can he arrange to meet he? The canteen is the only place and ther he will have to avoid the telescreens and both his and her co-workers to communicate. Winston in love is described very well in this line: "His whole mind and body seemed to be afflicted with an unbearable sensitivity , a sort of transparency, which made every movement, every sound, every contact, every word that he had to speak or listen to, an agony."

After some days she manages to communicate to him to meet her in the crowds in victory square after work where she gives him with military precision  a route to the country by train where they can meet on the Sunday.Winston is easily swept along with her plans.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Chapter VIII In Memory of Times Past

The Proles

Winston realises that he cannot bear the artificial camaraderie of the community centre and heads for central London to the Prole areas. there he observes how the men seem to be preoccupied with the lottery games and gambling.

He goes into a prole pub which has no tele screen and tries to engage an old prole with the question of whether the past really is as the revisionist histories said it was.
Unfortunately for Winston this old man's memories are all of little personal and inconclusive details and they lack the analytical overview that Winston is seeking.
Orwell compares the man's recollections to those of an ant's view of things.

He then finds himself drawn to the old antique shop where he purchased the diary. he realises that this is dangerous because he had resolved not to take the risk of returning to the shop. The proprietor is also an older gentleman but of a more sophisticated type.He recognises that the antique trade is dead and gone as people aren't interested in old things anymore and even the older things aren't  turning up.

He sells Winston a glass paperweight which is over a hundred years old.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Chapter VII Show-trials and Disappearances

    Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford in the Chestnut Tree Cafe.

In Chapter VII Winston hopes for a revolution from the proletariat, the proles. these are the vast majority of the population kept under control by Big Brother and the Party. He encountered a disorder when queuing women fought over saucepans and wondered why they didn't unite and rise up for more important things. He realises that their awareness is so dim that they are incapable of rebelling. No attempt is made to indoctrinate them with the ideology of the Party ... They are technically free.

Winston recounts how the idea of Capitalism is taught in schools as the great evil. The truth about capitalism is twisted to make it appear horrible and people cannot tell the truth about it anymore (Although the readers should)!

Winston sometimes drinks in the Chestnut Tree Café where he encountered three of the last Survivors of the original revolution after Goldstein had fled and the others had been purged. They were Jones, Rutherford and Aaronson. Although the glamour of the original struggle clings to them they are now broken men having been accused of and confessed to treason. They had disappeared for a year and reemerged as broken men to confess to murder ,treason intrigue and sabotage. Their reinstatement was temporary and they were rearrested retried, convicted of new crimes and executed.

Their significance to Winston is considerable because he encountered proof that their confessions were false on a newspaper that he pretended not to see and destroyed in case he was being watched and tested for treason. He realises the monstrous implications that Big Brother and the Party can arrest anyone, can break anyone, can falsely accuse anyone and no-one will care. Even the Party itself, even the inner party is seen as a threat to Big Brother's supreme Power.

This chapter reminds us of the Stalinist Show-trials and Purges.  It reminds us that Dictatorship is absolute Power often for its own sake and that removing the rule of law , the rights of  Habeus Corpus (freedom from unjust denention), bodily integrity ( freedom from torture and inhumane treatment) and the right to a fair trial of our peers ( freedom from closed courts and false evidence) are all that hold back those with power...the army, police or political mobs from creating a hell on earth for people


Orwell had little sympathy for the ways Communism or Facism treated people. I wonder what he would have thought of the sufferings of people under Austerity as the consequence of runaway Capitalism and Private Bondholder's bailouts at the expense of the citizens of a sovereign State?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Chapter VI Sexuality and Marriage in INGSOC

In Section vi we come across the Party’s attitude towards Sexuality, Marriage and Reproduction. The big news is that we discover that Winston was married and is still married to Katherine a fellow party member. Big Brother has a repressive attitude towards sexuality. As children are growing up they are taught to look down on sexuality, join the anti sex league and regard sexual intercourse as being dirty and unnatural “like having an enema”.

However as INGSOC needs children for the future there is a process whereby two party members can apply to be married to do their duty for the party or make a baby. If it appears the members find each other sexually attractive permission is refused. Ideally in the future all babies will be produced by “artsem” artificial insemination.

There are two interesting results.
1. Party members such as Katherine feel very cold and unnatural in making love and so the marriage broke up because Winston found Katherine vacuous.
 2. Winston and others resort to the sexcrime of prostitution with the proles. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Chapter v Newspeak,MiniPlenty and the Spies.

The Girl in the Canteen Friend or Foe?

In chapter V we get a good look at the relationships in the canteen in MiniTruth. Winston meets Syme a man whom he doesn't trust but whom he finds interesting on his work on the latest Newspeak Dictionary. Syme is excited about a project where the Party are literally destroying words by rubbing them out of existence. The idea is that thought crime will become impossible because people will not have the words to express any thoughts outside of Newspeak. it is the only language which is decreasing in the number of words. Winston instinctively acts a loyal and interested party member because he is afraid that the loyal Syme will denounce him, but he also shrewdly realises that Big Brother will not like to have a smart fellow like Syme around for long because he is so clever and that Syme doesn't realise that to be too clever is as dangerous as being disloyal.

We then meet Parsons, Winston's neighbour , who extorts money for Hate Week which they pay because he is writing down who is supporting it and who isn't.
He tells a terrifying story of how his daughter reported a man in the countryside to the thought police for wearing nice shoes. Parsons expects the man will be shot as a spy. Winston realises that Mrs. Parsons will probably end up vaporised after being denounced by her own children.

The next event is an announcement from the Ministry of Plenty that production and the standard of living are improving. Statistics are produced including the odd comment that the chocolate ration is to be raised to 20 grammes a week. This announcement follows only 24 hours after the announcement that the chocolate ration was to fall to 20 grammes and Winston cannot believe that people will swallow such a lie but everybody seems to.

The girl with the dark hair is nearby and looks at Winston and he realises tht she will be one of those to survive the thought police and he is afraid that she is a spy like the Parsons children sent to entrap him and he becomes afraid.