Type: Critical Essays
Sample donated: Oscar Goodwin
Last updated: October 3, 2019
Describe the living conditions as they are presented in the first chapter.
What does this story tell you about society?The first chapter presents to us a society that is being controlled by a political party. People live in the small flats of “Victory Mansions”, giant buildings made to house many people with the least cost, even in their own flats they are being watched. This happens through the telescreen, a monitor on the wall that is constantly transmitting propaganda and news, it cannot be shut down but only dimmed, and it is equipped with a camera and a microphone to pick up any conversation that takes place in the room. Therefore the society is not able to develop own ideas, because if they do they get eliminated.
Furthermore already existing ideas and concepts, that do not suit the parties will, get suppressed. The most common tool for doing so is the constantly changing language Newspeak, which was established by the party. Words that can be used to name or describe ideas or principles which do not please the party will just get thrown out of the dictionary or replaced by other words with slightly different meaning. Explain why you think that Winston’s diary is important.I think that Winston’s diary will take on a very important role in the story. It is already a key element for the development of Wilson’s own consciousness as a thinking and feeling individual. Furthermore the diary will help Wilson to create critical thoughts on his own and support him in his journey to discover the beauty of a free spirit.
However, the sheer existence of the diary puts Winston in great danger, because the party will vaporize everyone that could become harmful to them and their ideology. Therefore the book will surely lead to his untimely death as soon as it was to be discovered.Describe the “Two Minutes Hate”. In which ways do people react to the “Hate” (give an example)? Does Winston appear to react differently to other people (example)?The “Two Minutes Hate” is a kind of a short propaganda film, judging by length it could also be called a short sketch. The contents are changing daily but Goldstein is always included. With these short films the party wants their followers to project all their hate onto this one man, who was once one of the parties founders, but then started to lead the countermovement once he understood in which direction they were heading.
During the “Two Minutes Hate” the people begin to shout slurs at the telescreen that shows Goldsteins face. The sandy-haired woman begins to shout swine and even throws a Newspeak-vocabulary at the big monitor. Winston realized that he unconsciously started to shout too and that he was kicking his heel against the rung of his chair.
But he manages to redirect his hate onto other people than Goldstein, his new targets are Big Brother himself and the dark-haired women. After the short depiction had ended everyone in the room started to chant “B-B!” over and over again. Winston took part in this activity but he expressed his fear of this delirious, sub-human chanting and states that his eyes might have given him away for a brief moment.Activity IV