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The Formalist Critic:
What is the symbolism of the huge saguin portrait?
What is the meaning of "war is peace, freedom is slavery and Ingnorance is strength"?
Why are items called "Victory Gin & Victory Cigarrettes"?
The Feminest Critic:
Why does Winston have a strong hate for a woman who remains young beautiful, and sexless?
The Marxist Critic:
What is his social status?
Importance?
The Literary Physochologist:
Why does he obsess over the girl with the black hair?
Why does he obsess over the man named O'Brien?
Why have a diary, when he knows it's against the rules?

(These are good questions to help spark ideas for critical perspective blogs. - Mrs. Murray)
1984


Psycological Perspective: Mostly right now im seeing alot of psychological things going on right now, mostly with our main character Winston. Winston is a member of the Party. The Party's main leader is known as Big Brother, who seems to have a strong hold over his followers. The Party is a dictatorship government, that is built on lies, better known as doublethink, which is fully explained on page 32, the last paragraph. The Party controls every aspect of the peoples lives through intimidation. The people aren't allowed to speak their minds, or express their thoughts. If they are to do this they will be captured and punished severely. When Winston buys the diary he states we are informed that it isn't illegal for him to have this diary but if anyone saw its contents he would be punished. So in other words, it is illegal for him to have this diary. He constantly worries about who this diary is for, and what he will write. When he writes the first entries date, he isn't completely sure he's correct. Then Winston attends the Two Minutes Hate. This is where all who wish to, gather around to watch the enenmy, Emmanuel Goldstein, speak against the Party. Emmanuel Goldstein was a former leader of the Party, almost equal to Big Brother himself. He must have seen the flaw within the Party's systems, so he took part in counter-revelutionary activities, then was condemened to death, but then mysteriously escaped and dissapeared, and was now broadcasting. He was giving speeches denouncing the Party's dictatorship, demanding peace, and advocating freedom of speech, press, assembly and thought. He was the first defiler of the Pary's purity. While listening to the speech, Winstons hate is turned to Big Brother, because he knows that the Party is wrong, a man named O'Brien thinks the same. But Winston turns back to Big Brother. This shows the internal struggle with what he's been taught and what he believes in his heart. The face of Big Brother shows up on the t.v. then dissapears, but Winston can still see it throught the 3 slogans, " war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,". These three slogans are the lies the government is hiding behind. This shows how hard it is going to be for Winston to turn away from the Party. He also has a strong hate for the dark haired girl, who is pretty, young, and sexless, maybe perhaps because he doesn't understand her faithfulness to the Party. Winston keeps writing in this diary and says he's basically condemed himself to death, saying," Thoughtcrime doesn't entail death, thoughtcrime is death."----Taryn
Psycological Perspective: We learn in Chapter 4 that winston works for the Records Department, which is one of the branches withing the Ministry of Truth. However the Ministry of Truth is the exact opposite of what it says it is. Winston recieves messages that are coded in Newspeak. He recieved news articles from past events and rewrote them for the present time. Altering the past was to make sure everything was "working" the way the Party wanted it too. It was part of the lies that the government told the people. Anything that had any political or ideological significance was sent to the Records Department and "corrected". However we learn that Winston's greatest pleasure is his work, when he clearly know in his head that what he is doing is wrong. Perhaps this is his greatest pleasure because he actually gets to know the truth of what is actually happening in Oceania. When Winston finishes his altering of specific articles, the true manuscripts are sent into the memory hole where they are burned and lost forever. People who were constantly vaporized were reported missing, the Ministry sent out articles saying the rumors were not true. When the Ministry is done "fixing" the papers they consist of News, sports, crime, astrology, sensational 5cent novellettes, films, and low rate pornography. Thought the Party's mission was to supress all sexual desire, it was still accessible. Winston also made up a character for Big Brothers speech, Comrade Oglivy, and made him sound like the perfect Party follower in all Oceania. Winston also comes into contact with a friend, Syme. He said Syme's eyes dug deep into his mind as if he knew what Winsron was thinking. Therefore making Winston even more paranoid about his situation. Later on we find out that Winston had a wife, her name was Katherine. They were never able to produce children, therefore made an agreement to seperate, and she was taken by the Party. WInston finds himself resorting to Proles( prostitutes) which was not unheared of but morally obscene. We leave off with Winston explaining, "he understands how, but he doesnt understand why?". He's still struggling internaly with the Party's methods and the days of his past of which he cannot remember.---Taryn

Marxist Perspective: This novel follows the tale of a middle-aged man named Winston Smith in what is presumably 1984. Winston lives under an oppressive communist government that controls every aspect of their lives. Most places are equipped with an invention known as a telescreen which allows for the government to see people throughout the aspects of their daily lives as well as provide unsatisfactory entertainment and periodical news flashes to the people around it. In order to ensure that people are faithful to the government the object cannot be turned off, only turned down. The Party, as it is referred to, also forbids love; the only purpose to marriage is to produce children. If the Party detects any emotional attachment, the marriage is not allowed to continue. The worst of it is not the insecurity at home or the right to a happy marriage; rather, it is the fact that a person is not safe even within the confines of their own mind. This is a fear Winston lives with each day. Winston works within the Ministry of Truth which controls all outlets of media. Winston’s job is to take old false records, erase them, and rewrite them into truths. Here, he loses more and more faith in his leaders as he finds surmounting proof of the false accounts of the party. Winston, like many citizens living beneath Big Brother’s rule, lives in an old run down flat that reeks of cabbage. He is given meager food and nearly everything was labeled victory, Victory cigarettes, Victory gin, and Victory mansions, implying that it is plentiful and good-spirited, despite the apparent lie in such a notion. Though he is told otherwise, he believes the world was a better place before the Revolution and dreams of a free world. A main item within the story is a diary which Winston purchased in a place that a party member should not be. The item is introduced early within the story, and remains almost constant throughout. Within the diary he writes of his childhood and various accounts of his current life, such as his work and the Two Minutes Hate. Through these accounts Winston’s dissent becomes clearer and more aggressive. He eventually speaks of the Brotherhood, a possibly fictitious underground rebellion. And then he carries on to speak of the proles, short for proletariats, the working class of the society which makes up the vast majority of the population. He says that if there is any hope for a rebellion, it lies with them, “they needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies,” (Orwell 60). Though as he writes all this, he fears constantly that the Thought police will catch him for being a threat to the Party, “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: Thoughtcrime IS death,” (Orwell 27).
-Zakh

Marxist Perspective- In part one of 1984 it is established that Winston is dissident toward the Party and Big Brother, yet knows that within his lifetime he will not see the government overthrown. Toward the end of part one, Winston is wandering the prole section of the city and accidentally wanders into the same shop that he purchased his diary a couple months before and as he leaves he noticed he is being followed by a young woman whom he suspects is part of the thought police. However, in part two after the woman gets injured and Winston helps her up she tentatively hands him a note containing only three words: I love you. The two begin to establish secret meetings and begin to reveal more and more about each other. Winston and Julia continue these secret meetings in various safe locations in order to create the only conceivable rebellion against Big Brother, which is a small amount of people breaking small rules because a large scale revolt simply cannot happen in their lifetime. As the two become comfortable with their certain demise, O’Brien, a party member working with Winston at the Ministry of Truth, tells Winston that he has acquired a tenth edition copy to the Newspeak dictionary and gives Winston his address to come pick it up. Winston realizes that this is a message and this could be his entrance to the legendary brotherhood. Winston and Julia arrive at O’Brien’s together and pledge their undying loyalty to the Brotherhood knowing that they are the dead and what they do will only make a difference for the future. After Julia leaves and before Winston goes, O’Brien gives him complex details on how he is to acquire Goldstein’s book. (Goldstein is a former party member and the leader of the Brotherhood.) After many days pass, Winston goes into the room above the shop from which he purchased the diary, a room for privacy as well as a place for him and Julia to be together, and begins to read the book. After reading much to himself, Julia arrives and he reads out loud for her so that she too can learn the book. Together they fall asleep and awake to find that behind a portrait resided a telescreen, fully aware of their past and recent actions within this room. It warns them not to move and alerts them that the Thought Police have them surrounded. The government has robbed them of privacy and found them guilty of a Thoughtcrime, and they will be sent away to the Ministry of Love where they will be tortured and forced to confess. As a result, they will be vaporized and become unpersons, people that had never existed.
-Zakh


Marxist Perspective - At the end of part two, Winston and Julia were both captured by the Thought Police and taken away to the Ministry of Love. Earlier in part two, the two of them were aware that they would inevitably be captured and as a result they promised they would never betray one another. In part three the tragedy truly begins to unfold in 1984. In the start of part three, Winston has already been in the Ministry of Love for three years. He has been poorly fed and has been poorly maintained. He was told by O’Brien in the last part that if he were captured, he should expect no more than a razor blade. O’Brien then appears before Winston and is assumed that he has also been captured. O’Brien is then revealed to have betrayed Winston and begins to torture him. Because of the humiliation and horrific torture inflicted upon him, Winston has confessed to several crimes which he had not committed but it did not matter, to the government the thought and the action were one and the same. Steadily O’Brien convinces Winston to go with the Party, and that all the evidence he had found to prove the lies the party was founded on were only his personal hallucinations and that he should forget them. O’Brien makes references to Winston’s diary that he had written in and forces him to see the flaws in his ways, such as seeing that four plus four makes five, so long as the Party decrees. Eventually Winston finally sees this and is treated nicer until he lets slip his undying love for Julia. It is told that Julia betrayed him almost instantly and that he should do the same. He is sent to the mysterious “Room 101” where one’s personal fears are realized. Winston is strapped into a chair and a cage of rats is placed in front of him. He is so afraid that he shouts for Julia to be in his place, he didn’t care what happened to her at that point. It then shows Winston in the Chestnut Café where he spends most of his time since his release from the Ministry of Love. He is awaiting the oncoming news report as to the war front in Africa. A trumpet sounds and it is declared victory. The end of the war is supposedly in sight. Winston sits in his seat with a face of Big Brother staring at him. In that instant he finds that he loves Big Brother and the government had won. His fight against the Party was futile and he had ultimately lost what he was. -Zakh
Continued Feminist perspective-
For as far as I have read now there are tons of thing that are from the feminist persepective. For example the fact that Winston was at one point in time married to Katherine. This through the feminist point shows that marriage was not really a relationship it was more of a trap or a duty that you had to fulfill because, in the book it talks about how when Winston and his wife would have intercourse " she would tense up and close her eyes so that she wouldn't have to look at him. She would also pretend that she was somewhere else other than with him, so marriage at that point in time was like oppression to women it was a deed they had to do to continue the human race not because they wanted to. Another feminist insight to this book is when Winston talks about his memory of his experiance with a prole, ( people lower than the party). In Winstons recall of that memory he talks about how the women would stand on the sides of allies and wait for men to pick them up like prostitues of today. But then there was no age limit because the woman that Winston was with was about 60 he said. This from the feminist view says that women are not worth anything they are just there for mens pleasure no matter there age and that women like the proles will always have to work to survive no matter there age. Which is wrong because it was probably very degrading for that 60 year old woman to have to do that just so she could eat. Another event that occurs in this book that is seen through the feminist point of view is way later in the book where Winston get a note from the dark haired girl that he thinks is following him. He finds out her name is Julia and that she is in love him, but the sad part is later when Winston and Julia meet in the woods to talk and make love and Julia says that she has done this millions of times. This is sad because it takes all thoughts of virtue and virginity and throws it away. Its no longer important or sacred. For after she says this Winston says"the more men you have slept with the more I will love you." This is against all morals that were supposed to be set forth. The party set rules that if you want to get married and procrate that it has to be approved by the party committy and that it is strictly for procreation,not recreation. That is another reason for the antisex league is to discourage fornication and the loss of virtue but from Winston and Julia's point of view virtue is out the window.

Continuation of the feminist perspective-
From the feminist perspective of what I have continued to read is that Julia has basically somewhat given in to party life. She decides to rent the apartment with Winston about the Junk shop. She and Winston act like there a married couple in the privacy of the room, but this will never be possible because Winston's first wife Katherine is still and as long as she is alive Winston and Julia can never leagally be together. That is another feminist view when Winston talks about wanting Katherine to die. It shows what I first thought in the beginning of the book that women and treated like garbage. Instead of thinking of Katherine as his wife or a person he thinks of her as more of an obstacle in his way to Julia. I know he didn't really like Katherine but that is no reason to wish death upon her. Another feminist view would be when Julia offers to clean the St. Clemens picture in the apartment which is like subjecting to the way things used to be before the party came. When women would be nothing but cleaning love slaves to men.


In the reading that I have done I noticed that the Big Brother is really just an oppressive force that is trying to keep everything in “check” but what it is really doing is just creating lies and false hopes so that the public doesn’t look badly upon the government. The government has a slogan that is “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” (Orwell 7) and it really is just showing how wrong everything that the government does is just a lie even though it might be in good nature. Later in the novel he starts to talk about a journal “The thing he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal, (nothing was illegal/no laws) but if detected, punishable by death or workforce labor” (Orwell 9) he keeps this diary because he is starting to doubt if what he is doing is actually good in nature or not. Then he goes to a speech that is Two Minutes Hate and he hears how communism tries to make a false enemy named Goldstein and Winston, the main character realizes that he no longer believes that the communist party isn’t the best party to be with but he has to go with it to stay alive. - Shawn Post 1

Psycological Perspective: Taryn Varn
In the 2nd book we find there is a meeting between Winston and Julia (the dark haired girl). She has a broken arm, trips and falls. Winston rushes over to assist the fallen lady and she hands him a note that says, " I love you." WInston is baffeled and decides that she is a spy and that she is to be avoided. However, Winston can not stay away from the beautiful girl and arranges to meet her at the train station where there will be many people, and instructing him to take the train from Paddington Station to the countryside. When they meet in the woods they engage in ilicit activities. Winston learns that she has had multiple partners. He admires her for this, because he can see the downfall and corruption of the Party, " The more men you've been with, the more i love you." The affair escalates from there. They continue these permiscuous activities, knowing it was against the rules of the Party. They start changing the meeting places and eventually end up in Mr. Charrington's shop. Mr. Charrington sold Winston the Diary. Anyways, they are unware of the telescreen behind the picture of St. Clements Church. There is a ryme that is always in Winstons head, "Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St. Clements, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martins, When will you pay me, say the bells of Old Bailey, When i grow rich , say the bells of Shoreditch, here comes a candle to light you to bed, he comes a chopper to chop off your head." I understand the releveance to the Picture but im not sure why else it could be in the book. Winston also deals with the fact of his mother. He feels as if he has murdered her. He was a horrid child and stole the chocolate, ran away and never saw her again, so he is overcome with guilt. In book three, Winston and Julia are turned in by Mr. Charrington to the thought police. They now spend they're days in the Ministry of Love. There is always light in the ministry. While sitting in a cell, he encounters an older woman with the last name Smith, and talks about being his mother. WInston recalls his dream with the voice saying, "we shall meet in a place where there is no darkness." he distintcly says its O'Brien. And thats exactly who he meets. The Thought Police had always been watching Winston. Their job now was to "cleanse" him. They torture him for years on end and try to make him change his mind but he refuses. After being unable to bear anymore pain or look at the sight of his body he gives in. He plays along with the rules of the Party. Then he is taken to Room 101. The room that was feared the most. This is where the psycologically torment you to give in to the Party. There Winston must face his fear of rats. O'Brien tells him that these rats will eat away at his face unless he gives in completely to the Party. He then betrays Julia and is spared a horid torture. Eventually he is released but he's pretty much been brain washed. He meets Julia again but there is no feeling between them. THere is no doubt that he does indeed.... love Big Brother.