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  1. #1

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    Default Hey guys, could anyone have a read of my essay on conflict in 1984?

    I'm just looking for opinions on how to improve my essay and I thought someone might be interested in giving me a hand lol.

    This is my essay where the task is to explain how conflict is shaped and articulated in two texts of your own choosing; mine are Nineteen Eighty-Four and its appendix, The Principals of Newspeak.

    I am in year 9. Oh, it is important to know, that this speech is accompanied by a slideshow presentation (that of course is basically all images and very little writing, as a slideshow should be, and of course created in Keynote '09 ).


    ------------------------------START OF SPEECH----------------------------------


    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    “WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
    This is the slogan of The Party. This is ‘Doublethink:’ the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination. Coined by George Orwell in his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Incase you were wondering, that is actually in the dictionary.
    This novel, and its accompanying appendix The Principals of Newspeak contain many issues that relate to, and encompass the idea of conflict. The quote I just gave is inner conflict in its purest form. Imagine thinking “Freedom is slavery” or “War is peace,” and actually, honestly believing it.
    The society in this book is one where the government controls and observes every facet of peoples lives, in fact, the ruler of The Party is known as BB, or Big Brother – the inspiration for the television programme. To quote, “Big Brother is Watching You.” This is another example of conflict, ‘The Individual vs. The State,’ but this time is is both public and private. It affects every character in the book on every level imaginable.
    “We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science.”
    In this society of total surveillance, the lines between truth and lies have been blurred, and poses the question: “If everybody believes in it, does that make it true?” There are many reoccurring examples of this in the novel, one of which is the statement “2 + 2 = 5.” Over the course of the novel the protagonist changes his views in regard to this statement as The Party exerts its frankly frightening powers of control.
    “We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation--anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it.”
    This conflict with the truth is evident throughout the novel, and is one of the major ideas Orwell is trying to impart to the reader as a part of a greater effort of warning. The book and it’s appendix are warnings against a future that appeared all too real to a post war society, on the brink of another, in a much more subtle form – the Cold War. A war with a country that employed methods not too dissimilar to The Party, led by an enigmatic leader not too dissimilar to Big Brother. In a way, the book and appendixes are techniques in themselves in aid of advancing Orwell’s political and ideological views. The other reason the book is considered a classic, and so effective is because so many of its ideas ended up coming true, surveillance and mass media indoctrination being cases in point.
    Moving onto Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Appendix: The Principals of Newspeak, before looking any further it is necessary to understand what “Newspeak” actually is. “Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism.” It has been described as the only language who’s vocabulary gets smaller every year; the appendix is written in essay form which lends it credibility.
    “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”
    This is taking control to the extreme; if one cannot think a dissenting thought because one does not have the capacity to express it to oneself or others, one cannot dissent. This idea is central to the novel, but is not explored in great depth, rather leaving this to the appendix. The conflict represented here is the fact that there is no conflict, that all conflict has been eliminated by eliminating the tools of expression resulting in a complete loss of personality; this is conflict on a level far above ‘public and ‘private.’

    The grammar and conventions of this language are much to complicated to discuss here, but to summarise it, it is basically a ‘dumbed down’ rendition of English. “Bad” and “Extremely bad,” would be replaced with “Ungood” and “Doubleplusungood” respectively.

    “Pre-revolutionary literature could only be subjected to ideological translation--that is, alteration in sense as well as language. Take for example the well-known passage from the Declaration of Independence that sets out human and political rights:

    *(Quote displayed in Slideshow)


    It would have been quite impossible to render this into Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The nearest one could come to doing so would be to swallow the whole passage up in the single word CRIMETHINK.”

    ---------------------------------END OF SPEECH-----------------------------

    * “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...” is the quote.


    Thanks to anyone who does decide to read this just cos they have a bit of spare time on their hands ... although I don't really expect anyone to. Oh, and by the way, for anyone that hasn't read it, 1984 is a brilliant book, and you really should read it (and Brave New World as well!).
    Thanks,
    Sam.

  2. #2
    entropy's Avatar entropy is offline It's the heat death of the universe, my friends

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    I think you need to discuss whether or not 1984 has application in 2009. Even if you don't discuss it in your speech, it is the first thing your teacher is likely to ask you afterwards (so you have a considered answer that seems to just pop out of your head). In fact, a real machiavellian would line up one of your mates to jump up and ask the very thing as soon as questions are opened. Then you both look alert, interested and smart!! Assuming a year nine chaps wants to look that way

    Think of the pejoratives 'alcopops' and "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme' which I think are both good examples of Orwellian terminology used by Government to influence viewpoints and frame the political debate in terms suitable to the government. (alcopops is a pejorative, implying frivolous and ill considered usage, while CPRS implies that carbon is a dangerous pollutant, even though all organic life is made up of it. Even if you vaguely understand that they really mean CO2, well, all plant life needs that.... But calling it an Emissions Trading Scheme instead is less accessible and sounds like something that would benefit stockbrokers at the big end of town: oh, wait...)

    Also the recent recommendations to encourage (read tax) people down certain paths in food/drink/smokes choices etc (the Federal Government calls this 'nudge' economics -another Orwellian phrase!). It starts off as an innocent, well meaning nanny state as a substitute for personal responsibility, and before you know it......
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    I might weave some of that in, and it is what I would much rather talk about, but the impression the teacher has given of the task is one more focused on the technical attributes of the texts. Ie. Techniques.
    Any ideas for some techniques I could talk about?

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    Hey Zanorath,

    First of all, as a teacher and English Literature major I was stoked to see that you enjoyed 1984! Many students don't like it, or don't understand it - and therefore don't like it.

    I think the general basis of your speech is very good - the key with speeches is delivery, so if you believe in what you are saying, and the points you are making then your audience will feel the same way (and so will the person grading you!)

    I think entropy makes some very valid suggestions - teachers LOVE it when students take the messages in literature and examine them in a modern day contexts. Plus this is what keeps literature alive. Shakespeare is still relevant today because the general themes of his plays (love, poverty etc) are just as part of our world as they were his. I think the same can be sad for 1984 and also a lot of Sci Fi writing (Burning Chrome, Snow Crash etc).

    Good on you - all the best with your speech!
    Oy with the poodles already...

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    Thanks alot LittleGold, I really appreciate it, and I agree. I think I'll be fine with the delivery of my speech as my debating team has got to state level before and so on, so I was more interested in the content

    I didn't really find the book particularly hard to read or anything like that, but I have the say, I think it was more the idea and premise of the book that intrigued me as apposed to the book in and itself. When saying this, I probably aren't the average teenager, as I am top of my year in english at an academically selective high school, but even so, I think that anyone who really wanted to read 1984 could, and if they gave it a chance would maybe even enjoy it!

    Really I think a lot of the reason people dislike English, and Shakespeare in particular, is because of the way it is taught; it is far too focused on techniques and so on, rather than the deeper issues the texts represent. I think what shows this the best is the fact that in my last assessment task, on the play 'Much Ado About Nothing,' I was able to get 100% without ever having read the play (and theres another issue with Shakespeare, at least at my school: we often just read transcripts, which are nothing like seeing it for real). What that says to me is that the curriculum is much too much based around techniques, rather that an appreciation of the literature itself.

    I think the only bad thing about 1984 is how shallow it makes the books we normally have to study in class look; case in point, Tomorrow When the War Began.' Lol.

    Thanks for the feedback btw,
    Constructive criticism is good

    PS. another thing that astounded me was that my teacher had never heard of 1984! I was amazed at that, honestly lol.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanorath View Post
    I probably aren't the average teenager
    Wow, way to completely own yourself there sport.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gehenna View Post
    Wow, way to completely own yourself there sport.
    Heh, I meant academically. And being realistic, being in a selective high school isn't average is it.

  8. #8

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    Re-read what you wrote

    I probably AREN'T the average teenager??

    While you're at it make a note-to-self to proof read your essays before handing them in.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gehenna View Post
    Re-read what you wrote

    I probably AREN'T the average teenager??

    While you're at it make a note-to-self to proof read your essays before handing them in.
    Heh, but you wouldn't exactly call a post on a message forum an essay would you?

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    One would hope not!
    Oy with the poodles already...

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    I was about to point out that '1984' was in fact written in 1927, then I realised I was thinking of the movie 'Metropolis', which isn't at all related.
    I guess I should just refrain from trying to help any more at this juncture. Good book though.
    pie and sauce with no remorse

  12. #12

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    Good post, Z. It seems of a better than average Y9 standard. However, there are some edits that are required, especially if it is an essay, as your title suggests.

    1984 is considered by many as THE novel of the 20th Century, introducing as it did so many concepts that have not ony become mainstream but are nowadays accepted implicitly. And despite what Entropy suggests that the current Government uses doublethink, this was raised to an artform by their Howard govt. predecessors, who you may well be too young to remember. (Entropy uses his own subterfuge: the fact that plants use CO2 is irrelevant to the main FACT that CO2 emissions caused by burning fossil fuels are a major cause of global warming).

    One thought you may like to leave with your audience. As totalitarian and all pervasive as the Party was in 1984 just imagine how much more powerful and how much more control they could have exerted if they had computers/internet and other modern technolgies!

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    n this society of total surveillance, the lines between truth and lies have been blurred, and poses the question: “If everybody believes in it, does that make it true?” There are many reoccurring examples of this in the novel, one of which is the statement “2 + 2 = 5.”
    I had better grammar and syntax in year 5. This isn't year 9 standard, or maybe I just had higher standards when I was in year 9.

    The grammar and conventions of this language are much to complicated to discuss here
    Yeah, I could say the same about this speech of yours too. As for some faux-constructive feedback, stop quoting so much and actually try and analyse the content.

    another thing that astounded me was that my teacher had never heard of 1984! I was amazed at that, honestly lol.
    And being realistic, being in a selective high school isn't average is it.
    Wow, pretence and arrogance in a year 9 kid. There are people here more accomplished than you'll ever be, Sam. Don't kid yourself, you're only at some random selective school - I'm pretty sure my pet monkey could get in one too.
    Last edited by incanspyder; 9th September 2009 at 10:49 PM.
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    Just a quick reply - may not be totally relevant but great for George Orwell fans.

    In the forward to his book "Amusing Ourselves to Death" Neil Postman famously wrote

    "We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.
    But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

    What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

    This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."
    Now Stuart MacMillan has taken this forward and put it in picture form [which if you had read Postman's book you would know is one thing that Postman was arguing against - reducing complex arguments to pictures or 10 words or one-liners as a politician leaves Parliament]

    See this brilliant link

    Amusing Ourselves to Death by Stuart McMillen - cartoon Recombinant Records

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    One thing I have always wondered about Nineteen Eighty Four, and I suppose there is no answer for, all truth being double thought in nature, is whether Julia was a spy herself - albeit, even without realizing it.

    O'Brien tells the Winston they have been watching him for 7 years - true or false - true or false, and the dedication The Party makes to converting just an individual to love BB, before being shot, to levels behind levels of deceit, I imagine it would be possible to train a person to be an Inner Party spy, and by supreme double-thought, have them believe they both are and are not a spy, would Julia also love BB to the extent of committing a crime in order to catch Winston, and be willing to suffer the same torture processes as Winston goes through?

    The idea is based on just how damned easy it is for Julia to procure real tea, real coffee, sugar, jam, bread and so forth - for their private meetings in the rented proletariat bedroom, whereas Winston cannot even get hold of a new razor blade after 3 months...

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    Quote Originally Posted by incanspyder View Post
    I had better grammar and syntax in year 5. This isn't year 9 standard, or maybe I just had higher standards when I was in year 9.



    Yeah, I could say the same about this speech of yours too. As for some faux-constructive feedback, stop quoting so much and actually try and analyse the content.




    Wow, pretence and arrogance in a year 9 kid. There are people here more accomplished than you'll ever be, Sam. Don't kid yourself, you're only at some random selective school - I'm pretty sure my pet monkey could get in one too.
    Someone seems to be in a bit of a sour mood, don't they? I mean honestly, okay so there are mistakes in my speech, I'm not saying theres not, why would I bother asking for opinions if I believe its perfect? Thank you for pointing out the fact that I left the second 'o' out of 'too;' I have subsequently corrected that, but is it really necessary too launch a personal attack on me for what amounts to a typo and a couple of errors in a first draft of an assignment? In fact, I would dispute my comma placement even being an error due to the fact that this is a speech, and that is where I plan to break for emphasis, and in some cases move to the next slide in my Keynote Presentation.

    To address your personal attack, I was making an honest remark in regards to my teacher; other posters in this tropic have said, and I quote, "1984 is considered by many as THE novel of the 20th Century." This, combined with the fact that the novel is also one of the prescribed HSC texts leaves me in little doubt that surprise is a perfectly decent reaction to this. I would also like to add that at no point did I ever question the intelligence of any member of this forum (even including yourself).

    In regards to your "faux-constructive feedback" I don't think you have understood the nature of the task. The reason for my admittedly extensive use of quotes is because the whole point of the task was to look at the techniques and how conflict is represented, not the conflict in itself.

    Really I'm sad that there is someone sitting on here making personal attacks, ad hominiem arguments if you prefer, as though something has personally offended you. Oh, finally, before you decide to pick up on some typo, spelling error or maybe even a gramatical (like that one right there maybe... just leaving that one open for you) error in this post, think about what this is – a post on a forum.

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    The last film, produced in 1984 and with the last role of Richard Burton (as O'Brien) before his death, was well executed.

    The fundamental line in Nine Teen Eight Four, issued from O'Brien's lips is:

    "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever."

    O'Brien also takes into hand the order of Huxley's vision, mentioned by Tokevmur, by asking yet another double-thought query:

    "Why is hate less vital than love?"


    VIDEO NO WORKY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanorath View Post
    Someone seems to be in a bit of a sour mood, don't they? I mean honestly, okay so there are mistakes in my speech, I'm not saying theres not, why would I bother asking for opinions if I believe its perfect? Thank you for pointing out the fact that I left the second 'o' out of 'too;' I have subsequently corrected that, but is it really necessary too launch a personal attack on me for what amounts to a typo and a couple of errors in a first draft of an assignment? In fact, I would dispute my comma placement even being an error due to the fact that this is a speech, and that is where I plan to break for emphasis, and in some cases move to the next slide in my Keynote Presentation.

    To address your personal attack, I was making an honest remark in regards to my teacher; other posters in this tropic have said, and I quote, "1984 is considered by many as THE novel of the 20th Century." This, combined with the fact that the novel is also one of the prescribed HSC texts leaves me in little doubt that surprise is a perfectly decent reaction to this. I would also like to add that at no point did I ever question the intelligence of any member of this forum (even including yourself).

    In regards to your "faux-constructive feedback" I don't think you have understood the nature of the task. The reason for my admittedly extensive use of quotes is because the whole point of the task was to look at the techniques and how conflict is represented, not the conflict in itself.

    Really I'm sad that there is someone sitting on here making personal attacks, ad hominiem arguments if you prefer, as though something has personally offended you. Oh, finally, before you decide to pick up on some typo, spelling error or maybe even a gramatical (like that one right there maybe... just leaving that one open for you) error in this post, think about what this is – a post on a forum.
    You're right Sam, pseudo-intellectual hacks annoy me personally. Having done quite well in my high school and university English studies, I'm quite sure I perfectly understood the nature of your task. I would also like to point out that I'm not too sure my intelligence requires validation from you, re the whole "I would also like to add that at no point did I ever question the intelligence of any member of this forum (even including yourself)"

    The next time you feel like using "ad hominem" or similarly "non sequitor" etc, think twice, because it doesn't really look intellectual or particularly wise or witty, merely foolish. You should spend that time analysing techniques instead of trying to justify your overused quotes.

    In response to the "why bother", waiting for Apple Events has its perks.. your post got some attention.
    Last edited by incanspyder; 10th September 2009 at 12:32 AM.
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    When "some" of you guys go off your tracks, you turn into total bitches.

    The result: the subject of the thread is lost and everything falls back into a futile match of egotistical one upmanship, behind the safe comfort of a screen.

  20. #20
    entropy's Avatar entropy is offline It's the heat death of the universe, my friends

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert_Thurgood View Post
    Good post, Z. It seems of a better than average Y9 standard. However, there are some edits that are required, especially if it is an essay, as your title suggests.

    1984 is considered by many as THE novel of the 20th Century, introducing as it did so many concepts that have not ony become mainstream but are nowadays accepted implicitly. And despite what Entropy suggests that the current Government uses doublethink, this was raised to an artform by their Howard govt. predecessors, who you may well be too young to remember. (Entropy uses his own subterfuge: the fact that plants use CO2 is irrelevant to the main FACT that CO2 emissions caused by burning fossil fuels are a major cause of global warming)....
    You really are a sad bugger aren't you. Howard Derangement Syndrome was fun, but he was dealt with two years ago and we were talking about today. Are you saying that Howard was a major practitioner of doublespeak, while Rudd is on the side of angels? Giggle. Can't you conceive of a world where both are guilty of similar thoughtcrimes? (yes I do irony).

    As for the point about CO2 and whether or not it is a pollutant, have you ever heard of too much of a good thing? In any case, that is not the point of the discussion. This isn't an argument about whether or not AGW is real, or even whether or not the CPRS will make any difference, or even if it is the most suitable design of an ETS for Australia. The discussion is about the language used by government to promote its programs.

    Here is some bones for you: Howard called the introduction of the GST "a New Tax System" and it was very hard to find references to GST in any promotional material at the time. Another is "the Intervention".

    The point I was apparently clumsily making is that the very title of the CPRS was designed to manipulate the public's views on the scheme. The CPRS is an ETS after all, but I am sure the spinmeisters thought calling it a CPRS would make it more 'accessible' and frames debate in a way that suits the government.

    Use of the word pollutant puts those opposed on the back foot, the soccer mom's less prone to disengagement, and by removing the less accessible words 'emissions' and 'trading' the watermelon greens more supportive than they might be otherwise because the 'trading' part of ETS appears to be something that only stock market traders would be interested in for personal gain via derivatives/futures and commissions rather than trying to save the planet.

    You really need to watch teh tv series "Hollowmen".
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