The Dementor's kiss

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"We were producing a definitive edition of the poems of Kipling. I allowed the word 'God to remain at the end of a line." pg. 237 Orwell

Section three of 1984 is truely the most horrifying. Ministry of Love: intentional irony, considering it is a torture chamber. Ampleforth comitted a crime in the Party's eyes. He did think, but of ways to avoid printing the condeming word. There were none, so he sentence himself. Of course God could not be metioned. Big Brother is God. There is no one more powerful than BB; at least, there can't be. The thought that another supreme being was controlling, watching over us in some way would cause chaos; the people would respect him over BB. BB would be second, and BB is second to none.There cannot be any evidence of God,just as the people can never meet a foreigner and study their language, for "if he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies" (201). Any outside information undermines the Party.

Even Party Pieists are fallible. No one would have suspected Parsons would be guilty of thoughtcrime. I guess all the supression of independent thought got to him. It had to come out somehow. What is even more disturbing is that even though he's guilty, he still believes he is wrong and the party is right ('Thank you,' I'm going to say, 'thank you for saving me before it was too late' 240). Parsons wants to be saved before he actually starts to believe his independent thoughts. The thought, the motivation behind an action, is said to be more dangerous than the act itself ("the thought is all we care about" 261). Scary....

There is loyalty to only the Party in Oceania. Men teach their kids to rat on anyone opposing BB, and men are willing to sacrifice their wives and children to save themselves from being punished ("you can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes" 243). The Party has killed that connection between parent and child; is there such a thing a a bond between two people (except Winston/Julia) in Oceania? No, because a bond with someone would make you loyal to them and not the Party. I am surprised the Party allows people to choose their own spouses and make their own children.

 I remember there was a book from elementary school about a bubble community that chose people's spouses for them, as well as employed women as 'birth mothers." it was called The Giver and to this day is the most frightening book I have ever read. There were no emotions in this town (only 'sameness'), except for one person called "the Giver" who passed memories, pleasures, and emotions onto one person to replace him. Parents were little more than babysitters.Colors weren't even allowed! Emotions were surpressed with pills! The truth was drummed out of consciousness by by chanting.I remember our parents had to sign a waver allowing us to read the book. Very Orwellian, the book turned quickly into a dystopia as the protagonist discovered what the controlling powers were really doing and how the world actually was. I'm getting shivers thinking about it.

Winston speaks the truth until he is tortured into submission. The reason Parsons could not control what he said while he slept was that memory is "involuntary. It is outside oneself" (256).

Reality is what the Party determines. Public opinion is Party opinion. There is nothing external. Everyone is the same. No one is different "Never again will you be capable of human feeling...you will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves" (265). 

is a soul something that can be killed? a soul is our personality, reasoning, and emotions, what makes us different from others. But, if all of those things have been removed, are the Party-controlled people souless? are they shells? Oceania is what happenes when you are kissed by a Dementor.

"there are things worse than death, you know"-Lord Voldemort

(I had to make one Harry Potter reference)

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3 Comments

Regarding the choosing of spouses... there's a passage that describest that marriages within the party are arranged by committees, and that the committee won't approve if there's evidence that the two people are attracted to each other. (Of course, this doesn't apply among the Proles.)

Excellent entry, Dani. You know I've been emphasizing the value of synthesizing knowledge from multiple sources, and this blog entry does just that.

Since the world of Harry Potter uses magic as a kind of antidote to technology, I wonder if there's value in looking at the HP universe as an extension of the medieval manuscript culture... the magic newspapers seem to involve mass production and Rita Skeeter is an exaggeration of the use of mass media to shape public opinion. I recall seeing a printed book (the children's book that Umbridge uses in Defense of the Dark Arts), but the scrolls and maps and student work all seems to be hand-written. (I'm not sure whether there's enough in that for a research paper, but maybe for your next oral presentation? Just a thought.)

Daniella Choynowski said:

it's something to think about...I've got a couple of ideas already.

I will write a research paper incorporating Harry Potter before I leave hear, rest assured

Jeremy Barrick said:

Sad to think that it could happen, our souls ripped from our bodies. To not be able to think, let alone have a personality of our own. It sort of makes me wonder what life is like on communes and cults. Is this what Oceania was? A predetermined life of likeness was passed out to all who entered there. Scary, isn't it?

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