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One of my favourite- Décile Tachdjian

on Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:55 am
“For the first time, he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.”

Winston thinking to himself. Part 3, Chapter 4.

Definitely one of my favourite quotes of the whole book. By reading between the lines, it really shows how the government controls everything. Your thoughts and actions can't be your own. We know that any secret could be extracted from you by external forces, especially through torture, thought police, and manipulation by others. You must lie to yourself, keep telling yourself the lie over and over again until you don't even know the difference between what must be kept hidden and what the government wants from you.

Winston understands well that he had no chance of keeping his secret relationship with Julia, yet he continued on. He knew having the diary and the paperweight was dangerous, yet he still kept them. Since this was after his time in prison and room 101,  Winston finally understood that his hopes were doomed from the start. This sentence was him accepting the fact that he didn't need to be careful, he just needed to ignore everything he desired, with that, he would have never gotten in trouble.  We as readers understood that with thoughtcrime, it's almost impossible to keep your deepest emotions and thoughts to yourself. Your thoughts are secrets, just as much as the things you do and the things you say.

In Canada, this doesn't apply. But if we think of other countries of today like North Korea and the growing concern we have for Turkey, we can't completely overlook them. Most people in the world have at least heard of the situation happening in the dictator country, North Korea. Its government has similar links to the one of Big Brother (telling people what to think and believe, propaganda of their president, etc...). With Turkey, we have heard of their leader taking a sudden turn towards a dictator view (unfair imprisonment, control of the media, burning and destroying historical archives and documents, etc...).

I'm not saying these countries are doing exactly as Big Brother did in the story, but they have lots of similarities and could lead to such things. People have their secrets for now, but we never know in a century or two, it could be different.

Another thing I wanted to say, take a moment and just imagine. My quote implies we can't have secrets, right? Could we say that in the upcoming future, conservative thoughts and opinions could be abolished? Could we be going towards a world were all non-left party values could be eliminated? Of course, we will always have a Winston walking around with his own thoughts, society will catch him and try to 'change his mind'. Could we be going down the path were secrets will no longer be ours?

That's just my input on our situation. Please tell me below what you think because I'd love to hear from you all.

Thank you!
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More on Turkey...

on Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:34 pm
Hi Décile,
I think the link you made between 1984's Oceania and Turkey is very interesting. Unlike Turkey's president Erdogan, it isn't confirmed if Big Brother is a real person but we can assume he is simply an image of power and authority that will last centuries as long as the Party prevails. However, the influence of simply the image of Big Brother and Erdogan is quite similar in that it is unbelievably powerful. Citizens of Oceania would show fear, respect and admiration towards all the images of Big Brother, wether it be on the telescreens or gigantic posters. Erdogan's image was shown to have similar power during the 2016 falied coup attempt in Turkey. To counter the ongoing coup attempt, Erdogan used FaceTime from his vacation resort to broadcast himself on national television. He encouraged citizens to go out on the streets and stop rebel forces from progressing. His image was powerful enough for citizens to believe and obey his instructions. Crowds of Turks stopped rebel tanks from progressing and neutralized rebel soldiers. Erdogan was not even in the capital or a metropole, he was in a hotel resort in a unpopulated region of Turkey. His face alone, just like Big Brother's, was enough to make most citizens take action and risk their well being. This demonstrates why a rebellion in 1984's climate was impossible. Even if the Brotherhood, whether it is real or not, took control of government buildings and such, Oceania's population truly does love Big Brother and they would stop the rebellion. To go back to Turkey, unlike Big Brother, Erdogan is not immortal. It will be interesting to see if Turks will hold the same level of admiration to his successor. scratch
My guess is that yes, since the growingly more unstable climate surrounding Turkey will make their population want to have trust in their leader. king
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