Activity 2: Reading comprehension In how far did the feeling of being ostracized influenced Orwell’s writing?While reading his literature, you’re able to recognise a red line, which goes through almost all of his books and that’s the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. That feeling derives from his teenage years. At this time, he was very lonely and he soon developed disagreeable mannerisms, which made him quickly unpopular. He also had the lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary friends. What were his initial thoughts on Imperialism and Totalitarianism and in how far did his perception thereof change over the years? After boarding school, Blair received a scholarship for an University. Even though the University was very prestigious, he decided to go to Burma and fill a position in the Indian Imperial Police. His five years in that post, however, left him feeling very disillusioned with imperialism. Also the examples of what happened in Germany and Italy under totalitarian regimes made him hate totalitarianism.”All animal are equal.. but some animals are more equal than others”: Where does this quote emanate from? In how far does it depict the political credo of Orwell’s time?This quote can be found in his novel: “Animal Farm”. In that novel, Orwell wanted to explain and criticize the communistic system, which is at the beginning a good thing, but as the time goes on, it gets problematic, because there are always more intelligent animals (humans), who are exploiting the other animals. Mention one real-life example resp. incentive for Orwell’s 1984.Probably he wanted the book to be a warning after the second world war. It is his way of describing a way of life and a society that he thought may happen he the future but that he would never want to live to see. The image he creates of this dystopian society appears to be very similar to a realistic description of Germany or of the Soviet Union at the time. Facecrime is actually an invention of Orwell’s. Was there an incident where people were punished (in reality) for such a crime?Orwell was inspired by the Soviets, who used to remove persons from photographs and newspaper, if they didn’t show an appropriate facial expression.What does “Orwellian” mean according to the text? “Orwellian” can describes many different things, but in all cases it indicates something bad. Often it is used to talk about unsettling developments in a society, like newspeak, doublespeak and thoughtcrime. Why does George Orwell write? Do you agree with his approach on / motives for writing novel / article, etc.?Orwell claims that people write because one of four reasons: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse or political purpose. The last one is why he personally writes. But in addition he wants to create beautiful art, so he is trying to merge these two things together: art and (political) purpose. I think Orwell is trying to wake people up with his novels and articles. And because he is well known for his political critics, I think that it is the right approach. A book wich hasn’t got any need for thinking, wouldn’t be the right approach, in my opinion. Activity 3: Part I, Chapter 1Describe the living conditions as they are presented in the first chapter. What does this tell you about society?The first Chapter acquaint the reader with the harsh and oppressive world in which the novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, lives. The living conditions are bad, the houses are in miserable conditions, the people can’t enjoy their lives. Every sign of freedom or fun gets forbidden by the government. In addition, everyone is getting observed by the Thought police trough bis telescreens. It seems like that the population has no real feelings anymore and that the life itself has no value. If you had to pick a color for the first chapter, it would be the most boring grey you can think of. Explain why you think that Winston’s diary is important.The diary fascinates Winston because it is an artifact from the past, an obsolete and forbidden object. Winston’s inability to pinpoint the date suggests the degree of control the Party exerts over reality and the historical record. I think the diary has an important role for Winston because he is seeing an individual aspect in it. Something that helps him realising the situation and circumstances he lives in. Not only that, it is also possible to back up his thoughts and store them, which is something rare in his daily life. 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)? Everyone gets furious and kicks, hits and shouts. Everyone is doing exactly the same and reacts the same way. Also Winston is doing so. One one hand, he likes that feeling he gets, when everyone is doing the same thing. It gives him a sense of security and unity. But on the other hand he realizes that no one is questioning these methods and that they are all acting like robots, without any emotional context, except anger in this case. Activity 4 Part 1 Chapter II: This chapter introduces Mrs Parsons and her children. What impressions do you get about the way that children are being brought up?In 1984 the party is constantly brainwashing the people of Oceania. They are trying to make them believe that the party is wonderful, that Big Brother is amazing and that everyone should love, and be loyal, only to the party. The way the party brainwashes people is quite effective. They start young, the spies, the youth leagues, these are all ways for them to get to children, to get them on their side, to turn them into obedient little party members. The Spies reminds me of the Hitler Youth. They have the same philosophy, grab them when they’re young and impressionable, and then stuff them so full of propaganda that they believe whatever you tell them. You see the effects of this childhood brainwashing in Julia. She has been subjected to the party’s propaganda all of her life and in some ways she is far more immune to it than Winston, but in other ways she believes just what they want her to.Part 1 Chapter III: What do you think is meant by “doublethink”? What effect do you think that attempting to use doublethink has on people?Doublethink is the act of holding, simultaneously, two opposite, individually exclusive ideas or opinions and believing in both simultaneously and absolutely. Doublethink requires using logic against logic. The three slogans of the party, “War Is Peace; Freedom Is Slavery; Ignorance Is Strength”, are obvious examples of doublethink. The act of doublethink also occurs in more subtle details throughout the novel. If the society always has two different opinions they can’t use their mind and logic in the right way. The party members start to accept both opinions without using their mind. Their thoughts start to become blurred and they cannot distinguish between truth and lie and that’s exactly what the government wants in order to manipulate them.