1984 Discussion (Chapter 1, Part III)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 1, Part III)

  • What do you suppose is the purpose of the physical jerks? How many people take part in this activity?

So Winston wakes up from his dream of his family and the woman disrobing in the field to the telescreen waking him up for the routine of the Physical Jerks. There is a woman that leads the group through a series of exercises and stretches that remind me of a Tae Bao video. The instructress, as Winston refers to her, indicates that the thirty to forty group should start to get ready. So the roll call of these groups makes it seem like this would be a smaller group. However, I think that ultimately, the Physical Jerks are for pretty much the entire working age population of Oceania. This has to do with what I believe to be the purpose of the Physical Jerks. Towards the end of Part III, the instructress mentions that the least the group can do is make it through the exercises because they do not have it as hard as the soldiers on the front lines of the war effort. Think about this, if you ever needed more soldier for the front lines, wouldn't it be best if those new recruits would already be prepared for battle? I believe the Jerks serve this purpose, to maintain the fitness of the general populace, in case more soldiers are needed in the war with Eurasia (or was it Eastasia...).

  • Why do you think Winston survived his parents and not his sister?

This one is perplexing because you could say that Winston survived the Purge and his parents didn't because Big Brother would rather have the children to spread his propaganda to. Just look at the Parson's children we were introduced to in Part II. Kids are easier to get to, and more impressionable. If you can get the kids to believe in something, you will more likely have a lifelong follower. The question here is not about his parents though, but about his sister, who was just a toddler during the purges, at least according to his dream. He actually does not even mention much about this, but rather is visibly distraught at his mother's death calling it a Tragedy. The only two things I can think of as to why his sister was also sacrificed was because she was way too young (an infant), or she was a girl. I lean towards her being too young, as maybe the Party did not have time or the resources to bring in this young of children and raise them up. We saw that both of the Parson's children, boy and girl, were dressed in the uniform of the Spies. So this would seemingly eliminate the role gender plays in being a part of the Party.

  • What changed from Part I to Part III to have Winston remember things about his childhood??

I tend to think that this is moreso due to how Orwell has the story unfold. He doesn't give away too much right away instead hinting at some information into Winston's childhood that will be important. Would the story his us as hard if Orwell revealed greater details in the beginning? Would we even want to read further?? One theory is that Part III starts with Winston dreaming, and this is where we are introduced to Winston's family. Perhaps sleep and dreams are where Winston is in such a relaxed state that the memories of his childhood are able to bubble up from his subconscious.

  • Does Big Brother have a purpose to constantly being at war? Is there a motive behind this?

We don't quite yet know much about the other areas of the world that Oceania is fighting against. The wars could be to take back land, expand the empire, or access to resources. I think that these are secondary to the primary motive, fear and control of the population. If the Party can drum up fear in the population, that these other countries are ready to attack, then the population will be more willing to do things in order to protect their country. These could be things that make sense at first, but perhaps Big Brother could quickly take advantage of the patriotism of its populace. If people fear for the lives and well being, no telling what you could get somebody to do all in the name of protection.

  • Explain Doublethink

Winston describes Doublethink in simple terms, "reality control". He then builds on this with multiple examples, but the definition is right in the name. Thinking two things at the same time, and knowing both to be true. As Winston describes it, it is to know and not to know, to hold two opinions that cancel each other out, or to be conscious  of truth while still telling lies. This controls reality by obscuring it, how does anybody know anything if anything you think could also be wrong or right? Actually it could be both right AND wrong according to Big Brother...

  • How do you think Big Brother is pulling off the heist of the past?

I will forgo giving away anything I read in Part IV about his (We see Winston's day at work in the Ministry). Before reading ahead, I would have said that Big Brother achieved this through rewards and punishment through the people. When Big Brother tried to change his rhetoric on the past, any of the people who would question him were punished or perhaps even vaporized by the Thought Police. The reward for not pointing out any obvious falsification of the past, was your life. It also sounds as if the Party has access to the mass media of Oceania. It does this through its Ministries. The Party also can keep track of how people act and view it via the telescreens and the speak writes. Big Brother is always watching, and if it finds you speaking out, it can quickly move to remove you from society before your message spreads to the masses.