Sunday, September 20, 2009

My contribution to Orwell's "1984" group presentation

I was in the Orwell 1984 group where we presented about the different aspects of the story that made 1984 a great utopian book. My part of the presentation was based on the whole concept of, can we attain a utopian society if people have the language that enables them to self- identify themselves and know who they are and what they believe in? I tried proving that we can’t attain a utopian society because as we read in the 1984, there were many rebellious characters that stopped that from happening, for example Julia. I talked about the two female characters in 1984, Katherine and Julia. Katherine was Winston’s wife and was very loyal to the Party. Even when it came to sex, she would say things like it is our duty to the Party. Her character was not given any dialogue on behalf of the author because she represented totalitarianism; therefore, language is kept to a minimum. She has no identity/ personality and this why I thought of her as a person of the Party.
On the other hand, Julia represents the importance of language and the importance of knowing who you are. By being able to know her character means that the author gave her the language to showcase the importance of communicating. Julia was a risk taker, very rebellious, careless, sensual, experienced, and imperfect in every way. These imperfections are what make us human because without it we could be considered brainwashed robots that belong to the ones in control of the society. In my opinion, Orwell gives Julian’s character a feminist twist because of her rebellious characteristics. Considering the fact that the first wave of feminism started in the 1850’s (mostly through writings) and Orwell wrote 1984 in 1939, it seemed to me that he could have been very much influenced by the movement and used the feminist movements to highlight what it means to have free will, a strong personality, identity and most importantly how the use of language is what brings forth all of that mentioned above. Language allows us to create our thoughts, specifically thoughts about the self, which then allows us to be in control of our mind, body and soul. In conclusion, all this talk about feminism and language was to point out that as long as we are able to communicate with each other, we will never be able to attain a utopian society.

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