Thursday, November 21, 2013

Predictions About What Winston Will Do Next

Winston just finished his journey to the proles live. He saw the girl from the fiction department and is now is positive that she is a spy. He just got back to his flat and is certain that soon Big Brother will come for him. Right before Winston falls asleep he thinks about O’Brien. Now that Winston knows he has been discovered by the girl in the fiction department, he may possibly approach O’Brien the next day before Big Brother vaporizes him. He could tell O’Brien the truth about what he feels about the party.

I believe that Winston is going to approach O’Brien. I also believe that Winston is correct that O’Brien is on his side. In addition, I predict that Winston will find a way to live in the apartment above the pawn shop. If Winston can sneak away to live there, he will be able to make some plans about how to overcome Big Brother because there is no telescreen there. Also, he will be able to learn more from the man who owns the pawn shop about the past. I believe he will do this because he had this thought on the back of his mind when he was talking to the man. He knows how dangerous it is, but I predict that he will find a way.

I do not believe that Winston will resume his daily life of hiding for two reasons. The author is starting part two of the book which means that there will be a dramatic change. Winston cannot go back to his regular life without hiding from Big Brother because the girl from the fiction department saw him in the proles neighborhood, which is extremely suspicious. Big Brother vaporizes anyone who looks suspicious for a second, so Winston feels the Thought Police will not continue to allow Winston to live. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reflect on the Ministry of Truth. What is being critiqued about Orwell’s society? Our own?

Winston works at the Ministry of Truth which is responsible for making the news, entertainment and education. His daily job involves him rewriting history so that everything Big Brother says in the present matches up with the past. Winston has to rewrite history. This is his favorite part of the job. For example, in this chapter Winston fabricates a story about a comrade Ogilvy who has unwavering faith for the party. Winston fabricates a man and knows that this is impossible to do in his world: “It struck him as curious that you could create dead men but not living ones” (47). In this quote Winston states that he can fabricate a life from nothing, but he cannot create living ones. The living people are so robotic and already dead through their unwavering faith that life is gone from them.

By describing the Ministry of Truth Orwell critiques how the dystopian society constantly lies to its people and that there is no truth to be found: “Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie” (41). The dystopian society has no truth to it anymore. The party simply makes up facts and the people believe it. This critiques how ignorant people will be likely to believe anything, even if that thing is as far from the truth as possible.

In our own society there are many ignorant people who believe anything that is told to them once. In political elections the candidates take advantage of people’s ignorance and try to sway them one way or another based on their opinions that they deliver as facts. The real truth does not lie in one source.  Orwell critiques how people believe everything they hear if it is from a “reliable source”. Yet, even reliable sources do not always contain the truth. Orwell believes that people should be less ignorant and impressionable. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds which ye may, 1
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun, 5
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be fun,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst 10
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime, 15
You may forever tarry.

                Herrick describes a maiden’s life as one to be cherished and used wisely otherwise she will grow old without a husband; he intensifies this position by symbolizing the maiden or virgin’s life with a rosebuds. In the first stanza Herrick describes that a maiden must “Gather ye rosebuds which ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.” He describes both the life of a rose bud and the life of a maiden here. Rose buds will die so you have to gather them quickly. Yet, he speaks of a virgin/ maiden here too, because if she does not act, tomorrow this beauty will die.
                In the next stanza the speaker uses the path of time to describe how a virgin must hurry to marry. He describes “this race be run And nearer he’s to setting.” The speaker describes this path of time for both the rose buds and the maidens. The rose buds will come and go with time, but the virgin will not. The virgin will not be able to rebirth like the rose buds. The virgin needs to marry quickly before time runs out.
                The speaker then goes on to say how young age is so important and that being older will change the situation. He explains the rose bud connection here. He says, “That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former.” Young age is the best for marrying, and this option dies with time. Time will succeed the maiden. The youth and blood of the maiden are compared to the rose buds because rose buds are red and young.

                The speaker sums up his advice in the last paragraph. He says that the maiden must hurry and marry “for having lost but once [her] prime, [She] may forever tarry.” Once the virgin grows old she will not be desirable anymore. She must act now. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Mind" by Richard Wilbur

Mind in its purest play is like some bat 1
That beats about it caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore; 5
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there,
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
That mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save 10
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

Wilbur describes the mind as a lonely, dark, entity with hope for change. Throughout the whole poem he compares the human mind to a bat. This furthers his argument that the mind works alone with boundaries, but has the possibility of escaping.
He starts off the poem by stating blatantly that the “Mind in its purest play is like some bat” (1). Without any schooling or changes to the mind, it acts like a bat. He goes on to explain that this is because it “beats about it caverns all alone,/ Contriving by a kind of senseless wit/ Not to conclude against a wall of stone (2-4). The mind goes around in the same place. It encircles the same ideas as a bat encircles a cave. Also, he speaks as the mind as using a senseless wit. This oxymoron explains that while the mind is intelligent, we encircle ideas that are meaningless to our lives. Also, he believes a mind is like a bat because we stay alive inside the dangerous cave.
In the next stanza, Wilbur continues this comparison. He says the mind “knows what obstacles are there” (6). The mind stays inside its comfort zone with fear of the unknown. Although it has “senseless wit”, the mind does not use this attribute to be imaginative because it is too aware of boundaries. This relates to a bat because a bat knows his boundaries of a cave. It could be dangerous for the bat to leave the cave, but why is it dangerous for the mind to leave its comfort zone?
In the last stanza, Wilbur defends this simile by addressing it to the reader directly. He goes on to elicit hope, about both the mind and the bat. He says that “That in the very happiest intellection/ A graceful error may correct the cave (11-12). He says that if the mind or the bat takes a risk, things will change. The cave and the world can be corrected. He believes if the mind makes a graceful error or takes a risk, new knowledge and imagination will come. Also, if a bat leaves the cave, nothing horrible will happen to it either.
Wilbur passes many ideas to a reader quickly with this simile than he would have if he did not use figurative language.