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Sample of MonkeyNotes for 1984 by George Orwell
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CHAPTERS 7 & 8

Winston is still writing his diary secretly. He continues to
contemplate the society created by the Party. The more he thinks
about the encroachment on individual freedom, the lack of privacy,
the loneliness, and the deliberate alteration of the past, the more he
wonders if there is a way of overthrowing or weakening the Party.

The Party, through its massive propaganda machinery, spreads the
idea that life in the new society is much better than it was before
the revolution. In reality, the condition of the masses is bad. There
is a scarcity of essential items, poorly paid jobs, and the
overpowering smell of garbage everywhere. Yet, in Chapter 8, as
Winston walks around in the dark streets where the 'proles' or the
working class lives, he sees for himself that freedom, individual
freedom and the human bonds of family, love, and affection, still
remain intact.

Winston is convinced that if there is any hope for the future
generation, it lies in the Proles. If they are made conscious, their
collective strength can overthrow the Party. But what disturbs
Winston is that due to the constant bombardment from the
propaganda machinery, all memories, records, and details of life
before the revolution are being erased. The propaganda is so
pervasive that when the party claims that airplanes have been
invented after the revolution, everyone accepts it. Though Winston
knows how this lie is being spun and is accepted as the truth, he is
unable to understand the motive behind it.

Notes

Through a subtle play of images, the depiction of the ambiance
through sounds, smell, and color, the author draws sharp contrasts
between the lives led by the Party members and the 'proles'. The
contrasts only serve to further heighten the feeling of alienation of
the individual from society. Moreover, the Party Ingsoc's slogan,
animals and proles are free, reveal the Party's contempt for the
proles. This fact is ironic because the Party has come to power to
serve the interests of the proletariat. Besides, it also shows the
Party's attitude towards freedom. Freedom of thought is a basic and
natural right of all human beings that the Party is denying its
members. In fact, the concept of freedom in the new society is
turned to its opposite, where freedom is slavery.

Winston shows a great deal of naiveté in thinking that the proles
may some day revolt against the Party. A revolution takes strong
leadership, and the Party squelches any hint of leadership before it
is allowed to develop.

It is important to realize that at the end of Part I, Winston has been
created as a normal, sane man in terms of contemporary thinking.
But in the world depicted in 1984, he is not normal or sane. His
way of thinking is considered a thought crime and not appropriate
to the world of Big Brother. He is concerned about history, curious
about truth and life, and driven by sexual desires, all of which are
unacceptable to Party practices. Because of his thoughts, Winston
knows that he is different than almost all others in the state of
Oceania; as a result, he feels an extreme sense of loneliness and
isolation. Orwell has totally prepared the reader for the action that
takes place in Part II and Part III of the book.

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