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1984: Big Brother is Watching You 2011: Who Isn’t Watching You?

Was Orwell right about future life? In fact he was. Orwell was not completely correct on how privacy of personal information would be violated or how society would manipulate people’s personal opinions, but he was correct in the fact that both those issues would become increasingly bigger issues later on in life. Life in the twenty-first century is obviously nothing like Winston’s life in the novel 1984, but our rights and privacy are being violated just as much as Winston’s was. We are similar to Winston in the fact that at first we are unaware of what exact violations are being committed against our personal rights. Winston was unsure because everyone acted as if it their way of life was normal, they knew nothing else but having their every move monitored; we are unsure because most Americans are unaware that they are even capable of being monitored, and to what extent.

The PATRIOT Act was created shortly after the terrorist attack on 9/11 which allowed the government much more capability on finding personal information on suspicious people. Ironically, the government could still track people’s information even if they weren’t of suspicion, they could truly get information on any person that they pleased because there was no sort of  “checks and balance system” to control this(Rotenburg). In conclusion, the government could get any information on anyone they decided to, from tracking cell phone calls to computer records, the government could find it all. In 1984, the government did not use hacking into technology to spy on people but they just watched them every where they went. Atleast in 1984, the people of Oceania knew they were at risk of being watched at any moment. Winston even states “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.”(8). In 2011, our government is doing the exact same thing as Big Brother was in 1984, this quote goes along with our society today that our government could be watching us at any moment without us knowing.

Not only is the government capable of tracking our phone calls or information on our harddrive but they can just go through Google to find out what is on our mind, just like the thought police. People Google all the time just random things that are on their mind, and if our government can intercept that information, are they any different than the thought police in 1984? Leslie Walker even states that Google was used to incriminate Robert Petrick who was accused of killing his wife. Information that he had googled on decomposition and rigor mortis was used as substantial evidence to get him life in prison. So when Winston states in the novel “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.”(27), is he really that far from the truth in today’s terms? It is not just privacy policies that are being violated in relation to Orwell’s prediction, but manipulation of our own opinions has started to become a great impactor as well. Every where we go we see advertisements, we actually do not even have to go out of our house. We can just get on the internet and there are thousands of advertisements in our face. When I think of all the Big Brother signs in 1984, I think of advertisements and how they’re on the sides of buildings and in our homes. Advertisemets are everywhere, and Steven McNamara supports the claim that advertisements are a from of planting a belief into someones head to get them to buy a product or votes.

Today, as an eighteen year old, I am not directly affected by these conditions. In the future, say I am part of a war protest group, then maybe my rights will be violated and it will be brought to my attetnion. I am not worried about the information that i google being known, but say I google guns and then I am accused of killing my husband, well then yeah I am going to be affected by these conditions. Who knows, maybe by the time I’m in my thirties, privacy may not even be in the dictionary. If Orwell has been right this far, then I would not be suprised if there is a such thing as Newspeak around in 2030.

McNamara, Steven. “Advertising Techniques 2011 Creative TV, Print and Digital Examples.” Creative Advertising Ideas, Techniques and Creative Briefs. 2002. Web. 08 Apr. 2011. http://www.adcracker.com/techniques/Advertising_Techniques.htm.
Orwell, George. 1984. 1950. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1984.
Rotenburg, Mark. “EPIC – USA Patriot Act.” EPIC – Electronic Privacy Information Center. Web. 08 Apr. 2011. http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/.
Walker, Leslie. “Leslie Walker – Forgot What You Searched For? Google Didn’t – Washingtonpost.com.” The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines – Washingtonpost.com. 21 Jan. 2006. Web. 08 Apr. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/20/AR2006012001799.html&gt;.
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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Beyond 1984

 

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Thomas More

Thomas More was bornFebruary 7, 1478 in London. He was well educated and went on to further his education at Oxford. Later More returned to London to study law, while he wanted to become a lawyer he was being pushed to become a priest by his father. He then became a Monk fora  short amount of time until he decided to enter politics in 1504.

More’s biggest fight as a politician was with Henry VIII. After being knighted in 1521, Henry VIII used Thoms to help him write Defence of the Seven Sacraments. Due to More’s help, Henry made him the Speaker of the House of Commons, which gave him a larger freedom of speech than most. He used his position to speak out agains Henry VIII wanting to divorce his wife, Katherine of Aragon, just to remarry Anne Boleyn. Thomas did not attened Elizabeth’s crowning and this was observed by the King. In 1534, Thomas was accused of Treason, captured, and beheaded on July 6 1535. After his death he was canonized and then in 1935, declared a Saint.

Although Thomas More went on to become a Saint, he was actually famous for his work of literature, Utopia. More depicted the Renaissance artist very well for he used the teachings of Aristotelianism, Platonism, Stoicism and Epicureanism. He also used the blend of Christianity and Paganism in his works, Utopia for example. A main belief of More was in the philosophy of pleasure, Epicureanism.

Thomas More’s work was influence by many people such as his good friends Erasmus, John Colet, and Thomas Linacre as they were all “Oxford Reformers” and humanists. Thomas was also very influenced by his wife, Jane Colt. Jane died during the time they were married, leaving Thomas with a child to care for, which is why he married only a month later. All these friends as well as Henry VIII helped Thomas in writing Utopia, which depicts a perfect political world.

More also started a work called History of King Richard III, which was unfinished but highly influenced Shakespeare’s play Richard III.  Thomas More’s unfinished work was a history of the Renaissance and was known for its literary skill.

Ousby, Ian. “The Life of Sir Thomas More.” Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/morebio.htm>

“Sir Thomas More.” About.com. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://classiclit.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=classiclit&cdn=education&tm=4&gps=178_457_1020_567&f=10&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.orst.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/more.html>

“Thomas More.” Wikipedia. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_More>

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Thomas More's Utopia

 

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Dante’s Influence on Art: Dante and the Three Kingdoms

Renaissance Art

Domenico Di Michelino of Florence, was born in 1417. He attended schoool in Florentine where he was an Italian painter and worked for awhile as a carpentar. He normally painted biblical scenes in similar style of Fra Angelico, whom he also worked as an assisstant for.

Michelino’s most famous piece of art is located inside the Santa Maria del Fiore church in Florence. This painting is called Dante and the Three Kingdoms. Domenico was famous for his work with dreamlike, fantasy worlds, hence maybe why he decided to paint the Christian after world. Painted during the early Renaissance in 1465, Domenico became famous for his work reflecting the Divine Comedy.

Dante and the Three Kingdoms depicts Dante Aligheri surrounded by the three regions of afterlife included in the Divine Comedy. To the right of Dante is the City of Florence, here you can see the church of Florence in which the actual painting is located. Florence here is depicted as the Heavenly City. On the left of Dante is the Inferno, or otherwise Hell. This section of the picture illustrates the sinners making their way down to Hell, haunted by demons. At the bottom of Hell you can actually see Satan as if he is in flames, which is how Dante described him in his story. Directly behind Dante is Purgatory and Paradise. Purgatory is more detailed in that you can see the seven different levels of sinners as they carry out their punishments, for examply carrying bolders. The seven levels of purgatory represent the seven deadly sins.  At the very top of Purgatory is Paradise which is represented by Adam at Eve on the top.

Great pieces of literature bring together ideas and people and last with strong influence through out time. The Divine Comedy has lasted beyond Medieval literature and has influenced far beyond Renaissance art. His story has created an era of art, where everyone illustrates Dante’s visions on Christian afterlife. He perhaps made a few artist famous. When researching Domenico di Michelino the only information that was really able to be found was on this painting. There was not even much on himself as an artist. He did not create much art at all, but was included as one of the leading artist of his time.

Domenico Di Michelino. The History of Art and Curious Painters, Walter Pater. 2001. Oct. 17, 2010. http://www.historyofpainters.com/domencio_michelino.html

Domenico Di Michelino. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.  2010.  Oct. 17, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domenico_di_Michelino

Painted Into Immorality. Three Pipe Problem. 2009. Oct 17, 2010. http://threepipeproblem.blogspot.com/2009/12/painted-into-immortality-dante-and.html

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Dante

 

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The Wanderer

Summary

This poem was about a man of war, speaking on his experiences of war. He is lost and lonely, as well as unsure of his future. He is longing for the friends that he fought along side with and the compassion of loved ones. He is trying to fight his feeling of sorrow.

Anglo Saxon Ideas

Christianity is obviously a strong idea of the wanderer, who speaks many times of God, or “heavenly Father”. Even though the wanderer is alone on Earth, he still has God on his side. In the end he realizes he could not have saved his kinsmen and he should not blame himself and feel sorrow, but he should fight for God’s acceptance.

The wanderer constantly speaks of fate, which is a pagan belief, that what happens to you is predestined.

The idea of home, is what our wanderer is seeking, the comfort of loved ones and family.

Lastly, Bravery is also seen in this poem for the fact that our wanderer is a warrior seeking the honor of bravery, by hiding his sorrows.

Imagery and Sounds

The imagery of this poem is depressing, it mentions wintry seas, icy waves, frozen heart, dark earth, lonely-hearted. All of these descriptions through out the story make you think dark and dreary thoughts, which would not be present in a cheerful, upbeat story.

It uses many N words at a time, such as not, neither, nor, no which all seem like negative words.

Compare to Beowulf

The wanderer and Beowulf are both brave warriors fighting for honor and glory, in hope that they can save and protect their fellow kinsmen. They both use God as an incentive to fight and protect. The battle of the wanderer is similar to Beowulf’s battle with Grendel’s mother, where they both must succeed on their own. The wanderer’s battle is alone because it is sort of a battle with himself in overcoming his sorrow and loneliness. Beowulf just has to complete the task on his own. These single fights only make the two characters stronger

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Anglo-Saxon Poetry

 

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Rose O’Neal Greenhow

Rose O’Neal Greenhow was born on a farm in Maryland, which she left as a teenager to attend her aunts boarding school in Washington D.C,. This is how she came of her connections with people of high ranks such as senators, presidents, etc,. She ended up marrying a man of wealth, and having four children with him. Her husband ended up dieing as the Civil War was beginning. Through her connections, Rose became deeply dedicated to the Confederate south. Rose also used her popularity with a range of people, some being Union men, to help inform Confederate leaders on inside information from the Union. This is how she became one of the most important spies for the Confederates. She later used her aquired information to help the south win the battle at Bull Run. Rose became suspected of her spying and was imprisoned. While in jail, Rose still managed to find a way to send the South more information from the Union. It is even said that she had her letters carried in the bun of a woman’s hair. Once exiled, Rose was sent to Europe to gain support for the south, she did this by publishing a book, My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington. On her way back to the states, Rose’s ship was attacked by Unioners. She died, but was barried in a casket, which upon laid the Confederate flag.

Obviously, Rose broke the normal gender role, by actually playing a part in the Civil War. From what we read in class, women were not that important when it came to war efforts, but Rose Greenhow played a huge role, bigger than most men, and as risky. She was credited with the victory of Bull Run. Not only did Rose become a huge player for the Confederates but she even sort of committed treason against the Union, which was very unlikely of women to do in her time.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2010 in Civil War

 

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Long, Too Long America

Long, Too Long America

Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn’d from joys and
prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing,
grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children
en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv’d what your children en-masse
really are?)

This poem is condmening Americans too stand up and stop being cowards and fight for their country. Their country has worked too hard and deserves to much to just give up. He’s telling them having their own country is not going to be a piece of cake, they need to toughin up and fight for what is theirs. You can’t grow just from accomplishments, you must also learn and grow from mistakes. His tone in this poem is not exactly angry, but he is dissapointed in Americans. He’s condemning them and trying to make Americans feel bad for being unsuportive of the men giving their lives. The mood of this poem is harsh, honest and provocative. The way he asks the question in the end provokes readers to ask themselves the question.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Whitman's Civil War Poetry

 

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