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Today is 1984?

My opinion on if 1984 is represented in today’s society is a complete no. In Orwell’s novel 1984 it was the government, propaganda, and other misleading sociological characteristics that resulted in humanities complete manipulation. Today our societal troubles are completely of our own origin. Society is not suppressed in any form other than by itself.

Today society is careless with privacy, uninformed, by peoples own lack of knowledge, on political and ethical issues, and very secluded from social connections and affairs.

In 1984 the reason for their controlled and miserable lives is all because of Oceania and Ingsoc. Today there is not much governmental control. One thing the government does not control is the internet and information that we have access too. Because of the internet we are able to freely research and develop our own hypothesis about the world and its aspects. This source talks about how we are more knowledgeable about current events such as war, politics, and financial obligations that our country developes. This does not seem like an open and free thinking country? I do believe it is a very open topic and very much so a free state of mind unlike the Big Brother dystopia depicted in Orwell’s novel. In 1984 those citizens were not allowed to think let alone make their own decisions and learn.

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/01/135519.htm

Another opposition to our society compared to 1984 is the freedom of religion. There are several types of religions as in Christianity, paganism, atheism, etc. that our government tolerates and does not rule against. This is totally unlike the Big Brother like philosophy in which the entire state of Oceania was forced by its government to be non-religious.

This source is a great interpretation of  this concept. I takes the three main lines of the Big Brother society: Ignorance is strength, War is Peace, and Slavery is Freedom, and puts the opposition that religious beliefs hold in perspective.  Our society is more of a TOLERANT one than a CONTROLLING one.

http://www.angelfire.com/scary/g4j/articles/ignoranceisstrength.html

There is even the contradiction of propaganda and press. In the US and around the world citizens are free to express their opinions through journalism and propaganda. There is even a day world wide that is celebrated to commemorate our freedoms in press. How is this Orwellian? In 1984 the main character is afraid to keep a personal diary let alone even allowed to think about Press and any freedom to his opinions. Our society today is no where near this unjust action against freedom. How can we say that our lives even slightly compare to those in George Orwell’s 1984?

http://www.dibussi.com/2010/05/world-press-freedom-day-2010.html

Obviously our government does not control our lives even remotely close to the Orwellian society depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. We as citizens have more freedoms than we realize, and we can control the amount of privacy we have by what we let other people know about us through religion, press, and the internet. These however are only a few of the freedoms that we take for granted every day.

We could have a Big Brother society…. But luckily we do not!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Beyond 1984

 

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The Influence of More’s Utopia

Sir Thomas More has come to be know the ‘Father of Utopian literature’. More sets up the basics of how all utopian literature would be written in the future. He sets up the flaws of society and then corrects them by making a perfectly functioning fictional society. This however was not specific in the sence of how societ should be ran if it were perfect. Many novels now have been based on this concept of a perfect world but they all have very different views on how perfect is meant to be. http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/flawedperfection/stories/more.htm

There are a few concepts that are key in the representation of Utopian literatrure. One of them is the visualization of an imperfect system or society. This gives the reader a way to look back at how things were before the perfect society sets in. Utopian novels also have some sort of transition and reason as to why the ways of society had to change. Mostly these reasons involve crime, political corruption, and human desire and materialism. There are many different types and styles of Utopian literature, and comming up are  few examples.

9780385732550_giver.jpg The Giver image by charbo187

1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell were influenced by the Utopian concept. Also, The Giver and Gathering Blue by Lois Lowery were written in this same manner. These two authors are completely different in style, but they both took the concept that More presented and turned it into their own visions inwriting. A perfect society is always different when written about by two different peope.

This link is a paper written by Keith Watson that specificaly relates to how the Utopian theme, that was established by More,  has been developed and changed into todays literature and social way of life:  http://www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/ThinkersPdf/moree.PDF

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Thomas More's Utopia

 

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The Divine Comedy’s Inspiration to James Joyce’s Dubliners

Dubliners was the first work of James Joyce. Because of this he used many ideas from previous famous works, including Dante’s The Divine Comedy.  Dublines and the people in it are major aspects compared to Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Inferno and Kernan’s climb

Hell is represented in this part of Joyce’s work by physical tortures and faults. There is a man, named Kernan, ascends the stairs to the sick room, and the climb is directly compared to the acent into heaven. He mentally goes through stages in which he reviews his life and his sins. Every level the man comes closer to god and leaves his sins behind.

Inferno and The Sisters

In Dubliners there is a chapter about two sisters. In the begining of this chapter tere is a quote that says “there was no more hope for him at this time”. Thomas Rice compares this to the gates that Dante enters to get into the inferno. “Abandon all hope, ye that enter here” shows the intimidation and hopelessness that one must go through to endure hell. Just as the Sisters put all who interact with them through the same hell.

Paradise and the Church

 In one of the chapters assigned “Grace” there is a sermon in a church service that pertains where the sould of the dead and sinners go. In Dubliners this priest tells the congretatio that there are many things unknown about death but surely god will designate the deceased on how they persued their lives. He talks about heaven and uses the “paridise” to describe it. The priest also uses “inferno” instead of hell, which is a direct referance to Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Also the way he adresses sinners and how badly hell will affect them is to the same degrees even though he does not mention that they will go into a certain section of hell.

Dante and Joyce

There was even a comparison between the two authors and their mental state at the time of writing these works. Because Dante is the main character in The Divine Comedy we know that he was depressed and contemplating Suicide. We also know somewhat about the mental state of James Joyce because of his writings. Joyce was also depressed. We do not know if Joyce was decifering suicide or not, but it puts the question out there… Did Dante’s literature influence a mental state as well as literature?

Lobner, Corinna del Greco. “A Tilly of Irony in Joyce’s Divine Comedy:  The X in “Grace”” JSTOR.com. Irish University Review. 1991. web. 15 October, 2010.

Rice, Thomas Jackson. Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1997. Print.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2010 in Dante

 

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The Seafarer

Summary:

The Seafarer is told from the point of view of a man who has been exiled. He was forced upon the sea in isolation.  In the first half of the poem, he tells about how horrible it is being all alone on the sea and how lonely he gets.  In the second half of the poem, he talks about how important it is that you follow God’s will and he tells of what happens to men who forget their God.

Anglo-Saxon Beliefs:

You see the Anglo-Saxon beliefs in The Seafarer in his discussion of God and predestination.  At the end of the poem, he speaks of an inner-relationship with God.  Also, he tells of how he was destined to live life on the sea, in exile and loneliness.

Imagery & Sound:

The poem speaks of how life is dreary, weary, sorrowful, painful, and deadly.  For example, lines 25-26 speaks of how there’s no one to comfort him while his soul is drowning in loneliness.  He also says how the birds have death-noises instead of laughter to emphasize how his positive point of view on life has been annihilated.  On the other hand, the poem picks up towards the middle where he starts speaking of God.  He speaks of how the joys of God are comforting and holy… well, as long as you follow God’s will.

Beowulf:

In Beowulf, Beowulf speaks of how “By God, punishment is forever for a crime,”  showing how God has the ultimate authority over one’s life.  That concept resembles The Seafarer‘s when it says “Fate is stronger and God mightier than any man’s mind.”  In both poems, evil comes when one opposes God’s will.  In The Seafarer, “Death leaps at the fools who forget their God,”  which is what happened to Grendel in Beowulf, who was “a brood forever opposing the Lord’s will.”

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

 

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Spirit Whose Work is Done: Walt Whitman

Spirit Whose Work Is Done
[Washington City, 1865]

by Walt Whitman
(1819-1892)


Spirit whose work is done–spirit of dreadful hours!
Ere departing fade from my eyes your forests of bayonets;
Spirit of gloomiest fears and doubts, (yet onward ever unfaltering
pressing,)
Spirit of many a solemn day and many a savage scene–electric spirit,
That with muttering voice through the war now closed, like a
tireless phantom flitted,
Rousing the land with breath of flame, while you beat and beat the drum,
Now as the sound of the drum, hollow and harsh to the last,
reverberates round me,
As your ranks, your immortal ranks, return, return from the battles,
As the muskets of the young men yet lean over their shoulders,
As I look on the bayonets bristling over their shoulders,
As those slanted bayonets, whole forests of them appearing in the
distance, approach and pass on, returning homeward,
Moving with steady motion, swaying to and fro to the right and left,
Evenly lightly rising and falling while the steps keep time;
Spirit of hours I knew, all hectic red one day, but pale as death next
day,
Touch my mouth ere you depart, press my lips close,
Leave me your pulses of rage–bequeath them to me–fill me with
currents convulsive,
Let them scorch and blister out of my chants when you are gone,
Let them identify you to the future in these songs.

       

         The mood of this poem seems very angry and sad. Whitman seems to reach into the souls of the soldiers fighting and pulls out anger and sorrow towards the whole concept of war. The mood of this poem is almost eary as well. Something seems to be lingering over the war, criticizing it, and wanting to do something but unable to do so. Whitmans views the war in this sence as unknown. He seems like everyone thinks they know but only the people who witness it first hand know what the war is like. He almose seems to be religious in the fact that their fate is long past mankinds control. Maybe the unknown lingering feeling in the poem is gods presence and his disaproval in the war. Nothing seems to be able to stop the dreadful war in this poem, and that is probably how Whitman feels.  

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Whitman's Civil War Poetry

 

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To a Certain Civilian: Walt Whitman

To a Certain Civilian

by Walt Whitman
(1819-1892)


Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand–nor
am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born,
The drum-corps’ rattle is ever to me sweet music, I love well the
martial dirge,
With slow wail and convulsive throb leading the officer’s funeral;)
What to such as you anyhow such a poet as I? therefore leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with piano-tunes,
For I lull nobody, and you will never understand me.

          The tone and mood in this poem is almost a transition. At first the author seems like the war is inevitable and is part of who he is. The war is a good and nobel cause. He almost seems a little smog and smog and cherry about the war at first. Once u get to the halfway point of the poem he almost seems like everything involving the war and surround ing him is falling appart. He makes it depressing, gloomy, and even mentiones death. The death of hope might be infered here. This short poem has such a strong transition.
        Walt Whitman witnessed how the north assumed its superiority over the southern rebellion. He also saw how thousands of peoples perspectives changed after the fighting officialy started. This poem could possibly be discribing the transition between a fearless union into a union full of fear. The union is transitioning from good to worse.
 
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Whitman's Civil War Poetry

 

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