Ch 3 Course Companion StudyGuide: Part I

1984 by George Orwell

*Spoiler Alert

1. The author gave the reader plenty of possible topics or ideas regarding knowledge. For example, Winston, the main character in the book, was very involved with the knowledge that was given to the society in the book. Winston’s job was to change things that happened in history to make Big Brother, the ‘dictator like’ ruler of their society, and the government look perfect. Winston would edit and destroy books and articles that were somewhat controversial; changing the truth and changing written history. Also the author created another odd sense of a false truth believed by the characters in the novel. The government informed the citizens that there was a dangerous cult called the brotherhood, a cult devoted to the downfall of the government. Little did the people know, the government had created this ‘cult’ intentionally. They even went so far as to write a fake book claiming to be written by the leader of the Brotherhood.

2. The main topic the book emphasized was ‘knowledge is power.’ The government lied to the people, gave them so much false knowledge because it gave them power. They had something so powerful that other people didn’t, the truth. Because the government had so much more knowledge over people, they could control them.

3. The author used very bland language, it was easy to understand. However the words kind of fit with the style of the story, so it fit well with the novel. I think the author valued complex simplicity. The author intentionally used simple words, but challenging sentences, so that any age could read the novel. However only the more young adult group, which this novel is aimed for to read, could really understand the moral of his story and comprehend the concepts that the author was trying to get across. The author did not include any images, photographs, drawings or diagrams in this book.

4. This is a fictional book written for young adults. It is written in 1st person of the main character, Winston. It’s written like this to show an individuals point of view and thoughts of the society Orwell created. Orwell wrote this book to show the power of knowledge and lies.

“Don’t step on a book, pick it up and rip it with your bare hands!”

What are your thoughts about the sanctity of books and how did you arrive to your decision?

-After reading about The Gutenberg Parenthesis, I really began to question the stereotype I had for the appearance of a book. Just because a hardcover book looks intellectual, like it has been made so crafted with precision and has more pages doesn’t mean its any more informative or reliable as a short paperback book. I think that small books are just as good, or sometimes even better, than big, intimidating books. Some dictionary sized books are useless!. Even though they may look filled with great information most of the time the information is biased. Also, sometimes shorter books are better because they’re much simpler and give answers in a very straight forward, easy to understand manner. While longer books tend to drag on and on about a topic instead of just getting to the point, which is just annoying.

Do books really “hold learning”?

-I think that books hold knowledge of things we have experienced in life and things we haven’t. Most books hold knowledge that is utterly useless to our survival, they are just made to be read for fun or out of interest. I think that real learning, learning that isn’t easily forgotten is only found through life experience. Reading about something and actually doing something are completely different. The direct experience is always more memorable and impacting than one that can only be imagined.

How would you rate where you get knowledge – media (various), books, teachers, family, friends, celebrities, etc.? (draw a continuum or explain)

My knowledge rating: 1. Books/ 2. Family & friends/ 3. Teachers/ 4. Media (websites, facebook, twitter, etc.)

I think books are first because most information in books is accurate and it’s information has been edited many times by more than just the author, so it must be pretty reliable. The knowledge you get from your family and friends compared to the knowledge you get from teachers is completely different. Your friends teach you how you can relate to other people, this vital experienced knowledge will help you gain more friends in other places. While your parents teach you the fundamentals of how to survive. Both of these groups of people teach you vital information, while teachers talk about things such as the area of a triangle. Why must such pointless information be emphasized so severely?

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