05 January 2008

The Future is Now? - blog posting #1

This blog posting is due before class starts on Tuesday, Jan. 8 - click here for the calendar of due dates

By now, you should be started on the first part of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. If you remember from the introductory PowerPoint presentation, we discussed the four perspectives from which we are going to look at the novels.

  • Threats to individual privacy
  • Dangers of governmental power
  • The power of information, propaganda, and language distortion
  • The potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking

For your first blog response on these novels, I'd like you to go back to the first few pages of your novel. Select a telling quote and write a response that discusses how one or more of those four perspectives is revealed through the quote and why it may be important to larger ideas in the novel. What is the author trying to show?

In addition to your response, record the quote in proper MLA format with book title and page number, like this: "...text of quote, blah, blah, blah" (Fahrenheit 451, 13)

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously.... You had to live-- did live, from habit that became instinct-- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." (1984, 3)
This quote displays both "threats to individual privacy" and "dangers of governmental power." The character in this book, Winston, is constantly afraid of being watched and judged. If the people watching him on the telescreen saw something suspicious, they could arrest him and make him "non-existant." This watching of the citizens is a threat to privacy and shows how dangerous the government is because the people can't do anything without the government knowing about it, so if they actually are doing something they shouldn't be, they will get caught. This may be important to larger ideas in the novel because Winston ends up trying to join a group that will revolt against the government and take it down. It shows that being around the telescreens makes him uneasy because he does have things to hide. The author is trying to show that no one will be able to do anything out of line without being caught and punished for it. When this happens, there is no privacy of individuals and the government has a dangerous amount of control.

Colleen period 4

Anonymous said...

"Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead going to start them?" (Fahrenheit 451, p. 8) Before this quote Clarisse asked Montag she asked him if he ever read any of the books he burned. Firemen are assigned to burn books that are banned from society and forbidden to be read. This quote leads me to believe that there is some doubt in Clarisse. She may think why on earth are these firemen burning books, and not doing something else? She may even go against their jobs and wonder why that specific task needs to be done. Society can get you to believe many things and even use propaganda to brainwash. Maybe they have brainwashed individuals into thinking these books are terrible ,when they really aren't, and maybe Clarisse is one of the only ones who can see they may be lying.

-Lindsay, Per. 4

Anonymous said...

"I've got to see my pyschiatrist now. They make me go. I make up things to say. I don't know what he thinks of me...They want to know what I do with my free time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit there and think."(22-23, Fahrenheit 451)

To me, this quote is one example of threats to individual privacy. Here, Clarisse explains to Guy Montag that she knows she is different and yet, she doesn't understand why people find it an issue. People try to get her "help" because it is not normal. In school, Clarisse claimed peers and teachers said she was "antisocial" and didn't "mix in" with the other kids. She has different beliefs and questions what other people follow so blindly without really stopping to think. Clarisse's mind is the one place she is truly safe and free to believe in what she wants to. It's her personal space and doesn't want anyone-not even a pyschiatrist- to get in it.

-Jenna G, Period 6

Colin, Period 4 said...

"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength." (1984,4)
This quote is especially telling as it sets up the themes for the novel; that is the twisting of the truth into its opposite meaning. Orwell shows the main ideas of the novel early on in order to further build upon the philosophy of Big Brother. Language distortion is a large part of this philosophy, as well as the accompanying propaganda, and this sentence is the core of it. Language is no longer an instrument of the people, but simply another tool that the government can use to control the masses. The theme of government controlling all aspects of life is a major part of the novel, and language is just the beginning. However, it is also one of the most important parts. By bending language to its will, Big Brother can influence the very way people think, making them feel things that go directly against human nature.

Macy P.4 said...

"...They just run the anwsers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us just sitting there for four or more hours of the film teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out of the bottom, and them telling us it's wine and when it's not."(Fahrenheit 451,29-30)

This quote said by the character Clarisse about her school, describes how brainwashed everything has become. This quote describes the governments hold upon the schools and how the kids are being brainwashed. Clarisse is rebelling against this trend therefore everyone believes she is insane. This shows all of the rest of the students lack of individuality. This also shows how strong the governments influence is over them. Another thing I found to be true is that the classes they take a very much mindless entertainment.

Kristina Period 4 said...

“But what do you talk about? She laughed at this. Goodnight. She started up her walk. Then she seemed to remeber something...Are you happy? She said. Am i what? He cried But she was gone—running in the moonlight.” (Fahrenheit 451,10)

·The potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking

This quote shows alot about how Montag and Clarisse met and suddenly talked about their whole lives when they are only strangers to eachother. The author was proabably trying to show how in the future it doesnt matter who you talk to but what you talk about is what’s more important.They both discussed burning books and Clarisse was wondering that along time ago firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them and Montag corrected her saying that never happened but keep in mind she is only seventeen. The author shows the relationship between both of these characters is very open and they are trying to “entertain” eachother on the walk home by talking and sharing their knowledge. It also seems to me like Montag doesn’t quite understand the concept of having a conversation and what you do or even say. The author does make it confusing and a bit weird to start off the book but who can predict what happens next.

Anonymous said...

"This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp." (1984, 6)

This quote clearly shows the dangers of a suppressive government and the invasion of privacy found in Winston's society. At this point in the novel, he is atempting to write in a journal while hiding from the telescreen which is a TV like devise that acts as so called "entertainment" as well as a way for the government to watch its people. As he sits, a narration explains (quote above) the punishment of keeping a private journal. The author gives this as a bit of an introduction to this futuristic society’s scary way of life. I believe this will only lead to more explanation of the government’s way later on in the book.

Pat per4

Jostlyn Per.4 said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn? He laughed.That is against the law! Oh Of Course." (Fahrenheit 451/8)

The potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking/ Dangers of the governmental power

Guy Montag has never read a book in his life because it has been illegal. His job is to burn them. But when he meets Clarisse she asks him all of these questions and then observes the answers. This question that she asked was like common knowledge to Guy. The government has programed everyones brains not to read and the firemen's brains to burn all the books the find. This is mindless thinking by Montag. He doesn't even think for a second if he as ever read a book. The quick response is no it is illlegal.

Sujata, per.4 said...

"You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." (1984, pg. 3)

It's a scary feeling what Winsten is telling about. There is basically no privacy at all. I understand that government needs to be aware of what people are upto in their country, but watching all the things people do is going overboard. Government can't control people in such way. It makes people self-conscious all the time and prevents them from really having fun. I can see the point the author is trying to make; with all the spying machines and technology rising quickly government has a lot of power to its' people. In future, this might even be a reality. The author is trying to show the power that government has on people. The government should not have the power to meddle on personal issues of people. This books starts off with Winsten describing the political state of the government. There are also propaganda pieces all around (Big Brother poster). There is helicopter snooping around to see anything suspicious. I think the author is foreshadowing that Winsten has something to hide when he mentions the thought of Police mattered, not patrol.

Anonymous said...

"No. Houses have always been fireproof take my ord for it.
Strange. I heard once that long time ago hoses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.
He laughed." (Fahrenheit 451 p.8)
I think that this guote is showing how the government as taken away the history from the people. What ever use to happen has been forgotten by the people from the government brianwashing them and controling what they think and tell others becuase they fear they will be ratted out by other people.
Andrew per.4

Anonymous said...

“They walked still farther and the girl said, ‘Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?’” (Fahrenheit 451, 8)
I think this has to do with power of information, propaganda, and language distortion. Clarisse asked Guy if he knew whether that was true about firemen in the past. Guy just started to laugh. The information that he knows is that firemen start fires. He thought it was ridiculous that Clarisse even thought to say such a thing. Maybe Clarisse knows the answer to this question and is just asking a fireman to see how he answers and what he believes. I believe that the past of firemen will become important to the book. I think that Clarisse will find evidence that firemen used to do different things and will get Guy to believe that too. I think that author is trying to show that even if there is a whole society who believes one thing, there is always somebody to question what they believe.

Megan Period 6

Anonymous said...

"So many people are. Afraif of fireman, i mean. But you're just a man, after all..." (F451,7)
I think that this quote shows the danger of government powers very well. It shows how mostly everyn ein this futuristic city is and should be afraid of fireman or any government official for that matter becuase that is how they are taught. When people are growing up in this era it seems that they feel that the government officials are all knowing and know whats best. But in reality they are just regualr humans who as you see with Guy Montag they go through struggles just like everyone else.

-Mike P. P-4

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn? He laughed. Thats against the law!" (Fahrenheit 451,8)
This quote shows both threats to individual privacy and dangers of governmental power. If one wishes to read a book and gain knowledge they should be able to. The impulse to want to learn should not in any way be restricted by the government which leads to the next thing the author is saying. The government should not be enforcing laws which infringe on a natural thing to feel. If they start to do that people will eventually turn into marionettes and the government as their puppets enforcing their will upon them.

Anonymous said...

"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously.... You had to live-- did live, from habit that became instinct-- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." (1984, 3)

I think this quote shows threats to individual privacy and dangers of governmental power. I think these two are the best to described it becasue the quote talks about how you never knew if somebody was watching you and you had to live that way in fear. I think this shows the larger ideasof the story because i think more of this will be happening where the people are afarid that someone is always there watching their every move. I think that the author is trying to show that in 1984 there is going to be more laws where the govnerment can just watch you and make sure you are not doing anything wrong.

Annemarie class 4

Chelsea, Period 4 said...

"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength." (1984, page 4)

In this quote, dangers of governmental power is revealed. This quote is stating the exact opposite of each meaning of the words. War is not peace by any means, freedom is not slavery, and ignorance is not strength. In our world today, we think the exact opposite of each meaning. In the book, this is the danger of governmental power. The government is spewing these thoughts into the people of 1984, and if they refuse to believe it, they could be tortured and killed, have their memory erased, or vanish completely. This is such a danger to the lives of people. The government should be protecting the people, not making them scared to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. Having the choice to believe something that goes against everything we know is right, or being tortured to death is a hard decision, and that is what the book portrays; the individuals who are strong enough to stand for what they believe in, and the ones who are too scared.

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn? He laughed.That is against the law! Oh Of Course." ...

Montag's job is to burn books.Guy Montag has never read a book in his life because it has been illegal. But when he meets Clarisse she asks him all of these questions and then observes the answers. This question that she asked was like common knowledge to Guy. The government should not be enforcing laws which infringe on a natural thing to feel. If they start to do that people will eventually turn into marionettes and the government as their puppets enforcing their will upon them.

kendall

Anonymous said...

"have you ever read any of the books youve burned" Farenheit 451 pg 8.
This quote is signficant because in the book it takes place in the future where fireman now dont put out fires, they start them. Their job is to burn books so that people cant read them. This shows threat to individual privacy because people should have the right to read what ever books they choose to. And it shouldnt be against the law. So far in the book the author is trying to show how much peoples rights have changed and what the government can control now.
Pat period 6

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn?" he laughed "That’s against the law!" Fahrenheit 451 page 8
This quote shows a threat to individual privacy, and could possibly show a potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking. It threatens individual privacy because people aren’t allowed to own books and if they have any there burned. And without any books people could just turn to mindless entertainment and watch stuff on TV instead of doing something productive.
Nick A. period 6

Anonymous said...

"They had this machine. they had two machines, really. One of them slid down into your stomach like a black cobra down an echoing well looking for all the old water and the old time gathered there....The impersonal operator of the machine could, by wearing a special optical helmet, gaze into the soul of the person whom he was pumping out" (14, Farenheight 451)
This quote is evidence of threats to individual privacy in this society. Things that people should be able to keep to themselves are exposed to people with the most power, similar to how in 1984 there were telescreens in peoples homes and in the public places that people went.
it is frightening to think about this because i thought that the freedom to be able to think whatever you want was the most improtant above eveything else, so when the people have the power to know what you are thinking and judge you or puinsh you because of your thoughts, it is not a way that anyone should be forced to live
Emily Period 6

Anonymous said...

They want to know what I do with my free time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit there and think."(Fahrenheit 451,23)

I belive that this threatins individivual pricacy because they are trying to get into his life and want to no what he does with his free time when he doesnt havent to tell them that his free time is his free time and shouldnt be questioned. Even if its just trying to make conversation or just to better understand what is going on i still belive that that it is his personal right not to go to a pyschiatrist or to talk about personal things but he should know that it is up to him and he doesnt have to say anything to them.

Anonymous said...

ABOVE---- kenny W. period 6

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn?" He laughed. "That's against the law!" pg. 8

He thinks that the government is telling him that he cannot read books because it is illegal.

kyle n per 6

Anonymous said...

"Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames."

This quote is showing the power of information, propaganda, and language distortion. When the goverment decided to make fire proof houses, they left out the parts about how many years ago, houses were not fire proof and infact firefighters had to put them out. This could be important in the novel for many reasons. One is that many of the people have never really thought about how books used to be read, houses on fire used to be put out by firefighters, and how firefighters didn't create fires. The author could possibly be trying to show how the future can only believe what the goverment says. Something along the lines of being "brainwashed"

Ashley Per. 4

Anonymous said...

"You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." (1984, 3)

This quote from the book shows the threat that government invasion of privacy can create. It can affect the way people act, think, and move. The quote also shows the dangers of governmental power through the invasion of privacy. If a government becomes too powerful they can do whatever they want with noone to oppose them and anyone who so much as thinks about it could be removed. If any person or group of people were to gain too much power it could cause problems for everyone.

Josh period 4

Dave Period 4 said...

"It felt good to burn." (Fahrenheit 451 pg. 1)
Although this is just once simple line, it has so much meaning. This is the first line of the novel, and it shows that write from the beginning we are either dealing with a pyro, or a man from a different society. Montag loves the feeling of burning books, and that seems really odd. Books are like our history, our memories written down on paper. If we lose books, we lose the past.

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn? He laughed.That is against the law! Oh Of Course." (Fahrenheit 451).

This question/quote is a threat to individual privacy and is potential for mindless entertainment to stifle individual thinking. Whether or not Guy reads books is none of Clarisse's buisness. He has the right to keep things private and it seems as though she often pryes into his life questioning him consistently. It also stifles individual thinking. As a firemen, Guy is not allowed to read books; it is his duty to burn them. However, the question makes him wonder and think of possibly reading a book because she makes it seem as if they aren't bad whatsoever. Books were not allowed to be read.. so what made Clarisse think that Guy had done so? Obviously because she does not find them as harmful as the rest of their eutopia. This makes Guy think of what a book really may be.. something he's not allowed to do... but probably should.

Theresa p4