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A little question for those who've read 1984 by George Orwell

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New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:25 PM
Original message
A little question for those who've read 1984 by George Orwell
I did read it back in high school and saw the movie, but I am trying to remember what Winston Smith's job was. Didn't he work for a newspaper? I just found an excerpt online of the first chapter of the book, which is what i was looking for, when it describes his job and how he has to throw some papers in the trash....what is exactly is going on there? I'm a little confused as to what his job actually was and what it was he was throwing in the trash. i need to know b/c if it is what i am thinking, i want to use part of this excerpt in something i'm going to write soon. (kind of an editorial/opinion piece).

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Authors/Part_One_1984...
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. His job
Going from memory, I believe the job was to remove items from the public record which conflict with current government statements.

For example, when they switch which country they were fighting against, the newspapers would be changed so they were always at war against that country.

The ultimate defense against flip flopping.
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Thurston Howell IV Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. I believe you're correct
He worked for the Ministry of Information, correcting "mistakes" in the public record.

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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Didn't he translate writing into Newspeak?

I haven't read it in years, either, but he worked for a government bureau, I think, and was perhaps also an historical revisionist.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. America is not turning out like in 1984
America is turning out a lot closer to Brave New World.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. No, it's turning out like "It Can't Happen Here"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451525825/qid=1...

Novel by Sinclair Lewis, published in 1935. It is a cautionary tale about the rise of fascism in the United States. During the presidential election of 1936, Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, observes with dismay that many of the people he knows support the candidacy of a fascist, Berzelius Windrip. When Windrip wins the election, he forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court, and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state. Jessup opposes him, is captured, and escapes to Canada.

Available online here: http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/l/lewis/sinclair/h...
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Ministry of Truth
he made sure that all the public records 'matched' whatever lie the people in power wanted the public to believe.
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New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. BINGO thank you!
that's what i was looking for. i'm not asking this b/c i think we are, as a whole, becoming like 1984. I am mainly concerned about our mainstream media being controlled by the government - it's distortion of the truth - and the fact that most of the public falls for it.

it seems that basically, what Winston's job is in 1984 is similar to what some journalists and reporters are doing right now - more symbolically than literally, i think it is similar.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. if they really only interested in profits...
as Michael Moore says about General Motors in 'The Big One'(?) they'd sell crack (which they'd have legalized)...they aren't interested only in profits; class race and power over humanity colours all their thinking, though they despise most of us....btw 'corporations' were established to cover up individual crimes by its personnel regards colonialism....why 'corporations' haven't simply been outlawed is a mystery. it's like a reward system for moral depravity, the more, the better
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. Or London's 'The Iron Heel'
What we are seeing is the Oligarch's trying to roll the clock back to the late 1800's, but with even more concentration of power.

As in the 'Iron Heel', the GOP is owned by the Oligarchs, the Democrat's have been knocked back to permanent (and compliant) minority status, and any upstart Progressive/Socialist parties are defeated by undermining them from within.

Basically, anyone who attains middle class status, including members of the media (newspaper reporters in this case), toe the party line for fear of losing their jobs and being cast back into the rank's of the poor.


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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. 1984 described the way things really were in 1948 Soviet Union
Orwell switched the digits in the title, but he didn't really intend his novel to be a warning about the future as much as a warning about the present when it was published.

It happened then, it can happen now. The Soviets did rewrite the public record, including textbooks and government records, to reflect whatever they claimed as the "truth" at the time. Stalin himself became a "nonperson" after he died, and all official record of his existence was wiped by the new government. Same thing happened when Kruschev died.

It's happened for thousands of years. When an Egyptian king died, the new one often destroyed statues and records of the former.

It can happen here. It's starting to happen. W has all his records of his governorship in Texas sitting on shrinkwrapped pallets in his father's presidential library, safe from any public scrutiny. The White House website is routinely purged and rewritten.
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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. cbs did it with arlen spector's 'connect the dots'
bs back a couple years ago...at first, while people were discussing it, cbs posted the spector statements regarding what trhe gov knew pre 911 and he said 'not only could they connect the dots, they had the blueprints!' meaning the busheviks and the 'terrorists'....
the managers of cbs should be hunted down like diseased rats
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Hey lady....I teach Orwell...here's the scoop!
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 05:02 PM by fooj
Winston Smith: member of the Outer Party, works in the Records Dept. in the Ministry of Truth...he re-writes and distorts history-Ultimately ends up succumbing to Big Brother. Good luck on your piece! If you need any more info...just let me know! B-)
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Animal Farm is another great story by Orwell...
can catch it on video (the new one, ironically, with Kelsey Grammar)...there are many amazing parallels!
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. he works for the gov't...
he is a "citizen", actually has it pretty good compared to many, but not compared to the ELITE, those that really run things.

His job is to erase any public record of any sort that the gov't doesn't like, and replace it with a "new" story that attempts to cover the holes left by the old story. When a stor is destroyed, it goes down the memory hole, a tube that feeds into an incinerator.
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. Records Department of the Ministry of Truth
His job consisted of correcting "mistakes" in the historical record. When he was done correcting a paper, he threw the old version down the memory hole where it would be destroyed.
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here it is
ftp://ftp.mirrors.wiretapped.net/pub/security/info/book...

The full text online. Worth the read.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. Winston Smith was a flunky for the government because he had
no choice. His job was to rewrite history, statistics, memos, etc. sent to him by Big Brother in the manner dictated by BB and subsequently throw the former account,which had probably been itself rewritten, into a memory hole, in which it was burned. He, however, was fairly certain that he was only one of many redoing each selection, since one person would never be trusted by GWB, oh, I mean BB. We are living in an Orwellian America. I disagree with the idea that our situation is closer to BNW; nonetheless there are certainly some BNW elements around today also. Our leaders' continuous manipulation of the facts, their call for aggressive and constant war, the isolation of people, the consistent use of propaganda, the spying on citizens and the control of the media are true Orwellian predictions.
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patdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
17. Winston Smith......Armstrong Williams...do I see a direct connection here?
Winston-----Williams........Armstrong------Smith(y)? SEE..it is all connected if you just look hard enough! :silly:
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