Thursday, April 2, 2009

This Time YOU Decide: Pop Culture and 1984

As per the last prompt, I would like you to choose one video and/or song for individual analysis of themes presented in lyrics, image or dialogue that parallel with themes presented in 1984.

Be sure to use textual support to back up your claims regarding both the element of pop-culture you are analyzing and the text of Orwell's classic, dystopian novel.

Your response is to be submitted with a link to the relevent piece of of pop-culture as part of your heading. Thus it will read as such:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
ENG 141.07
Due Date

This is due by class time on Easter Tuesday, April 14, 2009.

For help with MLA guidelines for citing source materials such as novels, songs, film, etc. see the links to the left of this blog prompt. They should guide you in the right direction.

In the meantime, begin generating term paper ideas, which we will discuss in fuller detail starting Monday of next week, April 6, 2009.


matthew said...

Matthew Clair
Bro. Peach
Brit. Lit.

Similar themes in 1984 and Immortal Technique

After careful examination of the lyrics of “The Point of No Return” by Immortal Technique and the plot of 1984, one can see the strong similarities in themes expressed in both pieces. Immortal Technique presents a strong dislike of the idea of governments manipulating the masses in order to keep them ignorant and abased to themselves. The views expressed in his lyrics are largely a mixture of commentary on issues such as politics, poverty, religion, social class and torture. As we know, 1984 shows strong sings of the use of mostly all of the previous social devices.

There are a few very important lyrics from “The Point of No Return,” which are especially relevant to 1984. The first of which is “I know too much to government is trying to murder me / No coming back like cutting your writs open vertically / How could the serpant be purposely put in charge of the country”(25). This is very much alike the fact that in the novel, the Party tries to keep the people ignorant, or stupid, and if they detect that someone is thinking freely, the Party will then hunt them down and destroy them. Also, the second line shows that one someone is in the Party’s custody, there is no way out.

A second lyric which parallels a them in 1984 is “ This is the point of no return I could never go back / Life without parol up state shackled and trapped / Living in the hole, lookin' at the world through a crack / But f*** that, I'd rather shoot it out and get clapped”(1). In part II of the book, when Winston is placed in the Ministry of Love and is being tortured, he says several times “when are they going to shoot me.” It seems that he would much rather be killed than to stay alive and be tortured.

One final similarity is the lyric “ Don't you understand they'll never let me live out in peace”(13). This resembles the idea that the Party claims the minds of the people, and does not let them live their own lives. Instead, they “stupefy” them and keep them from thinking anything that is contrary to the Party.

Mr. President said...

Brian Fuchs
Bro. Robert Peach, FSC
ENG 141.07
April 14th 2009

Self Expression:
1984 vis a vis One Mic By Nas

Expression, Articulation, Communication. In 1984, the main character Winston reveals an need to express himself. In One Mic by Nas a common theme is the need to express oneself. Nas verbalizes, "All I need is one blunt, one page, and one pen...all I need is one mic, one beat, one stage...all I need is one life, one try, one breath" These repeated requests for items that will enable self expression are visable in 1984. Winston uses an aged diary to try to articulate his thoughts onto paper; "He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him" (8). Not only does Winston describe the need for self expression but also he manifests that the Party's behavior influences the actions and minds of the children; "Nearly all children nowadays were horrible...they were turned into ungovernable little savages"(24) Nas voices a somewhat similar concern; "Seeds watch us, grow up and try to follow us/". The Party's control over expression creates an internal struggle in society fed by the political idea of doublethink. Nas expresses an analogous feeling of an internal struggle, "What you call a infinite brawl, eternal souls clashin/
War gets deep, some beef is everlastin/
Complete with thick scars". Winston and Nas both express a struggle over individualism and self expression. Nas sums up the struggle in one line; "All I need is one spread my voice to the whole world".

bp said...

Branford Phillips
British Lit.
Bro. Robert Peach
Similarities between 1984 and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Throughout the story of “1984”, Winston struggles to maintain a sense of personality. He eventually understands what the Party is actually doing to humanity, what the society he lives in is really like, all the while trying to keep his humanity. Several times in the story, such as when he writes in his journal and when he begins the long-awaited meeting with O’Brian, Winston is refers or is referred to as crazy. The lyrics in one of Gnarls Barkly’s most popular songs titled “Crazy” are similar to the situations Winston finds himself in. The lyrics “And I hope that you are having the time of your life/But think twice, that’s my only advice” can relate to much of part two, when Winston begins his relationship with Julia. They carefully arrange regular meetings with each other at first in different places, but they eventually begin to meet at Mr.Charlignton’s shop. They do not think for a second that they are being watched from a forgotten shop which leads to their eventual capture by the Thought Police. The lyrics “Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you/who do you think you are/Ha ha ha bless your soul/You really think you’re in control/Well, I think you’re crazy/I think you’re crazy/I think you’re crazy/Just like me” relate to the conversation Winston has with O’Brian in part three. O’Brian had tricked Winston into a sort of confession when he asked Winston to join the Brotherhood, which resulted in Winston’s arrest. Winston tried to be the one in control, but the Party was too on top of things, so much that Winston couldn’t notice that he was being watched when he thought he was.

vinnie said...

Vinnie Venturella
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
ENG 141.07

Yes, it's the Geico Theme Song

In Rockwell's song "Somebody's Watching Me" there are lyrics that show that he does not know who is watching him but he knows that someone is watching him. It is seen in the lines "I don't know anymore
Are the neighbors watching me
Well is the mailman watching me
And I don't feel safe anymore, oh what a mess
I wonder who's watching me now?,"(Rockwell). this is show in George Orwells's novel 1984 when the narrator,Winston, says, "It occurred to Winston that for the first time in his life he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police," (224). In this quote it is shown that Winston never really knows who is watching him. But he was always worried that someone was watching him. Just like Rockwell, Winston always feels like someone's watching him.

Adam Butler said...

Adam Butler
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC

Parallel themes between 1984 and Nas' "hero"

After listening closely to the strong lyrics of Nas' "Hero", we can relate a parallel to the story 1984. Similarities varying from government to that one "hero".

"I can still see the dreams that my n***** ain't never lived to see". Here we can relate back to the book by how "the man" or "Big Brother" controls peoples lives that they never saw their "dream" or more less freedom in their case.

"The corporate side/Blocking y'all from going to stores and buying it". This also realates back to 1984 by how the government controls what you buy or the "chocolate ration". The government has these people so tied "around their finger" that they even control what they want you to buy.

"They looking for a hero/ I guess that makes me a hero". This is what the people are truly in need of is a hero to free them from the reign of Big Brother.

J. Harry said...

J. Harry Farina
Bro. Peach
Brit. Lit.
April 14, 09

1984 vs. “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace

Intriguing. There are many parallels between 1984 and the song “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace.

But first let us dissect the title, “Animal I Have Become.” With such a title I believe that the narrator is suggesting that he was “changed” or “manipulated” form being a normal functioning civilian into a creature which is unfit for society. It is much like how in 1984 the people around Winston were becoming these creatures. Also the “Animal” in the title leads me to believe that this person can no longer think for himself, for after all it is the ability to think and reason that sets us apart. Thus the people in 1984 have in fact become thoughtless “animals” for they do not think for themselves; they allow Big Brother to do that for them.

Secondly, I would like to point out a key lyric in the song, that is, “Help me believe it's not the real me”. This person does not wish to be this “animal” just as Winston did not want to be a thoughtless drone serving under Big Brother. The struggle to find one’s true self is a common theme in both works.

Just to pick out some other key words, in the song, “Somebody help me through this nightmare,” “I can't escape this hell,” nightmare and hell being the key words here. For in George Orwell’s 1984 he depicts what a true dystopia is; total chaos, lack of a just government, fear of death at any time, “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” (6), sounds like a nightmarish hell to me.

Joe R. said...

Joe Rabel
Bro Peach
Brit Lit
April 14, 2009
Another Brick in 1984
In the beginning of the video, we see all the kids lined up to get food, like robots. Next there are kids sitting in the desks with a mask on representing there same-ness or lack of personality. This can be paralleled in 1984 during the 2 minutes of hate. When all that happens is just violent screaming and shouting, which is controlled by the government, just like in the video when school controls the kids. In the video when the kids start rioting in the classroom, that’s there way of rebelling against the government just like Julia and Winston do in their own way by having sex. “Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act”(page 126). In the song Another Brick in the Wall, you hear a reoccurring line of “we don’t need no education / we don’t need no thought control”, this could be related to 1984 in that Winston doesn’t want to be educated or controlled by Big-Brother.

Beast said...

James McDonough
Brother Peach
Brit. Lit.
The totalitarian regime and thirst for power seen in 1984 has been common among many societies, including the ever infamous Communist Russia and Nazi Germany. The Flobots depict this relation of lust for power with a totalitarian regime in their controversial song and music video, “Handlebars.” Two boys ride their bikes down a path of what seems like a utopia, with the sun shining behind them through trees, and illuminating the grass around them. When they eventually part, one boy chooses the life without power among poverty and the locals, but remains content, “Look at me / Look at me / Hands in the air / Like it’s good to be / ALIVE / In such a small world / All curled up with a book to read.” He describes his life as humble, enjoying the subtlety of freedom within a world of culture and interest. This type of lifestyle soon contradicts his old friend’s lifestyle, as he explores the freedoms that Winston and Julia so craved and attempted to pursue. This boy, in becoming a man, soon realizes that he would deny the power over anyone, and enjoys the democratic process that everyone and anyone can vocalize their belief, especially seen with the line, “So I’m proud to be an American.”
While one boy grows into a modest, content lifestyle, the other is shown quickly climbing the ladder of success in a materialistic, industrial world. He then begins to describe his desire for power with each step of success he takes: “I can make money open up a thrift store / I can make a living off a magazine / I can design an engine sixty four / Miles to a gallon of gasoline.” As he develops these new abilities, and gains the power that is entailed in the industrial and corporate world, he eventually gains momentum towards an uncontrollable greed for power, “Look at me / Look at me / Driving and I won’t stop / And it feels so good to be Alive and on top.” Once this character has completely separated his own lifestyle with that of his friend’s, we can see the similarities between the power reached by this character and the power of the Party and Big Brother. Soon, this character begins to take power over the masses, “I can lead a nation with a microphone / With a microphone.” He then describes how quickly his leadership has spread, without opposition because of his propaganda, “My reach is global / My tower secure / My cause is noble / My power is pure.” This description of how propaganda has worked in his favor is the foundation of the Party banner IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH and the cornerstone of the Ministry of Truth.
Finally, the character which has risen to power eventually establishes his completion of a totalitarian regime, similar to the oligarchical collectivism seen in 1984. He accomplishes this by describing his now questionable capabilities, “I can hand out a million vaccinations / Or let’em all die in exasperation / Have’em all healed of the lacerations / Have’em all killed by assassination.” As this character seems to realize that he has reached his goal of ultimate power over the masses, he extends his description of capabilities and mirrors the power exercised by the Party, by Nazi Germany, and by Communist Russia, “I have it all under my command / I can guide a missile by satellite (x3) / and I can hit a target through a telescope (x3) / and I can end the planet in a HOLOCAUST (x3).”

bpipps06 said...

Brett Pippens
Bro. Peach
Similar themes in 1984 and 2Pac

In the song “Trapped” by none only than the greatest rapper to ever walk this earth, 2Pac, we see increasingly similar themes. Winston is in a sense trapped by his government, in a sense that he can’t think for himself, be like himself, act like himself, or anything due to his oppressive government. 2Pac says in his lyrics, “You know they got me trapped in this prison of seclusion/happiness living in the streets is a delusion”. This means that in a sense, there isn’t any freedom in 2Pac’s eyes. The society is trapping him in a place where no man has the freedom. In 1984, Big Brother and the Party are in a sense trapping the people of Oceania. The theme “Ignorance is Strength” is also found. By oppressing one ethnicity and keeping them uninformed, then that society begins to feel as though it can never achieve something. In the video, 2Pac is seen rolling dice, a seemingly popular game with those of his own kind. Once the police begin patroling, 2Pac and his boys instantly ran, due to the fear of oppressive government. 2Pac says in his lyrics “They got me trapped/Can barely walk through the city streets/without a cop harassing me, searching me”. Ultimately, this means that the government will continue to oppress society as long as they are the supreme: Just like Big Brother.

zach said...

Zach Carlino
Bro. R. Peach,FSC
Brit. Lit.

We can compare Sum 41's song "Pull the Curtain" with George Orwell's "Part Three" of 1984. In the beginning of the song we hear, "The one and only day has come/ I'll pay for all the bad things I've done", we can relate this to how Winston feels when he is caught by the Thought Police. A relate to the torture Winston had to undergo in room 101, "I've been to hell and back" Winston and the other prisoners all feel the same hatred and fear to room 101 almost like hell. When Winston was being tortured by O'Brien he was told that he made images up in his mind and they got to a point where they became real to Winston. Winston after he is released says he needs help getting fake images out of his mind, in the song the lyrics, "Suffocate the dreams in my mind" is almost the same as Winston asking help to get rid of these "false" images. After Winston is released by the Thought Police he says that he has changed there is almost no will in him to be the person he was before he just wants to drift through life, the lyrics. "Living dead awake" shows how Winston is traveling through his life.

iownyou01 said...

Shane Yuhas
Brother Peach
Brit. Lit
Similar themes in 1984 and Mosh by Eminem

After a careful examination of 1984 and the song Mosh by eminem; you can see simlar themes expressed in the two works. In 1984, the main character Winston, feels the need to exxpress himself. As the same in Mosh, Eminem plays a character in the video and he feels the need to express himself as well. Eminem had the urge to exercise his thoughts about the present government during the time when the video was made. Winston also has a problem with is government like Eminem.

Government is one of the major similarities between these two pieces. In Mosh: Eminem is trying to hold himself in but can no longer do. Eminem is angry at the government, but not just the government. He is angry at the leader, the President: n by George W. Bush. Bush is similar to Big Brother. He is in total control and can oversee everything. In the video he wont bring the troops home, he is forcing them to remain where they are, at war.
Winston has a similar problem. Big Brother, who is the leader and sees all; like Bush. Winston, by government law is not allowed to express himself in anyway. Winston does not like the fact that the government has such strict rules. So he in a sense tries to keep his life a secret by avoiding the thought police who, basically, make sure nobody expresses their thoughts.

Another similarity is the ability of expressing one self. Eminem takes a stand vs the government to show his state of mind he feels towards the leader, George Bush. So he creates these huge moshes of people to follow him and stand by him to fight for their right of what they feel inside. Here is a lyric that backs up what Eminem's song is about; "Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength
Come with me and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
To the light at the end of the tunnel
We gonna fight, we gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march
Through the swamp, we gonna mosh through the marsh
Take us right through the doors (c'mon)"
Winston, in 1984 expresses himself through an old diary. Winston writes in this diary to express himself for the need of self expression. He also talks about how the government, or the party, controls and molds their children into what the party would want them to be.

Winston and Eminem both represent a struggle with their government. As well as they both exercise their right of self expression.

Dman said...

Devon Mancini
Bro Peach
Brit Lit/eng 141

After watching the music video and
looking over the lyrics of Nickelback's "Savin' Me", I found some interesting similarities between the song and George Orwell's 1984.

Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me
With these broken wings I’m fallin’
And all I see is you
These city walls ain’t got no love for me
I’m on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I’m callin’
And all I need from you
Hurry I’m fallin’(Nickelback).

This passage struck me to have the most similarities to 1984 and how Winston was waiting for an indication that Julie was interested in him and he felt lost while he was waiting for some contact after he received the note from her. Also, when he says, "These city walls ain't got no love for me" (Nickelback), I think of how the Party does not care about anyone and only thinks about itself and keeping its power.

In the music video, I think it is interesting how the one person can see the numbers over everyone's head representing how long they have to live. To me, this resembles how the party tracks everyone and watches everyone, and also how they will eliminate anyone they feel is a threat. It also shows how some people, such as Winston, Julie, and Goldstein, are trying to overthrow the party and stop these acts.

Mike Kretz said...

Mike Kretz
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
ENG 141.07

Themes in 1984 and Public Enemy

The lyrics of “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy has similar themes with George Orwell’s “1984”. Public Enemy shows discomfort towards the government in this song. The lyrics are saying the people need to get the freedom they deserve and be strong to achieve this and make a change. The themes we have pointed out in “1984” relate to the themes of this song.
One theme that is similar between the two is overall freedom to do what you want. Public Enemy displays this theme by saying “Got to give us what we want/ Gotta give us what we need/ Our freedom of speech is freedom or death/ we got to fight the powers that be”. The basic message of these lines is that the people want more freedom and more power within themselves. In “1984”, Winston does not like style of living in London. The people are constantly being monitored by cameras. George Orwell described this lifestyle, “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” (3). Winston’s dream was to one day live without these cameras and the threat of being vaporized.
Another theme that is similar between the two is the theme of change. Throughout the novel, Winston is always curious if there is an anti-government party that is secret. But the reality is this is not possible because of the surveillance and if it did manage to happen, the party would not be strong enough to make change. This theme is in the song by Public Enemy also when they sing, “We got to pump the stuff to make us tough/ from the heart/ it’s a start, a work of art/ To revolutionize make a change nothin’s strange”. The message here is that people need to come together and be strong in order to make a change.