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Post by JARodriguezF11A on Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:40 am

Memory means much more than its literal definition: includes stories, events, experiences, etc. of a collective mind that has been alive during thousands of years. For remember it, we write historical books which are taught in schools as an elemental knowledge everyone should know, about the life of a civilization who lived long ago to warfare along time between countries. As history as a way for learning about the past, works likewise for predicting the future half-accurately in quite many areas inside the Earth itself history, not only the human history, but the behavior of all that has been and it is going to be, even not living. However, we use to talk about our specie mainly, as a constant will of evolve onto the cleverest and toughest living being. We act and take decisions for an action in the future, commonly for someone to either change or notice it. We decide on what we think is right for ourselves, then we have people who have more influence than us, who decide for us based on the ideals we chose. We need and organization for living as well, to have every single aspect controlled neatly, otherwise, we miss the prediction we did and we fall into disorder.

1984 dystopia portraits a contradiction of a perfect but imperfect society whose memory is a constant manipulation of which they are not aware of. Consciousness is just one of the many facets in the memory, as without memory we can still be conscious, but without a consciousness we would doubt about our memory.

         “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 70)

The book proves that education is so influential at the point kids of low ages already are mentalized with a foreign ideal, Mrs. Parson’s kids already had a strong bond with the spies and wanted to be just as the ideal citizens inside, talking about vaporization, criminals, hanging and matters that the telescreen communicate. People are taught since kids with a completely different history we actually know, to cause admiration and devotion to the Big Brother, shifting dates for predictions, repeating events and announcing improvements will never happen; to hate anyone is against the Big Brother, even a betrayal of their closer relatives for doing incorrectly insomuch killing and burning, if not hating purely wishing the worst consequences; a coordinate system that maintains itself, feed by people who are induced to blindness, who think their ruler has been the best thing that had ever happened, and that every action aims to a collective process, no matter the consequences it involves or the cost itself. Misbelievers shall die by the hand of the correct, people must follow step by step as it is planned and as it will be.
Memory constitutes the thinking and the moral structure of a person. You can define whether a person is or not by what it has learned, the consequences taken by actions in a cultural context inside a person’s memory may predict what it will do in certain conditions in which it has lived before e.g., a person that once placed his hand on fire and burnt, will learn that fire burns i.e., it will acquire an experience given by a self-taught conclusion. These experiences can be either taught or discovered, education mainly teaches what society has discovered along time for the student to know things the way we understand them, for communicating easier. Otherwise, we would know nothing, we would have so many different points of view, we would differ constantly, and struggling to find a correct posture, a valid true.

         “For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?” (Orwell, 1949, p. 35)

Memory worth something only when you apply it. We learn for knowing the past, for applying our knowledge in the present, for having clues of what future could be like. The Party had control over every single aspect of life, how they changed dates, information about wars and supposed advances, any incongruence for the sake of their benefit, leaving people in an altered state where they only know what is given to them by the Party, a stolen brain-washed mind that serves for them with any purpose besides helping them. When Winston, in his job, received instructions for changing historical data, he asked himself if things were how they are, but the Party does not let even thinking, as it is a thoughtcrime paid with dead, since they learned long ago that thinking against the ideals was so awful. People just believed what they got, as they highly trust in them, without thinking in the incongruences inside the history (war with Eurasia) or the supposed facts and announcements given. But every proof was gone, no one really remembered things, and he could not prove he had the reason, reports changed and within them, the few real information that was left.

         “Who controls the past, controls, the future: who controls the present controls the past.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 34)

Newspeak is another way of manipulating mind and memory. Language itself is a key to persuade a mind. As Syme explains to Winston, if for example, the word ‘freedom’ stops existing, the concept of freedom does not exist more; which is the idea of the Big Brother: implementing words and simplifying the language for people to change the ideas they have, and erase concepts that used to be there, for no longer existing in the future and people never thinking of them. As well language controls thinking, Newspeak does.

         “Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 53)

Without a memory, a society is condemned to repeat its actions over and over, as a person would keep burning his finger on fire. Memory for a society is as important as drinking water, constitutes a defense against all events that have occurred before, and it is the tool for evolving in every single aspect. Cases where people defend their thinking when someone is trying to deny are common nowadays, each person has different memories and points of view, but we all share a language, and when there are situations in which people keep making the same mistakes, such as global warming and massive contamination, they do not get they already lived that before, that even having scientifically proven data they refuse to even accept the situation due to their greed. It seems that floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and hundreds of thousands of species extinguishing are not enough for some people to understand. Though we have learned since long ago things yet we do not apply them, we keep repeating the same the same mistakes.

Memory can define whether a person has lived good or bad, by looking at a person’s reaction to a certain situation we can easily define how has that person reacted before. For that reason, is that memory is so important, by doing acts. We are free because we can retain information, we can learn and decide what to do because we know how to do it, we constantly think about almost everything depending on where we live. As moral beings, we carry too many responsibilities because we choose to have them, as animals our only need is live, to have a good nutrition, hydration, shelter, etc.; we choose to <<complete>> our lives living new things, all constituted by memory, as we experienced a feeling, and we concluded that by doing certain action it would trigger, and as it felt fine, we continue doing it, otherwise, we would not do it because we would have never known it ever existed.

Memory is both a defense and a dangerous ability, for understanding the world we need to learn how it works, how everything has at least a minimal relation, that all works alike a gear, forgetting a small concept put as in a case where if we are going to need it, we would not have that, while there are thousands of humans that do are aware of the consequences. London, inside 1984, was completely devastated, people did not remember and even if they could, the would not. No one remembered things, the few who did were either vaporized or had no proves, Winston doubt about the Brotherhood, did not know if it was really real or merely a lie to educate people to hate revolution or the single whisper coming out from them. They were taught to deadly hate, and they learnt that way, there was a contrast between the yet affected but not totally <<educated>> generation, and the one who was just its bloom. Education marks its powerful capacity, and once every kid mentalized with the great devotion to Big Brother and the Party, no one would ever stop them. If you wanted to know something, you could not, if you were in Winston’s situation, doubting about history would be pointless, absurd, things could be proven without a fact we you start noticing the incongruences in history, though you could not even rely on facts and information, because it was all fake. An empty memory disposed to serve just like a robot is something frightening, 1984 shows us what the power of education is, to live in a dictatorship without knowing it, to feel that the way things are can only be that way; that without a memory, living limits to do without a really motivation besides the ruler’s one, and by not knowing another context aside from ours, we cannot really say if we are living fine as we don’t have a model, or a past to compare. It all comes down to the same situation as the Newspeak: erasing the literal concepts eliminates the real feeling and meaning of that concept, we would not now what “love” means if we do not have a definition that involves something specific. Erasing historical and foreign models of societies eliminates every “good” or “bad” decision taken, any social behavior is gone, there is no moral besides the one they are living, and for them is not really good or bad; if they are suffering they would not ever know is bad or good, they will not know they are suffering. The Party teaches them to fear without even knowing they fear, unconsciousness plays a role where they are not necessarily teaching them to fear or to admire, by giving that people “facts” and events occurred recently or in the past, the Party programs them to fear death, how their destiny could either be or not by showing them situations all the day long, about public hangs, assassination with no footprint, they show they have the power to erase you from history, and yet, no one notices it, as the Party included the thoughtcrime. Hundreds of narrations of wars, of revolutionaries, about Goldstein, the brotherhood, etc., is an indirect warning that you are being observed every single moment, but for that people it is already normal, as they have lived that way since long ago… and they have no memory of it.

Memory is the toughest defense anyone could ever have, even if it has not lived it yet. A simplest action still exposes a past, a context that even that person could have forget, as memory stores in both consciousness and unconsciousness. Every single act you “decide” to do is not necessarily the one you decided, there is a context behind all of that, a story that lead through that decision. Memory defines who we are, and who was before us, shows up a variety of things, a summary of our entire life, and yet, being the toughest defense, can also be the weakest point to appeal to. We are not certain about anything, and we will never be. What we know is just an interpretation for understanding life. Still, we use it, we learn, we live, we talk, we eat; every single moment in our lives leads to an understanding and an either conscious or unconscious process of acquiring knowledge. And even if we are not certain about what we know, is how we decided to perform it and apply it as we are not individualist beings, we live inside a social context, we have close relation, we have friends, we have a family. Knowing the past and knowing about what surround us is the key to understand the why and the where of our reason to be, our reason to exist, our function is the complexity of life.

         “How could you make appeal to the future when not a trace of you, not even an anonymous word scribbled on a piece of paper, could physically survive?"(Orwell, 1949, p. 27)

Orwell, G. (1949). 1984. UK: Signet Classics.

Last edited by JARodriguezF11A on Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Justifying the whole text, putting an enter, spacing the quotes away from the left side and putting a line break before biography. Didn't change any text. Edit time: 14:40 GT -5)


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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:21 am

this is one amazing essay which talks elgantly about the social importance about memory as collective construction. There are a couple of flaws here and there in uses of third person, some verbs and so on. The text is clear enough and offers a clear like of thought. Congratulations. 9,5


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