Carlee Last

English Portfolio

6 word memoir

Coming to school today was difficult.

Journal Entry

Dear Journal,

My name is Winston Smith. I would write the date at the top of this, but I am not sure what it is. I think around 1984 but I am not certain. I feel nervous right now; there are butterflies in my stomach. This is because I should not be writing a journal entry. I live in a dystopian society. Basically, everything in the environment is unpleasant and degraded. Today I had to drink what they call “Victory Gin” for lunch because there was no food in the kitchen. The gin tasted horrible. It made my eyes water and I had to swallow it like I was swallowing medicine. That’s how bad it tasted to me. Also, we are restricted on many things. For example, I should not be writing this because the citizens are not allowed to have opinions and we are definitely not allowed to share them. If one is caught breaking this rule then he/she is either punished by death, or the person would spend at least twenty-five years in a labor camp. I just felt the urge to write so I decided I would face my fears and take the risk.

In our society there is a figurehead. This is just another word for something worshiped or looked up upon by the citizens. In this case, he is Big Brother. He is always watching. There are posters all over the city with his face on it. Under the picture it says, “Big Brother is watching you.” It reminds people not to break the rules that are established. In the homes of people there are telescreens. This is how citizens get caught for breaking the rules. The government could watch anyone at any time with these. Also, it can pick up any sound that is in the room, which makes people cautious of what they say around the telescreens. That is why I am terrified to be writing this right now. They could be watching me but my back is turned to the screen so they cannot see exactly what I am doing. However, they may not be watching me. When the Thought Police plugged in the wire of an individual then they could see what that person was doing. Nobody could ever know when they are watching though. This makes everyone behave all the time. I wrote in my diary the other day too. Staring at the blank piece of paper made me anxious. It took me a while to gather myself to write. Then finally my pen hit the paper and I began. I seem to always be nervous when I write. If I get caught, I would be in huge trouble. Even just having the diary made me feel guilty. It was a possession I was not supposed to have. This is one of my greatest secrets. If anyone found out I was writing my life would be ruined. It would be changed forever. I would suffer from serious consequences that I would not be able to choose.

10 Rules for my Dystopian Society

1. All females are required to wear a white button up shirt with a black skirt that goes past the knees; All males are required to wear a white button up shirt with black pants.

2. All people must have a cellphone that the government can "plug into" at any time (They can see all texts and calls).

3. Eating is only allowed at specific breakfast, lunch, and dinner times.

4. All people 13 years or older are required to have a job.

5. Nobody is allowed to write ideas about a better society they could be living in.

6. Every Monday all people are required to attend a meeting where the figurehead is worshipped.

7. People cannot choose what television channel they want to watch; The government chooses for them.

8. Nobody can be outside passed 10:00 PM.

9. Every person must wear a tracking device so they government knows where all citizens are at all times.

10. No discussion is allowed between people if it is about their ideas of the society.

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Blog Post- Newspeak vs. Text Talk

Newspeak simplifies and dumbs down language, which simplifies and dumbs down those who use it. Some people say that without language, complex thoughts are impossible. This is true. If a person were to talk in Newspeak for their whole life, then they would not get the full understandings of words. Also Newspeak shortens words so that the full meaning of the word is not displayed. If people talk in a certain language everyday then they will think their thoughts in that language. Because Newspeak shortens words their thoughts will be shortened making the people not think in complex thoughts. Text messaging also shortens words but it does not shorten the meanings. People use abbreviations in text messages so they can type and send the text faster. It is easier to abbreviate while texting. It’s as simple as that. Also while texting you can still abbreviate and get the whole point across. Texting is like Newspeak in the idea of abbreviation. However, texting is not a modern form of Newspeak. Newspeak completely changes the meanings of some words. An example of Newspeak when it changes the complete meanings of words is doublethink. This makes people believe anything even if it’s the exact opposite. Also Newspeak is actually used to talk to people in every day conversations. When people talk in a certain language every day, then they begin to think in the language. Therefore the people who use Newspeak simplifies and dumbs them down. Text messages however do not have to be abbreviated; they just can be if the person typing is in a rush or is just too lazy to type out the full word. When texting, a person can use as many abbreviations and still tell the whole story or experience. This process also does not include changing the meanings of words. Texting is not a modern form of Newspeak.