1984 Book 1 chapters 1 – 3

Wow, I had no idea people were using this resource – I’m happy to get it going again.

First, here’s the full text of 1984 for those who would rather read it on a screen. Also, I tend to like using online texts because if you’re looking for a specific word — for example if you write a future word on “power” — just pushing¬†“control+F” will take you right to all the uses of the word in the text.

Today, we looked at the Panopticon – an idea in both architecture and philosophy. We connected this passage from Michel Foucault’s 1973 book Discipline and Punish to the surveillance philosophies of Big Brother/INGSOC in the world of 1984:

Each individual, in his place, is securely confined to a cell from which he is seen from
the front by the supervisor; but the side walls prevent him from coming into contact
with his companions. He is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information,
never a subject in communication. The arrangement of his room, opposite the central
tower, imposes on him an axial visibility; but the divisions of the ring, those separated
cells, imply a lateral invisibility. And this invisibility is a guarantee of order. If the
inmates are convicts, there is no danger of a plot, an attempt at collective escape, the
planning of new crimes for the future, bad reciprocal influences; if they are patients,
there is no danger of contagion; if they are madmen there is no risk of their committing
violence upon one another; if they are schoolchildren, there is no copying, no noise, no
chatter, no waste of time; if they are workers, there are no disorders, no theft, no
coalitions, none of those distractions that slow down the rate of work, make it less
perfect or cause accidents. The crowd, a compact mass, a locus of multiple exchanges,
individualities merging together, a collective effect, is abolished and replaced by a
collection of separated individualities. From the point of view of the guardian, it is
replaced by a multiplicity that can be numbered and supervised; from the point of view
of the inmates, by a sequestered and observed solitude (Bentham, 60-64).

Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious
and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange
things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its
action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise
unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and
sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the
bearers.