Class Note for 3-21-17


  1. Homework: One initial comment on Part One, chapters VI-VII / Part Two, chapters I-II (pp. 65-129) by Wednesday 3/22 and two additional comments by F 3/24.(can be found on the schedule)
  2. Continue the reading on Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Class Discussion: 

  • LBJ’s ‘Daisy’ ad
    • Analysis of the video, the quick change from the girl to a nuclear bomb explosion. How the video manipulates its audience.
  • There Will Come Soft Rains
    • Picking up from last week, the setting is post-apocalyptic, following an automated house in a nuclear fallout.
  • Free writing questions on Nineteen Eighty-Four:
    • What is the tone of the novel? why?
    • What stood out the most? why?
    • Questions you have about the text.
  • Nineteen Eight-Four (chapters I-V)
    • Winston’s rebellious action, keeping a diary.
    • Winston’s paranoia of society and government.
    • Doublethink, able to have two contradicting thought, idea, or opinion at the same time. (pg 36)
    • New language “newspeak”, destruction of language.
    • Winston’s diary/memories/dreams.
    • The tone of the novel; dark, gray, depressing.


  • Melancholy: causing or expressing sadness; depressing.
  • Dilapidated: in a state of disrepair or ruin as a result of age or neglect.
  • Visceral: relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.
  • Surveillance: close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal.
  • Panopticon: a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed.

(please feel free to add to the class note, I might have missed some important details.)

The Analysis of Society in Nineteen Eighty-Four

The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell depict a society that is constantly at war with another nation. It shows how society deals with a nation that is at war in the eyes of the main character Winston. It shows how society and government interact with each other.

The society featured in the novel shows the characteristic of a dystopian society. The government named “Big Brother” had several factions in them, one of them was “the Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order”(4). The ministry of love controlled society, it captures defects from society and executes them. The ministry of love uses the “Thought Police” who job was to “watch everybody all the time”(3). The thought police watch people through telescreen and if they were to show sign of rebellion to the government, “Big Brother” they were executed publicly. The telescreen made society more aware of their action, especially the main character Winston. Winston changes his expression as the narrator said: “He had set his features into the expression of quite optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen”(5). The government has control over Winston to a point that even his facial expression need to be changed to eliminate any suspicions on him and the same can be said about the people that are living in this type of society. More so, a slogan from the ministry of truth said: “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”(4). The statement proves that the ministry of truth can manipulate society into thinking the opposite of what everything is said. Winston job of altering and destroying documents has led him to secretly rebel against the big brother, by joining an underground society called the brotherhood. The Society also avoid calling each other names other than a comrade, to avoid being associated with them if they were to be capture by the thought police.

The setting of the novel is expected to be dark since it is a dystopian society. The story takes place in 1984, but it is not certain since the ministry of truth manipulates everything to benefit the government. The world in which Winston live in is said, “the world looked cold…there seem to be no color”(2). This imagery reminds of black and white films with no color and the society that Winston is living in is not lively at all. The ministry of truth has to alter and destroy many works of the past leading to society being lifeless in the novel.

Furthermore, society physical attributes are being diminished by the government. In the novel, an exercise is being done and shows the flexibility of Winston. The narrator said: “Winston, with a violent lunge, succeeded in touching his toes with knees unbent, for the first time in several years”(38). Winston and the rest of society movement are limited by the telescreen watching them all the time. The government does diminish their attributes to prevent any rebellion but at the same time, they want society to be able to perform their jobs.

The novel was interesting to read especially the interaction between Winston, society, and government. It is also fairly easy to understand but there is still some vocabulary here and there. There also with the over quoting in the second paragraph, although much is needed to explain the society in the novel.

Essay 1 Pre-Draft

To readers:

In this essay, there is still many things that are needed. The structure of the paragraphs isn’t figured out yet, mainly because there is still more paragraph to be written. The structure of the paragraph can also be in chronological order showing which character experience individuality. The structure would also be based around the theme of the essay, although the theme also needs some expanding to do, to be more precise in what is needed to expressed. In each of the paragraph that is written, it also needs some transition between them and also explains more on how the character’s growth with their individuality. As I have written most of the paragraph there is still more to be said and a topic sentence is needed for each to help clearly state the point. One thing that troublesome is finding quotes to help back up claims since there are aren’t much except for the main character to help distinguish one another they need to express individuality and that is what the point is. The point of all this is to prove that Brave New World does indeed show individuality in its characters. Last important thing to do also is to proofread the essay.

Individualities in Brave New World

Although individuality is taken away from society by the World State in Brave New World, individuality still exists throughout the characters in the novel.

One of the main characters Bernard Marx is conscious of his individuality and differences in the World State’s society. Bernard is shown to have unsatisfactory views toward society, he hopes to connect with society by joining a solidarity service. In the end of the service, he is left the same, as described by the narrator “He was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began…separated and unatoned”(86). The solidarity service represents society in some way and Bernard does views does not align with society. This contributes to his individuality as he does not feel the same as other do in the solidarity service.

Lenina is less conscious about her individuality, with her also being different and unique in society she still shows individuality. A display of individuality is when Lenina talk to Fanny about her relationship with a man named Henry. When Lenina said, “it’s only about four months now since I’ve been having Henry”(46). Lenina shows individuality by having a relationship with one person for four months in a world where people have multiple sex partners. Lenina acting is not appropriate to the society, she is acting out of the norm, giving her individuality.

Mustapha Mond expresses his individuality amongst many of his subject, by having the power to rule over them. In which Mond said, “But as I make the law here, I can also break them”(197). He expresses that he is different because he has the power to change the law. Unlike society, Mond is given individuality by the World State. Even so, society sees Mond as a leader distinguishing him from society’s caste system.

There Will Come Soft Rains Analysis

In the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, is a story of a automated house that continues to run without any human intervention for a long time. It shows us one day of the daily routine of the automated house and how it cater to all the family members.

In this futuristic story, the machines and the robots in the house are set to do a certain task. One important machine that set every in motion is the clock, for example, the machine said “Seven-nine, breakfast time, seven-nine! In the kitchen, the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh”(1). The clock in the house seems to be controlling the routine of the house and signal which machine to start up. The clock appears several of time throughout the story and its job is to manage the machines. The machines think that they are serving god, with the narrator saying,” The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing…But the gods had gone away”(2). The narrator is referring the house praying to something that does not exist or working for something that does not exist, which is the humans and the are refer to as gods.

The automated house was used by a family with each of their routine incorporated into the machine in the house. The family is consist of four people said by the narrator, “Two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk”(1). From the quote, it can be inferred that four people were living in the automated home, two were the parents and the other two were the children. The family also had a baby, as said by the narrator “The nursery walls glowed”(2). it was described in more detail in the story of the nursery, that the room was made for a baby. The dog in the family somehow survived just like the house, but the dog was malnourished.

As the story reaches its climax the machine and the robots start to show emotion like a human for the jobs they are programmed to do. When the dog enters and the robot mice have to clean up after him, the narrator said: “Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience”(2). The mice were given emotion because it shows us the reader of what the robot have to every single day, even though there is nothing to clean and once the dog came in the robot has to work out of their routine to clean up after the dog. Furthermore, the narrator compares the house to a human, saying “The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves reveal”(4). it seems the narrator want us to think that the house is alive. In the beginning of the story, the house does seem lively even without human performing all the tasks, but it always goes back to a depressing setting.

In the end of the story the narrator puts human emotions and characteristic into the automated house. As it dies in the flame the narrator want us to feel for the robots and the machines.


Brave New World (Chapters 10-18)

In the continuation of Brave New World, Linda and John was grant premission to visit the World State. As Linda walks into the conversation between Bernard and the Director, the narrator described her as “Bloated, sagging, and among those firm youthful bodies, those undistorted faces, a strange and terrifying monster of middle-agedness”(Huxley 139). After Linda walked into the crowd that the Director drew, people sees Linda as a monster or a unnatural being because of her age. Since in the story everyone in living in the World State is a fairly young adult and encountering Linda is new to all of the workers that the director drew in. The Director past lover Linda with the embarrassment of John calling him “father” cause him to resign.

After John was introduce to the World State, he has be refer to as “the savage” instead of his name. The irony of this is that John is a decent human being throughout the story. It is the people in the World State that are the savages and not John.

John had became a sensation in the World State society, although previously not being able to fit in the savage reservation. It then Bernard use this to his advatange as the narrator described “It was John, then, they were all after. And as it was only through Bernard, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance”(Huxley 144). John is now Brenard responsibility and only through him that people can see John and through John, Bernard is treated like a proper Alpha plus. Bernard character slowly develop from see that the is something wrong with the World State caste system to forgetting about the problems.

It was then that John picks up the role that Bernard left off as John said “Don’t take that horrible stuff. It’s poison, it’s poison.”(Huxley 191). John drastically changes after her mother death, seeing that there is something wrong in society and knowing that soma was not good for them. John is similar to Bernard before he let all that fame get to his head, but John did something about it.

Although in a world of technological advancement science is frowned upon as said by Mustapha Mond “It isn’t only art that’s incompatible with happiness; it’s also science. Science is dangerous; we have to keep it most carefully chained and muzzled.”(Huxley 202). In a society so dependent on technology even using it to clone humans it is forbidden, that is very ironic because they use technology to reach a point of an utopian society but don’t use it to better it.

After a long talk with Mustapah Mond about what is right or wrong, John is sent to an island for the crime and outcast just like how Bernard felt during the beginning of the story. John torture himself for the things he did by whip himself.

Overall the book was fantastic to read and enjoyed it a lot. Although the ending was a bit unsatisfying because nothing had really change in the World State.

Analysis of Brave New World

The Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, shows us a world that is technologically advance that is able to clone humans or grow them in a lab since natural birth is not a thing in this society anymore. It set in a Central London Hatchery where they use the “Bokanovsky’s Process” to clone humans. In the World State, society is structure by a caste system first with Alphas at the top followed by Beta, Gamma, Delta, and the lowest Epsilon. Alpha and Beta does not undergo the Bokanovsky’s Process because it might damage the egg. In the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY” ( Huxley 15)  Identity does not apply to the lower caste system because the are clone they share the same identity. Cloning contradict the motto and only applies to higher caste because clones or lower caste human don’t get their own identity because the are identical two each other. The cloning and mass production of humans was made by Ford, Ford in the story was thought to be a god and even a character called Bernard pray to him in a group session.

The Bokanovskified egg ” The lower the caste … the shorter the oxygen.” ( Huxley 24), this sets up the clones to unable to do any other caste jobs. This is just like a robot being programmed to do a specific job and doing it without questions. They further condition them by ” books and loud noises, flower and electric shocks” (Huxley 30), this show that lower caste will be less educated then the alphas and betas, associating flower and electric shock will condition them to hate nature and never to go to country side. This was stated so it can maximize profit for the World State.

Mustapah Mond is one of the ten world control.  In the book the student that are in a tour meets Mustapah Mond and looks up to him. Mustapah Mond is like a leader for a section of the world. Mustapah Mond explains to them what happened before the World State was formed, he tell them about the past and how  that mother gave birth to children and how people have families and don’t have many sexual partners, where the world was run by emotions that caused a 9 year war that had an economic collapse.

As we can see Alphas and Betas were focused a lot during the story where they where shown to  be very different as they have freedom to do things lower caste can’t, the upper can have many sexual relationship partners and also enjoy a drug called soma which make them feel happy. Reorganizing society and reconditioning them to do a predestined role in society. In the point of view of the society it is utopian society.

The book was very interesting to read, starting off with very detail of the setting and how technologyand society worked in the book. It shows us hierarchy of power and how each humans from different caste are treated by the society. It also show how society eliminated emotions from lower caste making them like machine working for machine.

The Analysis of Metropolis

The film Metropolis shows us many types of views, the view of Metropolis from Joh Fredersen is in a utopian society with luxurious living on the sky scrapers. While Freder, after finding out about the underground society , Freder has a nightmare about it (15:00-17:00) it was at that time that Freder views change from utopian to distopian. During Freder nightmare he depict that the worker as slaves to the machine they are working on. The machine was depict as an altar or god and the humans were the sacrifices to keep it running (15:00-17:00). Maria view of the society is that of the same a Freder but less intense of what Freder nightmare shows, Maria mainly wants peace for the society.

As Freder join the work force to feed the machine he soon realize that it is very hard. It was shown a couple of time the number 11811 when he takes of his hat. This means that the workers are given numbers instead of name shows that they are insignificance to the human living above ground. In a closer look on the people living above ground they have airplanes flying around and even streets in the sky. While underground seem so plain with just builds and windows on them. Even the children in the film are very dirty meaning that the underground is not clean.

The workers in the beginning of the film had robot like movement, walking in and out at the same pace with the same stance, heads down. As the film progresses we see how the workers transform from an obedient loyal worker to rebellious worker because of Maria. Maria was like a goddess to the workers teaching them all types of things using a book and teaching them about the Tower of Babel. This was used aganist the people afterward by Fredersen to control the people underground. In the end Fredersen agrees with the worker to compromise and have an equal standing.

Metropolis shows many futuristic elements (18:00-19:00). One of which is the highway in the sky and is as tall as the buildings surrounding them. Other futuristic element was one of Rotwang invention (41:40-43:00) the machine, the machine was able to mimick Maria later on in the film. Maria double cause the worker to change drastically and start rebelling. The rebellion causes the underground to be uninhabitable the plan of Fredersen was ruined because of the unexpected consequences of Maria double or the machine.

The film was very intresting and boring at the same time. The plot of the film I enjoyed a lot and it also inspired many of today science fiction film industries. Although it was very interesting, silent film are not my thing because it is always up for different interpretation and  views. The character transformation of Frederick was interesting too, because Freder was living a rich life high in the tower then become a lowlife worker to overthrow his father’s business, this type of plot have appeared many times in other types of film I have watched and they might have been inspired by this film.

The Machine Stops

In the article “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster, it starts us off with a utopian society in which everything is perfect and “The Machine” does everything for the humans. The Machine was referenced a lot during my reading it expresses that The Machine might be the higher power controlling society. The Machine is like a god to them although it was man made. In the beginning of the story the first sentence “Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee.”(pg 1), this gave me an idea that maybe The Machine is like a  queen bee and the humans living are like a drone for the queen they are just there providing ideas. As the story gets deeper it shows us a dystopian world where they are forced to live underground due to an apocalyptic event that prevented them from living on the surface of Earth. As stated, “The man in front dropped his book…the man, instead of picking up his property, felt the muscle of his arm to see how they have failed him.”(pg 7)  living underground with machines that do everything for humans, made them weak ( it reminds me of a film called Wall-E). “People never touched one another. The custom had become obsolete, owing to the Machine.” (pg 9), humans interacting with each other became very unusual without the use of the Machine.

As stated “Yet the attempt to ‘defeat the sun’ aroused the last common interest that our race experienced about the heavenly bodies… It was the last time that men were compacted by thinking of power outside the world.”(pg 8). This quote shows us that man tried to “defeat the sun” what it means is that man tried to achieve something so great that can be better what the sun is. Once man achieves that greatness it used it for destruction making the surface of the Earth a wasteland as set in the story. As human live underground for a long time, they forget what the surface of the Earth looks like as shown by the main character ” Vashti found her cabin invaded by a rosy finger of light, she was annoyed, and tried to adjust the blind…A spasm of horror shook her and she rang for the flight attendant. The attendant too was horrified.”, it made me realize that the human living in isolation does not know much about the surface of the Earth beside that it is dangerous to them.

Overall the story was very interesting to read, the main plot of this story is used in many ways in the modern world with a slight twist. The Machine Stops shows one of the possible worlds that can happen amongst other Science Fiction stories told.  This will soon be our reality as our technology advance more and more, one example is that we continue to use our “machine” phone every day and soon next generation will be consumed by it. It is necessary for humans to interact and share thought and comfort each other.


About Jorge

I’m currently a full-time student at New York City College of Technology, second semester in and fairly new to the college experience. The major I’m in is Mechanical Engineering, I have always been fascinated with all types of machines from planes to cars. In the future, I’ve hoped to work with more machine and learn how they operate. I have helped built robots before during my high school years for underwater robotics competition but never achieved first place. Ever since that, I have always wanted to build another robot that was better. The only hobbies I have are playing video games and taking apart broken machines.

My career goals have not been decided yet but two of my main choices are to work for an aviation company and design parts or to work for an automotive industry and build the latest car. Working toward my career goals will be difficult, but I hope to achieve this in the next 10 years or so. My desire is to change the world by building machines that better society. Maybe some day I will build something straight out of Science Fiction.

An interesting fact about me is that I enjoy food a lot and one day I hope to travel to exotic places and eat the different types of food they have there. I also enjoy playing lots of card games because there are many outcomes to the game. I also play a little of chess from time to time (not a master). One thing I have never done in a long time is physical sports, I enjoy running but not playing sports.

Science Fiction and Mechanical Engineering do have some connection, Science Fiction can inspire the building of machine and one of them that is already coming true is the building of robots. As technology advances some Science Fiction machine could come to a reality. The experience I have with science fiction is the movie The Terminator, where robots gain artificial intelligence and take over the world, this was also my first experience with Science Fiction.

Most of my strengths lie within my reading as I’m able to comprehend what I’m reading and understanding it. My weakness is with my writing because I have poor grammar and also bad structuring when writing and essay. I describe myself as a fairly average thinker and I think when is needed and not to overthink things. Overall writing is not my strong suit and the best I’m good at is reading. I do not enjoy writing because it requires lots of thinking, reading on the other require lot less effort and can be enjoying for me.

Openlab is generally new for and as I explore more there is always new things to try out including blogging, commenting, posting picture and more.

For this semester my expectation is to explore and learn more about Science Fiction may be there is more to Science Fiction than I originally thought. My expectation for this class is similar to English class which require a lot of reading, writing, and thinking.