overt act

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hyperslow, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. hyperslow

    hyperslow Senior Member

    Polish
    Hullo there!

    It goes without saying that Orwell is one of the greatest writers ever. The more I read the more disqusted with this world I become. Orwell's literature is just an eye-opener... but to the point.

    The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. G. Orwell, 1984, p. 259

    I'd like to make sure if I understand it corectly.
    Overt act --> The Party is not interested in people's wrong doing, antisocial behaviour, crimes being perpetrated by them simply because these deeds are too obvious and panishable. The Party is more interested in a long term 'mind-altering'. By meting out a physical punishment the Party can't achieve its main goal - a complete change of one's mindset. Am I correct?

    Thank you,
    hyp
     
  2. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Well, this is how I understand it, hyper:
    The Party isn't interested in what people do, it's interested in what people think.

    Is that what you're saying?
     
  3. hyperslow

    hyperslow Senior Member

    Polish
    Yes, Loob, that's what I'm saying. I only have a trouble with the overt act bit. Deeds which are morally (un)acceptable therefore easily punishable, everything that is obvious and can be changed (as apposed to tinkering with people's minds). I can't express it better. I have an intuition but can't put it into words.
     
  4. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member

    Slovak
    Yes, the Party wants to control the thoughts of people, the Party does not kill off those criminals (they might become a martyrs) so it tries to re-educate them to believe in its dogma and then send them back to society.
    The thoughts are displayed in actions, so the Party wants to change the thoughts and not only to punish the actions.
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree completely with Loob. There's nothing in the quoted text about wrongdoing, crimes, or punishments; it's a broad statement of policy.
     
  6. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member

    Slovak
    I don`t think so, Parla. Here I provide more context to the OP to make it clearer:
    Source: ORWELL, G. 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four. London : Secker and Warburg, 1949. 326 p. ISBN 978-0-452-28423-4. Available from: <http://orwell.ru/library/novels/1984/english/en_p_3>.
     
  7. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, morior.

    You say "I only have a trouble with the overt act bit".

    Let's look again at the "overt act bit", then, with some graphic hints on how to stress it:

    "The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about."

    Loob's right: The Party isn't interested in what people do, it's interested in what people think.

    GS
     
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The overt act and the heretical thought are seen as two aspects of the behaviour.
    In the paragraphs which follow the quotation, O'Brien explains the Party's aim to Smith with a perfectionist zeal: to reconstruct the victim's mind and thoughts before killing him, so as to prevent even a single heretical thought surviving for a moment.
    Smith thinks, 'So he's not a hypocrite, he really believes it'.

    Whether such a position can really be held without hypocrisy is a larger question.
     
  9. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member

    Slovak
    Hello, GS. I appreciate your help, but it seems you misunderstood my post #6. I was trying to point out to Parla what wandle explains in his post #8, i.e. that the quoted text was about crimes and wrongdoing. As you can see from my post #4, I think that the Party wants to re-educate those "sinners" rather than kill them (wandle typed "before killing them" - I would have to read that book). It wants to completely control their minds with its dogma.

    P.S.: Of course, Loob`s right. There`s no doubt about it. ;) I was just more explicit. :)
     

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