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In 1984, differentiate between the attitude of Parsons towards his imprisonment and the...

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yanie8888 | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:08 AM via iOS

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In 1984, differentiate between the attitude of Parsons towards his imprisonment and the attitude of Winston.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 12, 2013 at 6:48 AM (Answer #1)

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When Parsons and Winston Smith meet inside the Ministry of Love, they are both prisoners, and both accused of crimes that could allow them to be executed. However, the crucial difference between these two figures is that Parsons places absolute trust in the justice of the Ministry of Love, believing that he will be judged in a fair way, whereas Winston knows that what is happening bears no resemblance whatsoever to the word justice, and that his fate can be decided on a whim. Note how Parsons expresses his faith in the Party:

I know they give you a fair hearing. Oh, I trust them for that! They'll know my record, won't they? You know what kind of a chap I was. Not a bad chap in my way. Not brainy, of course, but keen. I tried to do my best for the Party, didn't I?

Parsons therefore believes that the Party will judge him fairly and will take into account his life and the fact that he has always tried to "do [his] best for the Party," somehow hoping that this will help him when it comes to his judgement. After describing to Winston how he had said "Down with Big Brother" in his sleep, he then says that he plans to say to the tribunal, "Thank you for saving me before it was too late." Parsons is thus used as the polar opposite of Winston Smith: he is a man who places absolute trust and faith in the judgement of the party and trusts implicitly that whatever fate he receives will be the correct one. Winston of course does not view the Party in such a generous way.

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