How would you explain both Parson's and Syme's acceptance of obvious propaganda in "1984"? Discuss the reasons.Okay, I read over the other question that is basically  EXACTLY the same but I did...

How would you explain both Parson's and Syme's acceptance of obvious propaganda in "1984"? Discuss the reasons.

Okay, I read over the other question that is basically  EXACTLY the same but I did not understand it and I was hoping that someone else could give me an answer...

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Parsons and Syme are juxtaposed in the cafeteria scene in 1984, when Syme explains the principles of Newspeak to Winston. Both men are, as the question suggests, loyal to the Party, but their personalities are very different. Parsons is rather dull and lacks the intellectual ability to seriously question Party orthodoxy. Winston is struck by the belief that Parsons, a very unremarkable man, will never be "vaporized." Syme, on the other hand, is a very intelligent man. He has given much thought to the process of rewriting Newspeak, a project which he enthusiastically tells Winston will make thoughtcrime impossible in the future. Winston thinks that Syme will certainly be vaporized one day, because he is, essentially, too smart for his own good:

One day, thought Winston . . . Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He speaks too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear.

In the end, of course, Winston discovers that both men have been punished by the Party. Parsons has been turned in for disloyalty (he was accused of saying "Down with the Party" in his sleep) by his children, and he is actually proud of them for doing so. Syme, on the other hand, is "vaporized"—he simply vanishes. Winston was correct about him. Both men unquestioningly accept Party propaganda (they both, for example, love the hangings). Parsons is too stupid for independent thought, and Syme is either brainwashed or believes unquestioning obedience is the way to survive and get ahead. The experiences of both men suggest that there really is no safe way to navigate through daily life without running afoul of the Party at some point.

pippin1313 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Parson and Syme are loyal to the Party but for different reasons and it is this loyalty that causes them to accept overt propaganda with no questions.

Tom Parson is unintelligent and accepts what he told without question because he lacks the brains to do otherwise. It is easier for him to be told the 'truth' rather than think of it himself. Because he is just one of the masses, Parson just goes along with what is doctrine, even so far as praising his daughter for turning him in when he utters "Down with Big Brother" in his sleep. Winston mistakenly thinks that Parson will never be arrested.

Winston is however, correct about Syme being in danger of being vaporised. Syme is intellingent and savvy. He understands that loyalty is his only protection and so is highly enthusiastic about developing the newspeak dictionary. His major downfall is that he understands why newspeak is vital to the Party and its maintenance of power. He accepts propaganda because the consequences of doing otherwise would mean his instant arrest.