During the “Thought Police vs. Outer Party” game, I learned the importance of the value of independence and freedom. Previous to playing the game, I would consistently wear whatever I wanted, I would carry my books whatever way I wanted to, and I was allowed to live my own life. But the game gave me a new perspective, not only on Winston and his hardships, but on my peers. While engaged in the game, due to the secrecy developed within the tension of ignorance, I felt paranoid and oppressed.
Because nobody knew what role everybody in the class played, there were underlying tensions that lead to distrust. Personally, I could not trust anybody, not even my closest friends in the class. I felt like I was always being watched. Being worried about whether getting caught justified the uncomfortable feeling I had. Then I realized that this was Winston’s life always being watched while unwillingly obeying the rules of the party. The situation was bad, having my classmates betray each other, which taught me that there is no place safe for individualistic freedom.
The first day we started the “Thought Police versus Outer Party” game, I was very conscious of myself and my surroundings. All day and every day, I would keep a mental checklist of the rules that I had to follow. Doing this taught me the theme of what I wanted to do versus what I needed to do. For example, one of my peers, who is not associated with AP Language, asked me why I was wearing a yellow leaf. I had to lie to her and say “Oh… I’m just taking risks, as far as style goes. ” I felt stupid for saying that!
I really wanted to tell her what is going on. If I was allowed to tell her, she could have possibly helped me find out who the thought police was. Speaking of having to wear my yellow-leaf necklace, the third day into the “Thought Police versus Outer Party” game, I overslept. Once I woke up, I put sweatpants on and ran out the front door to the bus. I didn’t even realize how I looked that morning. When I got to school, I realized I was lacking my yellow-leaf necklace. I felt ultimately hopeless. I was sad, but not to the point of crying.
It wasn’t like I was going to be “vaporized” or anything. Afterwards, I went in “Big Brother’s” classroom and saw an unpunched yellow leaf, an electronic hole puncher, scissors, and a white piece of string. I had an insane adrenaline rush. I grabbed everything and went to Coach Johnson’s room quickly so no one would see me. However, I had a feeling that “Big Brother” saw me on the way out the door. Two minutes later, I came back into the classroom feeling accomplished as if nothing had happened. The next day, I saw that my name was on the offenders list.
Guess what crime I had committed? The “Yellow-Ribbon” crime! All of a sudden, I did not feel accomplished after all. At least I know who reported me. That same day, I also forgot to wear anything orange. I can only imagine how Winston would have felt if he forgot to wear his uniform. Luckily, before I went to “Big Brother’s” classroom, I stopped by Mrs. Hood’s room. I saw Michaela Bailey, a member of the Outer Party. I felt so fearful because for all I know, he could have been a thought police (luckily, he was not).
I took an enormous risk and asked “Do you have anything orange I could wear? ” He answered “Sure, you can wear this”. He handed me an object that looked like a ripped sock that soccer players wear on their shins. I responded “Thank you so much! “. It is amazing how paranoid I was being, because on any other day, I would have been like “Oh, no thanks. You keep it… “. This proves the importance of having to unwillingly obey the party. The next day, “Big Brother” posted the crimes and who had offended them. My name was on the list for offending Crime Number 5.
This rule states: “When speaking to lunch ladies, janitors, office staff, or any non-teaching adult, students must express gratitude for their service by greeting them with the phrase, “We appreciate your work on behalf of our education. “. I did not even know I broke this rule. I do not remember seeing a lunch lady, janitor, office member, or a non-teaching adult. That wasn’t the only strange event that had occurred. All of the other Outer Party members’ names were listed as well. That made it even harder to guess who the Thought Police were. However, with this taking place, made me think smarter.
The reason for that is because I knew that either “Big Brother” turned us in, or a member of the thought police turned their self in. Now that I think about it, it did not really help me at all. The day that the “Thought Police versus Outer Party” game was coming to a close, I was absent from school. Because of this, I was not able to guess who the thought police were. The good thing about it was that when I finally found out who the Though Police were, I realized that if I were not absent, I still would not have had decreased the size of my reflection essay.