Monday, 11 July 2011

1984, Orwell

It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week.

Only the Thought Police mattered.

You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

this was London, chief city of Airstrip One, itself the third most populous of the provinces of Oceania.

The four Ministries: The Ministry of Truth (news, entertainment,
education, and the fine arts). The Ministry of Peace (war). The Ministry of Love (law and order).
the Ministry of Plenty (economic affairs). Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty.

Party members were supposed not to go into ordinary shops (’dealing on the free market’, it was called), but the rule was not strictly kept, because there were various things, such as shoelaces and razor blades, which it was impossible to get hold of in any other way.

The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty five years in a forced-labour camp.

the Records Department, where Winston worked,

the Two Minutes Hate

He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.

O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party

Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, engaged in counterrevolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity.

Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. They adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother — it was all a sort of glorious game to them. Hardly a week passed in which The Times did not
carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ’child hero’
was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and
denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters, and on the wrappings of a cigarette Packet — everywhere. Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed — no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.

With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.

’Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ’doublethink’.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ’doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.

Ingsoc, in its Oldspeak form-’English Socialism’.

As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.

it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense
for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion
with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained
in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version
as in their rectified version.

Syme was a philologist, a specialist in Newspeak. Indeed, he was one of the enormous team of experts now engaged in compiling the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary.

’The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,’

We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.’

’It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ”good”, for instance. If you have a word like ”good”, what need is there for a word like ”bad”? ”Ungood” will do just as well — better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of ”good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ”excellent” and ”splendid and all the rest of them? ”Plusgood” covers the meaning, or ” doubleplusgood” if you want something stronger still.

In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning.

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of
thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because
there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever
be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly
defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control.

The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak
is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,’

How could you have a slogan like ”freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different.
In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means
not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’

There was something subtly wrong
with Syme. There was something that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort
of saving stupidity. You could not say that he was unorthodox. He believed in the principles of Ingsoc, he venerated Big Brother, he rejoiced over victories,
he hated heretics, not merely with sincerity but with a sort of restless zeal,
an up-to-dateness of information, which the ordinary Party member did not
approach. Yet a faint air of disreputability always clung to him. He said things
that would have been better unsaid, he had read too many books, he frequented
the Chestnut Tree Caf´e, haunt of painters and musicians.

There was no law,
not even an unwritten law, against frequenting the Chestnut Tree Caf´e, yet the
place was somehow ill-omened. The old, discredited leaders of the Party had
been used to gather there before they were finally purged.

The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the telescreen. As compared
with last year there was more food, more clothes, more houses, more furniture,
more cooking-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more books, more
babies — more of everything except disease, crime, and insanity.

In any time that he could accurately
remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks
or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered
and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces,
bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient —
nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin.

It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts
wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen.
The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of
anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself — anything that carried with it the
suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear
an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was
announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word
for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

he thought of Katharine, his wife.
Winston was married — had been married, at any rate: probably he still was
married, so far as he knew his wife was not dead.

To be caught with a
prostitute might mean five years in a forced-labour camp.
Tacitly the Party was even
inclined to encourage prostitution, as an outlet for instincts which could not
be altogether suppressed. Mere debauchery did not matter very much, so long
as it was furtive and joyless and only involved the women of a submerged and
despised class. The unforgivable crime was promiscuity between Party members.
But — though this was one of the crimes that the accused in the great purges
invariably confessed to — it was difficult to imagine any such thing actually

Its real, undeclared
purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act.

All marriages
between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the
purpose, and — though the principle was never clearly stated — permission was
always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically
attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget
children for the service of the Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as
a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema.

There were even organizations such as
the Junior Anti-Sex League, which advocated complete celibacy for both sexes.
All children were to be begotten by artificial insemination (artsem, it was called
in Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions.

The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it
could not be killed, then to distort it and dirty it.

He thought again of Katharine. It must be nine, ten — nearly eleven years
since they had parted. It was curious how seldom he thought of her. For days
at a time he was capable of forgetting that he had ever been married. They had
only been together for about fifteen months. The Party did not permit divorce,
but it rather encouraged separation in cases where there were no children.

she had without exception
the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had
not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility,
absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her. ’The human sound-track’ he nicknamed her in his own mind.

They must, she said,
produce a child if they could. So the performance continued to happen, once a
week quite regulariy, whenever it was not impossible. She had two names for it. One was ’making a
baby’, and the other was ’our duty to the Party’

But a real love affair was an almost
unthinkable event. The women of the Party were all alike. Chastity was as deep
ingrained in them as Party loyalty.

And what he wanted, more even
than to be loved, was to break down that wall of virtue, even if it were only once
in his whole life. The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire
was thoughtcrime.


If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.
If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there in those
swarming disregarded masses, 85 per cent of the population of Oceania, could
the force to destroy the Party ever be generated.

The Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles
from bondage. But simultaneously,
true to the Principles of doublethink, the Party taught that the proles were
natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals, by the application
of a few simple rules.

So long as they continued to work and breed,
their other activities were without importance.

To keep them in control was not difficult.

No attempt was made to indoctrinate them with the
ideology of the Party. It was not desirable that the proles should have strong
political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which
could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer
working-hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented,
as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because being without
general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger
evils invariably escaped their notice.

In all questions of morals they were allowed to follow
their ancestral code. The sexual puritanism of the Party was not imposed upon
them. Promiscuity went unpunished, divorce was permitted. For that matter,
even religious worship would have been permitted if the proles had shown any
sign of needing or wanting it. They were beneath suspicion. As the Party slogan
put it: ’Proles and animals are free.’

principle a Party member had no spare time, and was never alone except in
bed. It was assumed that when he was not working, eating, or sleeping he
would be taking part in some kind of communal recreation: to do anything that
suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always
slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called,
meaning individualism and eccentricity.

Within twenty years at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question,
’Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?’ would have ceased once
and for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since
the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing
one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, (…) but all
the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant,
which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and
written records were falsified — when that happened, the claim of the Party
to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because
there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it
could be tested.

The glass paperweight made of coral he bought at the antique shop: It was a queer thing, even a compromising thing, for a Party member to have
in his possession. Anything old, and for that matter anything beautiful, was
always vaguely suspect.

The hunting-down and
destruction of books had been done with the same thoroughness in the prole
quarters as everywhere else. It was very unlikely that there existed anywhere in
Oceania a copy of a book printed earlier than 1960.

Anything large and
impressive, if it was reasonably new in appearance, was automatically claimed
as having been built since the Revolution, while anything that was obviously
of earlier date was ascribed to some dim period called the Middle Ages. The
centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of any value. One
could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from
books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets — anything
that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered.

It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external
enemy, but always against one’s own body.

Not to let one’s feelings appear in one’s face was
a habit that had acquired the status of an instinct


’Actually I am that sort of girl, to
look at. I’m good at games. I was a troop-leader in the Spies. I do voluntary
work three evenings a week for the Junior Anti-Sex League. (…) Always yell with the crowd, that’s what I say. It’s the only way to be safe.’

’talking by instalments’

working week was sixty hours, Julia’s was even longer, and their free days varied
according to the pressure of work and did not often coincide. Julia, in any case,
seldom had an evening completely free. She spent an astonishing amount of time
in attending lectures and demonstrations, distributing literature for the junior
Anti-Sex League, preparing banners for Hate Week, making collections for the
savings campaign, and such-like activities. It paid, she said, it was camouflage.

Julia was twenty-six years old. She lived in a hostel with thirty other girls
she worked on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction

She hated the Party, and said so in the crudest words,
but she made no general criticism of it. Except where it touched upon her
own life she had no interest in Party doctrine. He noticed that she never used
Newspeak words except the ones that had passed into everyday use. She had
never heard of the Brotherhood, and refused to believe in its existence. Any
kind of organized revolt against the Party, which was bound to be a failure,
struck her as stupid. The clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive all
the same.

grown up in the world of the Revolution,
knowing nothing else, accepting the Party as something unalterable, like the
sky, not rebelling against its authority but simply evading it, as a rabbit dodges
a dog.

Katharine= the Newspeak word goodthinkful( orthodox, incapable of thinking a bad thought)

Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning
of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created
a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore
had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual
privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed
into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was:
’When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy
and don’t give a damn for anything. They can’t bear you to feel like that. They
want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down
and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour.

There was a direct intimate connexion between
chastity and political orthodoxy. The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned
it to account.

The children,
on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught
to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an
extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone
could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.

But she refused to believe that widespread, organized opposition existed or could exist. The tales about Goldstein and his underground army,
she said, were simply a lot of rubbish which the Party had invented for its own
purposes and which you had to pretend to believe in.

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible
to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connexion to mention
the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion
the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London
were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, ’just to keep people

But she only
questioned the teachings of the Party when they in some way touched upon her
own life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because
the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her.

In the ramifications of party doctrine she had not the faintest interest.

In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most
successfully on people incapable of understanding it. (…) By lack of understanding they
remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed
did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will
pass undigested through the body of a bird.

The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade
you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same
time robbing you of all power over the material world.

The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside. They had
held on to the primitive emotions which he himself had to re-learn by conscious

The one thing that matters is that we shouldn’t
betray one another, although even that can’t make the slightest difference.’

Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do
doesn’t matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you —
that would be the real betrayal.’

Winston: “They can’t get
inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t
have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.’


The members of the Brotherhood have no way of recognizing one another, and it is impossible for any one member to be aware of the identity of more than a few others.

The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible.


You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth.

’No! Not merely to extract your confession, not to punish you. Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane!

The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them.

We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him.

Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling.
Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love,
or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity.
You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with



Power is not a means, it is an end.

The first thing you must realize is that power is collective.
The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan: ”Freedom is Slavery”. Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom.

is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement.

No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer.
But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken
from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct
will be eradicated.

We shall abolish the orgasm. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the
laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no


The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.

He obeyed the Party, but he still hated the Party. In the old days he had hidden a heretical mind beneath an appearance of conformity. Now he had retreated a step further: in the mind he had surrendered, but he had hoped to keep the inner heart inviolate.

The thing in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world, which varies from individuals to individuals.

Winston: fear of rats.

There was one and only one way to save himself. He must interpose another human being, the body of another human being, between himself and the rats.

Between Julia and Winston now = contempt and dislike.

“At the time when it happens u do mean it. All u care about is urself. And after that, u don’t feel the same towards the person any longer.”

From 15 to closing time he was a fixture in Chestnut Tree. He had been appointed to a sub-committee which had sprouted from one of the innumerable committees dealing with minor difficulties involving the compilation of the 11th edition of Newspeak Dictionary.

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