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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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This ability to change the past is central to INGSOC. In controlling the past, the Party controls the minds of its members. Since the Party possesses absolute truth, memories have to be trained to forget the old and accept the new through doublethink. The trick is to combine belief in Party infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes. This makes for many contradictions, which are at the heart of Party rule. The Party is built on unreality, or "controlled insanity." Insane people don't ask dangerous questions.

Why, Goldstein asks, should human equality be prevented, and at such cost? This is the central secret, which consists....

We're not going to get the answer to this one. Winston-who, as you may have forgotten by now, is reading all this aloud to Julia-gives her a poke. Is she awake?


The clever girl has dozed off. Winston snuggles down, thinking he knows how life became so terrible, but not why. We've been led to believe the answer is in the very next sentence, but Orwell has chosen to keep the answer from us and from Winston. He feels sleepy, confident, safe, and falls asleep murmuring, "Sanity is not statistical." His crime, then, is being sane enough to keep asking questions-and he will pay.

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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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