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Free Study Guide-1984 by George Orwell-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 4

Summary

Chapter 4 gives a detailed description of the work that Winston performs at the Ministry of Truth. His work, though extremely creative, is to falsify all historical facts to suit the party's interests. His routine work requires him to regularly make changes in the five year plan and in the forecasts on production, to match the actual production taking place. Winston also makes changes in the speeches made by Big Brother and creates imaginary people, while erasing the names of people who had once lived but were 'vaporised' or killed by the party. All this is done to maintain the interests and reputation of the Ruling Party.


Notes

Winston's work is described in detail. He is bothered by the dishonesty of his work. He also dislikes its impersonal nature; he does not even know the names of many of his co-workers. People do not want to get to know other people, for everyone fears the person next to them is a hidden member of the Thought Police, who is eager to report a betrayal. Like Winston, his co-workers are plain and ordinary in appearance. They are a stark contrast to the beautiful people on the telescreen who constantly speak the propaganda of the Party. Like modern television advertising, the televised salesmanship of the government is very effective; therefore, Orwell is making a harsh criticism of all types of propaganda.

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