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Quote Analysis-1984

on Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:08 pm
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.” (I.vii.83)

In this quotation, Winston is broaching the subject of the Party’s manipulation and indoctrination of Oceania’s citizens. Indeed, Winston is claiming that the Party exudes such a controlling and powerful influence on its supporters, that a fatuous idea such as, “2+2=5” can be made to seem as the absolute truth. In fact, Winston’s thought-wrenching statement has led me to believe that the Party itself is a paradox. It dictates that its party members must believe the truth, however, the “truth” is their own modified version of the truth. In fact, the Party writes and alters history for the perpetuation of Big Brother’s infallible image. Therefore, the difference between what the party says and what is in fact truthful is often contradictory. In truth, “2+2=5” can become “2+2=3” or even “2+2=14” because what is the truth is simply what is defined by the Party.  

I selected this sentence pronounced by Winston because upon reading it, I identified it as an aphorism. Not only is it a short phrase with a compelling meaning, the definition of an aphorism, but it is an effective aphorism. An aphorism is supposed to be memorable, and because this phrase is so short but so philosophical, it is memorable and its intended message is conveyed. Orwell could have easily written that the Party “has a profound influence and controls its party members”, but his use of an analogy of the illogical belief that “2+2=5” to surreptitiously describe how strong this influence truly is, is much more powerful and has a much more important impact on the reader. In all honesty, I believe it was pretty ingenious on his part.
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Re: Quote Analysis-1984

on Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:27 pm
Great analysis ! I totally agree with you regarding the meaning behind the quote. The citizens of Oceania have been so dehumanized over the past years that they will now believe anything they are told by Big Brother and the people of the Inner Party. It also denounces the fact that their society is in fact lying to them about history and also about current events happening throughout the world. Even though 2+2 is not equal to 5, due to the severe influence of the society on its citizen, they will now believe everything they are told even if it goes against what they have been taught up until that point. In any case, they are forced to believe what Big Brother tells them as he is always watching... Shocked
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Re: Quote Analysis-1984

on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:32 pm
I love your analysis Aïcha!
I agree that Orwell's choice of "2+2=5" has an incredibly powerful impact on the reader.
When I was writing my own analysis I came across a website (as seen below) that presented a letter which George Orwell had written five years prior to the publication of 1984. In this letter, addressed to Noel Willmett, Orwell spoke of his "2+2=5" ideology.
"Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it."
Big Brother was based off a totalitarian leader/ leaders that were present during his lifetime and his fear of the world that would exist if these figures accomplished their mission... A world in which there is no truth.
thedailybeast.com/george-orwells-letter-on-why-he-wrote-1984
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Re: Quote Analysis-1984

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