1984
1984
by George Orwell

1984 Book 1, Chapter 8 Quotes Page 1

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Quote 1

Suddenly the whole street was in commotion. There were yells of warning from all sides. People were shooting into the doorways like rabbits. A young woman leapt out of a doorway a little ahead of Winston, grabbed up a tiny child playing in a puddle, whipped her apron round it, and leapt back again, all in one movement. At the same instant a man in a concertina-like black suit, who had emerged from a side alley, ran towards Winston, pointing excitedly to the sky. "Steamer!" he yelled. "Look out, guv'nor! Bang over’ead! Lay down quick!" "Steamer" was a nickname which, for some reason, the proles applied to rocket bombs. (1.8.7-9)

The wars Oceania endures often create fear and destruction, though ultimately keep its constituents in check.

"That was before the war, of course."

"Which war was that?" said Winston.

"It's all wars," said the old man vaguely. (1.8.35-37, the old prole Man)

Warfare is so constant in Oceania that one war blends with another.

Quote 3

Winston wondered vaguely to what century the church belonged. It was always difficult to determine the age of a London building. 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. (1.8.85)

The Party’s control of information is not limited to written sources alone, but extends even to matters such as architecture.

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