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Quotes

Quote #7

And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programs, plays, novels – with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary. And the Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was even a whole sub-section – Pornosec, it was called in Newspeak – engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets and which no Party member, other than those who worked on it, was permitted to look at. (1.4.12)

The Party controls and constructs all sources of information in Oceania, including the type of news and media its citizens receive.

Quote #8

And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain. (1.4.9)

Due to the Party’s control and rectification of all media in Oceania, there is no real certainty in any records. Finally, Oceanians are forced to question even their memories.

Quote #9

So tricky a piece of work would never be entrusted to a single person: on the other hand, to turn it over to a committee would be to admit openly that an act of fabrication was taking place. Very likely as many as a dozen people were now working away on rival versions of what Big Brother had actually said. And presently some master brain in the Inner Party would select this version or that, would re-edit it and set in motion the complex processes of cross-referencing that would be required, and then the chosen lie would pass into the permanent records and become truth. (1.4.19)

During Hate Week, Winston’s duties consist of editing and rewriting history with respect to the announcement of Oceania’s new enemy, Eastasia. After he "rectifies" a particular record, it is then passed on to a supervisor who chooses among competing versions of rectification for the one falsification that shall have the privilege of passing as truth over the course of time.

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