The Party seeks to control everything – past, present, and future. Its first effort toward attaining that goal is to control and manipulate every source of information, rewriting and modifying the content of all historical records and other documentary evidence for its own gain. The Party forbids its members to keep written records of their lives, and mandates that any photographs or documents be destroyed through "memory holes" placed throughout Oceania. Since memory is unreliable, over time, reality becomes fuzzy at best, and citizens are soon willing to believe whatever the Party informs them. Thus, the Party manipulates the past in order to control the present.
Although the Party seeks to control everything by manipulating every source of information, ultimately it is unable to achieve that goal because that manipulation is overpowered by the unalterable nature of its people’s collective memory.
Winston Smith is the only character that can escape the effects of the Party’s manipulation and control of information. Yet 1984 fails to explain his distinctive qualities as justification for his different nature.