by George Orwell
1984 Philosophical Viewpoints Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
The sacred principles of Ingsoc: Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of the past. He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party would not endure forever? (1.2.34)
Trapped between the Party’s nonsense principles and his own perception of reality, Winston experiences a metaphysical crisis that ultimately leads to his demise.
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word "doublethink" involved the use of doublethink. (1.3.20)
The Party’s concept of doublethink is contrary to reason, logic, and the workings of the brain. It takes a great effort for Winston to engage in doublethink.
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious. (1.7.4)
At reaching a metaphysical paradox, Winston has arrived at a conclusion he does not wish to believe: the proles will never gain the consciousness required for them to effectively rebel.
Thought 2: For the proles, consciousness is as necessary for rebellion as the latter is for consciousness. This paradox is the proles’ futile plight.