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Doublethink

By acummins Nov 11, 2008 352 Words
In George Orwell’s 1984, Doublethink is essential for Big Brother and the party in order to rule society. Doublethink is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s mind and to believe both of them. In 1984, it is a tool used by the central government called the Party in order to manipulate an entire society. This society is called Oceania and in which Doublethink is a normal way of thinking and is practiced by all. Two main aspects of Doublethink are changing historical records and newspeak. The workers in the Ministry of Truth must change historical records and for this Doublethink is essential. Them must be able to change public records, and then believe that the change the have created has always been true. These changes in history are made in order to maintain the illusion that the Party is infallible. The workers that created the changes must then forget this act; The Party cannot appear to change its mind, which would imply weakness. The act of changing historical records is used to remove any personal realities and to create a truth in accordance to the Party. Newspeak is a language created in 1984 and is the official language of Oceania. It is also the method for controlling thought though the altering of language. It is described in the novel as being, “the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year” (52). The purpose of Newspeak is to rid any words that could lead to ideas that are against the party, or Thoughtcrime, such as ideas of freedom or rebellion. The underlying theory is if these abolished worlds cannot be said, they then cannot be thought.

In Orwell’s 1984, changing historical records and creating Newspeak are methods of
Doublethink used by the Party. The Party uses Doublethink as a reality control in order to rule Oceania. Changing historical records and using Newspeak hide the Party’s doings not only from the people, but also from the Party workers. Doublethink is a key tool for making Big Brother all powerful and maintaining the Party.

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