The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering -- a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons -- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting -- three hundred million people all with the same face. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Winston also realizes that true freedom is to be able to believe one's eyes and ears. Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the Party was trying to achieve. . Both books were widely considered to be indictments of Communism under Joseph Stalin, but Orwell insisted that they were critiques of totalitarian ideas in general, and warned that the nightmarish conditions he depicted could take place anywhere. That was ten -- eleven years ago.
A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumours and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous; but no attempt was made to indoctrinate them with the ideology of the Party. In all questions of morals they were allowed to follow their ancestral code. He knew, with more certainty than before, that O'Brien was on his side. The successful women, bumped and jostled by the rest, were trying to make off with their saucepans while dozens of others clamoured round the stall, accusing the stall-keeper of favouritism and of having more saucepans somewhere in reserve. There was also something called the jus primae noctis, which would probably not be mentioned in a textbook for children. Prominent in the middle of the group were Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford.
To keep them in control was not difficult. Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were imprisoned and tortured before being released. But simultaneously, true to the Principles of doublethink, the Party taught that the proles were natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals, by the application of a few simple rules. Just once in his life he had possessed -- after the event: that was what counted -- concrete, unmistakable evidence of an act of falsification. He refuses to believe that it is, though, and realizes that the physical world exists so long as there is a mind to perceive it.
Winston suspects that history to be false, but then begins to doubt himself. No one who had once fallen into the hands of the Thought Police ever escaped in the end. But he holds on to the memory as evidence of The Party and Big Brother's dishonesty. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working-hours or shorter rations. If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then? But today, supposing that it could be somehow resurrected from its ashes, the photograph might not even be evidence. Winston Doubts Reality In order to understand the past better, Winston reads a children's history book.
The date had stuck in Winston's memory because it chanced to be midsummer day; but the whole story must be on record in countless other places as well. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. But everyone knew this was only a stopgap arrangement, once you fell into the hands of the thought police there was no escape. Winston recalls how he accidentally found a newspaper photo that proves The Party lies.
You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat which was called a frock coat, and a queer, shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. All their immense energy was dissipated in trivial grievances; they had no concern to expend on larger issues. The glamour of the underground struggle and the civil war still faintly clung to them. There would be mention of the bishops in their lawn sleeves, the judges in their ermine robes, the pillory, the stocks, the treadmill, the cat-o'-nine tails, the Lord Mayor's Banquet, and the practice of kissing the Pope's toe. The sexual puritanism of the Party was not imposed upon them.
Great areas of it, even for a Party member, were neutral and non-political, a matter of slogging through dreary jobs, fighting for a place on the Tube, darning a worn-out sock, cadging a saccharine tablet, saving a cigarette end. At one time, in 1973, Winston had held in his hands evidentiary proof that certain people who the Party deemed never existed had actually existed. From a children's textbook, Winston copies out a passage describing capitalism. There was a photograph of the three men attending a prominent Party function on the same date they were said to have been launching conspiracies on Eurasian soil. A little later all three were re-arrested. And yet he was in the right! Winston sees the same streak of rebellion and consciousness in O'Brien as himself. However, Winston takes a look around London and sees a crumbling, decaying city.
Orwell's working title for the novel was The Last Man in Europe. They had confessed to intelligence with the enemy at that date, too, the enemy was Eurasia , embezzlement of public funds, the murder of various trusted Party members, intrigues against the leadership of Big Brother which had started long before the Revolution happened, and acts of sabotage causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people. The past not only changed, but changed continuously. He was educated at Eton in England. And then, for perhaps half a minute in all, something happened to the telescreens.
It was a half-page torn out of The Times of about ten years earlier -- the top half of the page, so that it included the date -- and it contained a photograph of the delegates at some Party function in New York. The three men sat in their corner almost motionless, never speaking. The book just keep indicate that the prole is the key yet it was left just like that. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. Because of this, the part of London where they live does not even have any telescreens. He then doubts himself and what he sees and hears.
But even though they make up 85% of the population, they are unaware of their oppression and simply do not care about The Party and Big Brother. This memory prefigures the final chapter of the novel in which Winston, broken in torture by O'Brien, weeps sentimentally over his love for Big Brother while drinking gin at the Chestnut Tree Café. Winston becomes aware that he is writing the diary to O'Brien. The dated photo proves that the three original leaders of the revolution were in New York City when they were supposed to have been committing treason with Eurasia. Some time after their release Winston had actually seen all three of them in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. Winston had seen the three men at a café where they were carefully avoided by most people as being dangerous to associate with. Or that the force of gravity works? Of course, this was not in itself a discovery.