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Contradictions and Paradoxes in 1984

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Melissa Palermo

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of Contradictions and Paradoxes in 1984

Contradictions and Paradoxes in 1984
Paradoxical Settings
The first line of the novel: "It was a bright cold day in April..."
This establishes the paradoxical nature that occurs throughout the rest of the
novel.
The Party
The Party Slogan: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. This slogan is a clear indicator of the mind corruption of the party, but at the same time each phrase bears a truth.
Ministry of Truth
Doublethink
2+2=5
The party has control of everyone's minds, and therefore has control of the truth. The Party says 2+2=5, therefore it is the truth.
Mr. Charington's shop: Winston considers the shop to be safe, but it holds his greatest fear, as well as a hidden telescreen. This reveals the truth that the room above the shop is unsafe and will eventually lead to Winston's downfall. Mr. Charington is also an undercover member of the thought police, not a friend to Winston.
Victory Mansions: portrayed to be "victorious" but is falling apart, dirty, grimy, and uninviting. Reveals the corruption and lies of the party.
WAR IS PEACE
without war, there can be no peace
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
without slavery, we would not know of freedom
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
in ignorance, you find the ability to create strengths
- news, entertainment, education
Ministry of Peace
- war
Ministry of Love
- law and order
Ministry of Plenty
- economic affairs
Enemies and Allies of Oceania
Initially, Oceania is at war with Eurasia.
Propaganda is discrediting Eurasia (Mongolians) all over Oceania.
Oceania is then at war with Eastasia and claims to have always been at war with them; Eurasia becomes their allies.
This becomes true because the party claims it to be, and information stating otherwise has all been destroyed.
Ministries
This ministry focuses on the bending of the past through destroying and rebuilding it. This would be considered lying but, what the party claims is the truth ends up becoming the truth.
Handles all military affairs and keeps Oceania updated on who they are/"have always been" at war with. Perpetual war leads to peace.
Practices the infliction of misery, fear, and torture. But, its ultimate purpose is to instill love of Big Brother in the minds of thoughtcriminals to make them "perfect".
Maintaining a state of constant poverty, and handles rations. But, the purpose is to convince the populace that they are living in a state of prosperity.
A contradiction within itself, as it is the act of simultaneously accepting two contradictory beliefs as the truth. Examples:
Winston: A Walking Paradox
Rebels against the party, but knows he will be caught no matter what
Works at Minitru recreating facts, but also keeps his own diary so as not to forget the truth
His job is to destroy the past, yet he desperately wishes to remember his own past
The main symbol of hope in the novel, but it is evident that he has none as he is completely aware of his eventual death ("we are the dead")
When he first sees Julia he despises her, but also wants to have sex with her
Loves Julia, betrays her in the end
Clings to his intelligence, after being tortured he wishes he could be unintelligent (wishes to see 5 fingers)
Ends up loving Big Brother and losing his virtues
I love O'Brien
"Victory"
Victory gin-
colorless, oily, tastes like nitric acid and bears a sickly smell. Drinking it causes an effect similar to being hit on the back of the head. Although it is hard to drink and not enjoyable, it is cheap and easy to attain and relieves paranoia and stress.
Victory cigarettes-
Tobacco always falling out, cheap. Again, easy to find and common among citizens of Oceania.
Winston turns to drinking and smoking to cope with his thoughts of rebellion, but truthfully these items were assigned to him by Big Brother. These products were made to be distributed. Essentially, Winston is conforming to cope with his rebellion.
These products are poorly made and wouldn't be considered "victorious" to most, but as Oceania is in a constant state of poverty, this is better than nothing and therefore the party is able to convince people that these products are luxurious and a result of a prosperous society.
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