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"The heresy of heresies was  common sense... "If both the past and the external world...

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cnguyen10 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:58 PM via web

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"The heresy of heresies was  common sense... "

If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself in controllable - what when?... The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." (pg 68) Why was the evidence about Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford important to Winston's reaching these conclusions?

Its in Chapter 7

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:10 PM (Answer #1)

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What this means -- what Winston is concluding -- is that the Party needs people to believe whatever it says.  It needs them and commands them to disregard what they know and to believe only what it tells them.

The case of the three men you mention shows this.  It is clear from the picture he finds that the men did not commit the crimes that they confessed to.  But this shows Winston how much reality has changed.   He and others who have his job had changed reality so much that no one would ever take this picture seriously.

When Winston sees the picture, he realizes how the rewriting of history makes true memory and use of common sense very difficult in this society.  People have to just rely on what the Party says.

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