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What is the meaning of the quote "Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous...

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thisawesomeness | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2012 at 7:27 AM via web

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What is the meaning of the quote "Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system"?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM (Answer #1)

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Winston says this in narration when describing the Thought Police. He was almost describing how thoughts can be read because it is humanly impossible. the Thought Police had to use any little glitch of gesture to determine if people were actually demonstrating guilt in their actions as a result of their thoughts.

The human nervous system is what contols and manipulates even the most involuntary gestures. These gestures might come as a result of an emotion or feeling like guilt or pleasure. If a Party member was not in complete control of their nervous system, they could unintentionally give the Thought Police the idea that they were having thoughts that they were not supposed to have.

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