In 1984, what is the significance of the telescreen announcement regarding the chocolate ration?
part 1.chapter 5
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This announcement is significant because only 24 hours earlier, the announcement had been that chocolate had been reduced to 20 grammes. Today, it is announced that the ration had been raised to 20 grammes. This slight difference is a lie. It also demonstrates how ignorant the people must be to take that kind of lie as truth and continue their patriotic honor of their government. Winston notes the ignorance of the people around him:
Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal.
What's more, only last week, the ration had been reported as 30 grammes. These people are getting less and less from the government and they are putting up with that. This particularly mirrors Stalin-era Russia when the people did what they were told with little question, if any.
The significance of the telescreen announcement about the chocolate ration is to demonstrate the extent to which the Party has succeeded in indoctrinating people into its ideology. The principles of Ingsoc that forbid thought crime and an acknowledgement of the past are fully operational. People believe what they are told as the absolute truth and so do not question any information delivered by the telescreen. Winston is astonished by the news that demonstrations were held to hail Big Brother for increasing the chocolate ration to 20 grams when in fact just the previous day, it was announced that the ration was actually being reduced from 30 grams to 20 grams. Nobody seems to remember this announcement apart from Winston. Nobody dared think otherwise for fear of vaporization for having committed thought crime. This shows that the Party has succeeded in brainwashing the people and can therefore control their minds and behavior to maintain the society’s structure.
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