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What is unusual about the Party's mottos?WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS...

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dotticks | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 23, 2010 at 5:47 PM via web

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What is unusual about the Party's mottos?

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

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Each one seems to contain two contradictory words? But I'm not too sure about how they are unusual... unless that is it?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM (Answer #1)

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The first answer here has a good, detailed in-depth discussion of why the Party chose those mottos.  However, it is not clear to me that that answer really goes with your question.

In response to your particular question, I would say that you are right -- what is unusual about the mottos is simply that they seem to (and do) contradict themselves.

You would not expect a party or, in this case, an entire society, to be built around ideas that cannot possibly be true.  But that is the case in Orwell's vision of the future.  The first answer gives a good discussion of why he might have had the Party use these slogans.

 

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2010 at 9:46 PM (Answer #2)

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On one side of the debate, it could be argued that the contradiction is deliberate on the party's behalf.  The party is convinced in keeping its citizens as the same and locking them into roles where they are able to blindly follow the directives of the government, without a sense of questioning.  In offering quotations that seem to speak a level of truth, the expressed purpose would be that citizens are not able to identify or speak out against these ideas.  Additionally, their contradictory nature is spoken with such a certainty on the part of the party that it is taken as truth.  The doublespeak offered by the party in its slogans could be the desire to speak truth and ensure that everyone follows or it could be a test of loyalty to the Party.  If one were to speak out against it, then one could be accused as being disloyal.  It is a bit unclear whether Orwell designed the slogans to represent the potential end or undoing of the government or the substantiation of it.

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