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Winston Smith’s observation – that the man sitting near him “was not a real human being but some kind of dummy” – takes place during lunch in the canteen of the Ministry of Truth. Winston has just finished listening to a lecture on the destruction of words from the Newspeak expert Syme. The ‘anti-philologist’ – literally a ‘hater of words’ – ends his paean to the linguistic narrowing of thought with the remark that “[political] Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness”. The Party man sitting near Winston, loudly parroting the principles of Ingsoc, eyeless because the light is reflecting off his spectacles, is a kind of convenient model for Syme’s stated end of political orthodoxy.
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