Explain Doublethink in "1984". Why is it essential to the success of the party? part 1

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Doublethink is one of the founding principles of the Party and is essentially the technique of believing two contradicting ideas simultaneously in one's mind. Orwell defines doublethink as "reality control." Thus, it is the ability to "use logic against logic" in order to believe any information propagated by the Party. The Party expects all of its members to maintain complete orthodoxy at all times and to passively accept any idea delivered to them, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Using doublethink, one could believe that two plus two equals five. A Party member must be able to accept and believe this illogical answer with doublethink.

The practice of doublethink also allows the Party to maintain control of its populace and enables the government to alter facts and history continually without being questioned. Throughout the novel, Oceania continuously switches enemies with Eastasia and Eurasia and relies on Party members to alter every past document to coincide with the regime's current status. For Party members to accept Big Brother's agenda and believe that they've always been at war against one enemy, Party members must utilize doublethink to accept the government's current stance.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Doublethink is a way for you to think one way but believe another. It is protection for anyone in the Party who does not truly believe the policies.

For instance, when Winston is being tortured by O'Brien, O'Brien tells Winston that two plus two equal five. Winston oberves that O'Brien gives absolutely no indication that he believes any other thing than that 2+2 actually DOES equal 5. Even though Winston knows this is not true, he also eventually begins to think that 2+2 MIGHT equal 5.

It's like thinking one thing and saying something completely opposite to hide your true feelings...doublethink is incredibly wearisome and difficult to keep up for any period of time, especially in a society like Oceania where people are constantly looking for a reason to accuse someone else of thoughtcrime.

azhaan | Student

Double think is to hold to condradictory meaning at the same time and to still believe in only one.. for eg. The party says 2+2=5 and you know that that 2+2=4 but you still beleive that  2+2=5 as the party says so...

even to understand doublethink the use of doublethink is needed.

THe opposite meaning that cancell each other out !! Doublethink is also known as reality control..

it makes people follow the partys rules and regulations without questioning their methods...