How long does winston remember big brother being in power in 1984?

Winston remembers Big Brother being in power for about twenty-four years, though his memories are continually becoming less distinct.

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As he embarks on his quest to recall the past, Winston is aware that his memory of it is already fading. Often, he merely has a dim sense that the Party's official history books are inaccurate. He thinks that he first heard Big Brother's name sometime in the 1960s. In...

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As he embarks on his quest to recall the past, Winston is aware that his memory of it is already fading. Often, he merely has a dim sense that the Party's official history books are inaccurate. He thinks that he first heard Big Brother's name sometime in the 1960s. In the mid-1960s, the other leaders of the Revolution were wiped out in a series of purges and Goldstein had gone into hiding. By 1970, Big Brother was the only one of them left, and his authority was unchallenged.

This means that Big Brother has only been in power for about twenty-four years and that all the adults in Oceania might be expected to recall a time when he was not their leader. Party propaganda counteracts this by encouraging people to doubt the evidence of their own memories—indeed, to stop remembering at all.

The Party history books continually extend Big Brother's heroic exploits further and further back into the past. At the time when the novel takes place, Winston notes that the history books depict Big Brother as an important figure in the 1940s and 1930, though the historical details of these decades are mixed up with those of the Victorian era. Each year, the lies grow more elaborate, and they are so universally accepted that those who dissent begin to question their sanity.

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