What is the difference between Winston's writing in his diary and his writing at his job? What do they show about doublethink?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Winston writes his true feelings regarding the Party and Oceania's oppressive society in his diary. Winston is well aware of the fact that he is committing thoughtcrime while he writes in his diary but continues to write his thoughts down in order to remain sane. In Winston's diary, he writes a scathing critique of Big Brother and prays for the Party's downfall. His personal narrative reveals that he is an enemy of the Party and detests everything about Oceania's oppressive regime.

While at work, Winston edits articles and various government documents in the Records Department, which is located in the Ministry of Truth. Winston fabricates much of the information he writes in order to make the written documents coincide and agree with the Party's current agenda. As a professional editor who completely fabricates the information he writes, Winston must utilize "doublethink," which is the complex technique and practice of acknowledging and believing two contradicting ideas. Essentially, Winston knows that he is falsifying information but must believe that he is doing the opposite. However, Winston is fully aware of the fact that he is publishing lies that agree with the Party's agenda and does not utilize doublethink. Unlike his coworkers, Winston is uniquely unorthodox and does not subscribe to Big Brother's agenda.

clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Winston writes in his diary he is committing thoughtcrime against the Party and this is very different from his writing at work which is for the advancement and betterment of the Party. Winston's diary contains his hatred for Big Brother, his questions about the workings of the Party, his frustration with his life. Winston's work is concerned with the idea of doublethink. Double think is, "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. . ." This means that Winston knows the truth of the items that come across his desk and he must not only change them to fit the Party's beliefs, but he must also believe them and forget the truth at the same time. In his diary his doesn't have to recognize the doublethink, he can contradict the process of doublethink and recall memories, but he does so with fear for his life because to forget doublethink, to remember things that should have been forgotten, was the worst crime one could commit against the party.