Why was the Declaration of Independence in the Appendix of the novel? What purpose did it have?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Declaration of Independence was in the Appendix of the novel because it was used as an example of how obsolete these foundational documents would be in the face of the Party and Newspeak. One of the purposes of the Party was to rewrite history and  make it a fluid idea, not something concrete. The Party changed history on a daily basis to fit its purposes. The point of Newspeak was to limit the range of thought of the society members so that they would be easy to control. In fact, Newspeak limits thought so much that the society would not have to rely on the Thought Police when it was fully in place and no one remembered Oldspeak because there would hardly be any way to express dissension. The Appendix explains the principals of Newspeak and it's basically saying that all things written prior to 1960 would not even be able to be translated into Newspeak so there would be no fear of someone coming across a document that supported freedom and equality so boldly to translate it and try and follow those principles. Any person reading the declaration would translate the entire section printed in the appendix into one word, "crimethink" because all one would be able to gather is that it promotes ideas that are related to thought crime.