1984 War Is Peace Chapter

James Smith
• Monday, 26 July, 2021
• 7 min read

On the sixth day of Hate Week it is announced that Oceania is, and has always been, at war with Anastasia, and that Eurasia is an ally. Winston has to work long hours to rectify all the now obsolete references to Oceania's war with Eurasia.

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At one rally, the orator actually had to change his speech in the middle, shifting from a diatribe against Eurasia to one against Anastasia. Winston goes to the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and begins reading the book while he waits for Julia to arrive.

Written by Emmanuel Goldstein and titled The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, the book claims that all societies are divided into High (Inner Party), Middle (Outer Party), and Low classes (proles), whose aims are irreconcilable. Winston turns to Chapter 3, War Is Peace, ” which is a description of the permanent state of war that exists between the three superstates that govern the world: Oceania, created by the absorption of the British Empire by the United States; Eurasia, created when Russia absorbed Europe; and Anastasia, which includes China, Japan, and Mongolia.

All three are totalitarian states governed by similar ideological systems (in Oceania, Ingot; in Eurasia, Neo-Bolshevism; in Anastasia, Death-worship). Rather, the aim of the war is to create fear that makes it seem logical to concentrate power in the hands of the High class, while also distracting the middle and lower classes and keeping them unaware that conditions are the same everywhere and that the terrible things they have been told about the enemy are lies.

Reality control is the method by which these states subdue their subjects, through the techniques of doublethink and the falsification of historical documents. But, in fact, it perpetuates the war without ever trying to win it In other words, the government doesn't maintain power in order to protect its citizens from enemies.

Rather, the government maintains enemies in order to justify holding onto power and repressing its citizens. Returning to Chapter 1, “Ignorance Is Strength,” Winston reads that history is a cycle of class struggles.

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They invented a figurehead named Big Brother to serve as a focus for feelings of love, fear, and reverence. The Thought Police were appointed to keep a constant watch over Party members for signs of unorthodox opinions and instincts.

Unlike Party members, the proles were granted intellectual liberty because they were considered too stupid to rebel. This section of the book details how the Party stops the cycle of revolutions between middle and high classes, and therefore keeps itself in power, through reality control.

The proles, the low class, are ignored because they are not considered to be intelligent enough to recognize their strength or the way that they are being used. In the middle of Hate Week, Oceania has switched enemies and allies in the ongoing war, heaping upon Winston a tremendous amount of work to compensate for the change.

At one rally, the speaker is forced to change his speech halfway through to point out that Oceania is not, and has never been, at war with Eurasia. In the room at Mr. Charrington’s, Winston reads through Goldstein’s The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, given to him by O’Brien.

These three nations keep their respective populaces preoccupied with a perpetual border war in order to preserve power among the High class. After half an hour in bed together, during which they hear the red-armed woman singing outside, Winston reads to Julia from the book.

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He adds that doublethink allows Inner Party members to be the most zealous about pursuing the war mentality, even though they know the falsity of the histories they write. Winston looks at the woman through the window, admires her fertility, and imagines that the proles will one day give rise to a race of conscious, independent individuals who will throw off the yoke of Party control.

Both Winston and Julia say, “We are the dead,” and out of the shadows a third voice interjects, “You are the dead.” Suddenly, the two realize that a telescreen is hidden behind the picture of St. Clement’s Church. As the troops restrain Winston, Mr. Charrington enters the room and orders someone to pick up the shards from the shattered paperweight.

Orwell combines aspects of these figures’ respective political philosophies into an extended statement that some critics have felt is too long and too unwieldy to work effectively in the novel. Additionally, this discourse provides a long lull in the dramatic tension of the novel, setting up the surprising turn of events that the arrival of the Thought Police constitutes.

The weighty political discussion coaxes the reader into a state of relaxation mirroring Winston’s growing confidence in his ability to overcome the Party. Even though Winston has continually predicted his own capture throughout the novel, Orwell manages to time the arrival of the authorities perfectly to catch the reader off-guard.

In 1984, War is peace refers to the idea that by placing the nation in a constant state of war, individuals are motivated to ignore their discontent with their government, thus ensuring an unending domestic peace. In Orwell's classic novel 1984, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength are the Party's three paradoxical slogans, which are perfect examples of how the ruling government uses language to manipulate and control the population's thought processes.

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Winston gains insight into the meaning of the Party's three slogans when he reads Emmanuel Goldstein's book titled THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM. “ War is Peace refers to the way in which the Party uses continual warfare to control and oppress the population.

Oceania is constantly at war with either Eurasia or Anastasia, which cultivates an atmosphere of hysteria, continually bolsters patriotism, and wastes valuable resources and energy that would otherwise be used to increase the standard of living. The result of constant warfare is a fearful, obedient population that is willing to make substantial sacrifices for their country.

In Oceania, individuality is prohibited, and citizens are required to be part of a collective group. Once a citizen embraces the concept of collectivism and views themselves as an integral part of a group, they are considered free by Party standards.

In order to remain omnipotent, the Party suppresses knowledge, censors literature, alters language, and spreads propaganda. These efforts create an ignorant population, and the citizens are unable to recognize their oppressed status or rebel against the government.

This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

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In their society, keeping the masses believing that constant war is being waged is actually a way of maintaining peace. War elicits great patriotism and devotion to country; it also promotes sacrifice and giving to the community over oneself.

The people probably believe that to mean that having total freedom is actually a way to become enslaved to your senses, weaknesses and vices. For example, the Party encourages young women to remain virtuous and restrict themselves from being romantically involved or sentimental in any way.

To the masses, being ignorant about the true condition of things is actually beneficial, because it helps them to remain happy and optimistic, and thus strong. To the workers within the Party, like Winston, their entire jobs rely on keeping the people ignorant of true facts and statistics.

Essentially, lie to keep the people in the dark, and then the Party--and their jobs--will always be strong. In the end, it all comes down to the Party creating slogans that ensure the continuation of their power and control.

30,000+ book summaries 20% study tools discount Ad-free content PDF downloads 300,000+ answers 5-star customer support In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, Winston undergoes a metamorphosis of character, which changes his life forever.

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Then he changes his ideals and becomes true to himself with obvious rebellion towards party principles and standards. Finally, Winston is brainwashed and is turned against himself and his feelings and is made to love the party.

This is a story of perception, and how different it can be from one person to the next. Winston is a miserable member of a society he hates, and is controlled and watched in every area of his life. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. More than anything he wants to be able to have his own thoughts; not just be told what to think, do, and feel. He goes through the motions of outward orthodoxy, but inside he lives in a world of dreams, memories and endless speculation about the existence of the past in the face of the Party’s continual alteration of documents.

Winston is devoid of any creativity or “oneness” as a human being, and feels he is being denied the right to live a real life. Tired of feeling the way he is, with the monotonous struggle of everyday life Winston decides to oppose the party in more real ways; and begins to deviate from certain set behaviors to free himself from this bondage of the party. To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone-to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone”(25-26).

He and Julia go to O’Brien’s apartment one afternoon, and Winston’s true hatred is revealed. Winston decides to make some very big changes in the way he lives and realizes that he not only dislikes Big Brother and the party, he hates them, and will do anything in his power to bring them down. Inevitably Winston gets caught by the Thought Police, and is forced to abandon everything he holds true, and in time comes to love the system as if that was all he had ever known.

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Totally broken, brainwashed and reprogrammed, Winston is returned to society as another harmless devotee of Big Brother. In the chilling final pages of the book, Winston, tears of fear and joy streaming down his face, proclaims his love of Big Brother, all thoughts, hopes or dreams of escape and freedom permanently eradicated from his consciousness.

Initially Winston has little to live for, but after he starts his rebellion from the oppressiveness of the state he feels that he should still go on, although already considering himself dead.

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