“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. In small clumsy letters he wrote: April 4th, 1984. He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had descended upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any certainty that this was 1984. It must be round about that date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within a year or two. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain. Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens. We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. We make the laws of Nature. Nothing exists except through human consciousness. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.”
“In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.