1. ## 2+2=5

Often I sit pondering the possiblities of this equation, and I am always left with the same conclusion.

I know that the point of this was to prove the irrational belief required to survive in a 1984 destopia. But when you think about it more clearly there is either one of two things that occur in this sentence.

1) That if you had two apples, and I had two apples if we put them together there would be 5 apples.

or the second option which I think is really being said. The party has the power to make the value of 5 equal the value of 4 and remove four form the lexicon perminately if they ever wished to.

Meaning that 2+2 still would =4 but they no longer say 4 but instead say 5.

----

The power to change the meaning of words is the ultimate power in 1984 the Party knows this .In changing of the meanings of words it provides the illusion that they are infact great creators. They have the power they are able to manipulate people with unreasonable logic, doctor history to fit their arguments, and finally destory ones will to rebel by the ultering of meanings, as it was in throws of pain that Winston eventually releashed his most passionate belief that 2+2=4.

2. Dostoevsky once said: 2+2=5 if you like it that way...
Party didn't change meaning of words or value of numbers; they made people really believe that 2+2=5 and not 4, no matter of people's sense or any math laws.

I you say a lie 100 times, it will became truth. And finally, everyone will believe in it.

3. ## Response

I believe Orwell included this to show the awesome power the Party holds over these people. They have emblazoned the 2+2=5 concept into their minds just as a way to control them even more. Just like Newspeak, they have such tremendous power they can change the way the people talk, the words they use, how they solve mathematical problems. This all points to the concept that the Party controls so much of these peoples lives that they control the way they think.

4. I agree with basarov. I also believe that it can't truly be understood unless someone has went through it, which luckily, none of us can say. I usually don't agree with this philosiphy, but I think that in this situation, experience is everything.

5. Originally Posted by burmesedays
I agree with basarov.
Sensible option.

6. Originally Posted by bazarov
Dostoevsky once said: 2+2=5 if you like it that way...
Party didn't change meaning of words or value of numbers; they made people really believe that 2+2=5 and not 4, no matter of people's sense or any math laws.

I you say a lie 100 times, it will became truth. And finally, everyone will believe in it.
Also, I would like to add; mathematics being the subject to which absolute truths are agreed on would least likely to be the subject of political manipulation. With relating to examples in the book you will recall when O'brien claims to Smith that the Party could defy the laws of gravity if they wish thus indicating the Party can control the aspect of how the mind perceive reality.

7. I believe that 2+2=5, is like a form of propaganda by the way it is the government that produces the information and that they have removed all information counterdicting the fact that it was originally 2+2=4. And they did this by having the ministry of truth rewrite history.

8. how does 2+2 not equal 5? these are the names we have agreed upon for these numbers. But if the party had such absolute power they could change what we call four into a five. It's more linguistic that mathematical.

If the party can erase the fact that what we now call black is black and say that it is white, how do you know that it is not?

what is white? what is four? what is five?

You will not only say it's black, you will believe it's black.

10. 2 + 2 = 5

is this not a case of doublethink,to simultaneously believe that the above statement is true,whilst holding the opposite opinion at the same time that the statement in fact is untrue without contemplating the intellectual conflict.

illustrating the propogandic power of the party.

11. Exactly that.

12. I realise that this is an old thread, and I agree, that in 1984 the phrase has been used as an example of doublethink (and i think that the torture part, where where we follow Winston thoughs on how many fingers OīBrien is holding is one of the most interesting parts of the book).

But would you also agree with me, that when Orwell used "2+2=5" he had a five year plan on his mind? You know, he could easily write "4+4=9" an it would be just the same (again using the doublethink, to belive that sometimes it is 7 sometimes 9 and sometimes both, just like the party needs to)

I really belive so, because the phrase "2+2=5" was like one of the communistīs lies (they claimed, that "we" can do five year work in four years, so basically they were claiming that 2+2=5). So I donīt think that it is important if Dostoevsky, or Hugo wrote this before him, I think it is connected with the five-years plan in USSR. Have you ever thought about that?

f(x):
x = x + 1
return x

2 = f(2)
1 = f(1)
y = 2 + 1

Therefore,
y = 5 == True

And that my friends, is why there is a scope barrier on new programming languages.

Either way though, mathematics are arbitrary concepts. We count on tens, but my computer counts on two fingers, and sometimes on 16.
8 + 3 in our terms = 11, but in Hex = A

If you have two apples, I have two apples, and my two apples are bigger than your two apples, we, according to your frame of reference, could perhaps have 5 apples, if an apple is represented by the volume, or mass of your apple, and each one of my apples is 1.5 * the size of one of your apples.

In truth, math does not actually exist, it is merely a frame of reference of communication. There are very few things which are exactly the same in this world (I'm not a chemist, but from what I understand, atoms seem to have varying masses and other features), and in itself, we merely use variant representations to communicate for the purposes of existing. We have 10 fingers, but no finger is the same as any other, so really we have 10 "things" that are grouped together because of similar features. In that sense, finger is a construct.

14. Originally Posted by Jack Fields
So I donīt think that it is important if Dostoevsky, or Hugo wrote this before him, I think it is connected with the five-years plan in USSR. Have you ever thought about that?
I haven't considered it previously, but the 2+2=4 or 5 is very standard English idiom of the time, so I think it's more just that than any other statement. With the theme of 2+2=5 explored so deeply in the book, I can't imagine there's more to it than the idiomatic usage.

15. My understanding is that Math is considered the Universal Language. If the Party can alter the Universal Language they can alter and control anything/everything.

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