After the torture, Winston was placed on a committee that did very little. However, they made a tremendous show of entering up their minutes and drafting long memorandum.
These memorandum were never finished. This is because the others on the committee had also been tortured, just like Winston. And because their brains were damaged they could have spurts of mental activity. They could argue, mostly about what they were supposedly arguing about.
These arguments about virtually having an argument grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse. There were digressions, quarrels, threats, even, to appeal to higher authority.
And then suddenly the life would go out of them and they would sit round the table looking at one another with extinct eyes, like ghosts fading at cock-crow.
It is a painful portion to read. Here are people who offended the state and one expects they would have been executed. Yet, they are turned into these imitations of people, put on a pointless committee, and probably are taped and enjoyed as comedy by those who really have power.
Reading the portion one reflects on committees one has been on, whether in school or at work which seem so ‘important’ but might have been established to waste your time, distract you, and keep you compliant.