Winston sat in the Chestnut Tree Bar, setting up the chess board. A voice from the telescreen added in a grave tone:
‘You are warned to stand by for an important announcement at fifteen-thirty. Fifteen-thirty! This is news of the highest importance. Take care not to miss it. Fifteen-thirty!’
Winston’s heart stirred.
That would be the bulletin from the front. Instinct told him that it was bad news that was coming.
All day the thought of a defeat in Africa had been in and out of his mind. He seemed actually to see the Eurasian army swarming across the never-broken frontier and pouring down into the tip of Africa like a column of ants.
Why had it not been possible to outflank them in some way?
The outline of the West African coast stood out vividly in his mind.
Before the torture, Winston knew it was all lies and propaganda. He didn’t listen to news bulletins because working for the Ministry of Truth he knew they were.
In the very first chapter of Nineteen Eighty Four Winston is totally aware of the lies and tricks of his society. He never wasted a thought on this kind of propaganda. Now, completely changed and reformed into the ‘image’ of the Party he takes the ‘news broadcasts’ seriously.