I'm trying to quote 1984 for a research paper. This is the original quote, line breaks preserved

‘We are the dead,’ he said.

‘We are the dead,’ echoed Julia dutifully.

‘You are the dead,’ said an iron voice behind them.

They sprang apart. Winston’s entrails seemed to have turned into ice. He could see the white all round the irises of Julia’s eyes. Her face had turned a milky yellow. A smear of rouge that was still on each cheekbone stood out sharply, almost as though unconnected with the skin beneath.

‘You are the dead,’ repeated the iron voice.

‘It was behind the picture,’ breathed Julia.

‘It was behind the picture,’ said the voice.

First, do I keep the line breaks for dialogue? Second, is there an appropriate use of ellipses within a block quote? I get that it's supposed to be a long quotation, but the parts of the quote not expressing surprise are effectively irrelevant to my thesis. Purdue OWL only mentioned block quote ellipses in the context of poetry


Yes, keep the line breaks. There's no reason to change the formatting from the original when you use block quotes; however, make sure to indent the first line of every paragraph. According to Purdue OWL,

When citing two or more paragraphs, use block quotation format, even if the passage from the paragraphs is less than four lines. Indent the first line of each quoted paragraph an extra quarter inch.

That same linked page does clarify the use of ellipses in skipping words (even not for poetry):

If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipsis marks, which are three periods ( . . . ) preceded and followed by a space. [. . .]

Please note that brackets are not needed around ellipses unless adding brackets would clarify your use of ellipses.

Note that I did place my ellipsis in brackets; I felt that it would clarify its use here because the passage was discussing the use of ellipses. In the passage you cited I don't believe they would be necessary under MLA rules.

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