Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary
We are introduced to Winston Smith and the world in which he lives. He is a very aged thirty-nine year old man, with a small, thin stature. He works in one of the four Ministries that serve as the entire government of Oceania. The Ministry names and functions are as follows: The Ministry of Truth, which regulates all forms of media, entertainment, and arts; the Ministry of Peace, which presides over all aspects of war; the Ministry of Love, which is a form of judicial system; and the Ministry of Plenty, which governs economic affairs.
The description of life in his world is bleak at best. He lives in a filthy building that smells of boiled cabbage. The elevator is always broken and his flat (apartment) is on the seventh floor. He has a terrible time getting up and down the stairs on account of a constantly oozing and aching varicose ulcer just above his right ankle. When he finally gets home, he is greeted by the same type of environment that he just left at work: constant surveillance by Big Brother, the government. This constant watch is kept on him by a telescreen, which covers the wall and is constantly monitoring not only his every action and word, but also his facial expressions. The slightest notion through gesture or appearance against the Party means death or worse. He must, in every aspect of his being, be a member of the Party, the group that supports Big Brother. The Thought Police are always there to enforce that loyalty.
Every description paints a picture of a cold, dark, empty, colorless existence. The Party Slogans, "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH,"
are plastered everywhere the eye can see. Along with them, a portrait of Big Brother glaring with the caption, "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU."
The overwhelming and growing discontent that Winston feels is immediately evident. Although it is a risk to his life, he has somehow procured a pen, ink and a journal. There is a small alcove in his flat that just barely escapes the watch of the telescreen. He uses this as his sacred space to be himself and write. All of these actions are punishable by death. Even having a thought against the Party, which is called Thought crime, is labeled as an offense. When he begins to write he realizes that he is not exactly sure of the date, his exact age, or of his own history or that of the world. He thinks that it is April 4, 1984. He cannot really be sure of anything, however, because it is the intention and priority of the Party to systematically erase the past and replace it with whatever they want to create. In the 1950's, a process began to dissolve the past through destruction of all newspapers, books, etc. and subsequently rewrite all of history to suit the Party. Another part of this process includes the creation of a new language called Newspeak and complete dissolution of the current form of language known as Oldspeak. This process was to be complete by 2050. The new language will be exponentially shorter than the old language and void of emotion or imagery. For instance, all synonyms of good and bad, as well as the word bad will cease to exist. In their place will be the words good and ungood. In order to say very good, one would say doubleplusgood, and to say very bad, doubleplusungood would be used. The new vocabulary is being constructed strictly for political purposes. Words such as honor, morality, democracy and science are cut out of the language completely. The word free has been retained but only in the following type of context: "The floor is free from litter."
The telescreen serves more than just the purpose of monitoring the people; it is also the medium by which political propaganda is programmed into them. Throughout the day flashes of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People appear on the screen in the form of the Two Minutes Hate. This is a Newspeak term describing a two-minute period during which footage and narration are especially geared towards accessing the depths of fear and anger in the people and turning it loose in support of Big Brother. There is yelling, name-calling, and throwing of objects at Goldstein's' face on the screen, followed by group chanting "B-B" (standing for Big Brother) repeatedly. One has to be careful not to be too calm or uninterested during the demonstrations, as this would serve as a definite clue to the Thought Police who may not be in full support of the Party.
In this section, we were also introduced to O'Brien. When he started writing his journal, he felt like O'Brien might be the only one that could ever help him in the movement to bring down Big Brother. He is sure that O'Brien gave him a certain flash of the eyes that made him know they were both in the same place against the party. We learn that in general Winston dislikes women. He believes that they are the most likely to believe everything the Party says without question. The girl with dark hair is especially frightening to him. She is a member of the Junior Anti-Sex League and has a piercing glance that makes him sure; she is one of the Thought Police.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Analysis
His name is Winston Smith. His first name is ironic because he is anything because he is anything but a winner. It is also symbolic and flows with the theme of winning/Victory that the Party creates. Smith is one of the most common surnames. In this case, Winston represents the common person. The use of paradoxes is glaringly obvious, for example: The party slogans, "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." Also, take each Ministry name and function into consideration. The Ministry of Peace governs war. The Ministry of Truth heads entertainment, news, education, etc., which are most known in society for being biased and unreliable. The Ministry of Love is responsible for law and order, judgment against another. Love is the opposite of judgment. The Ministry of Plenty directs economic affairs, which is an obvious irony in this situation since under the political circumstances in the book scarcity abounds.
The Party provides Victory cigarettes to its people, the wrappers of which barely keep the tobacco in. Throughout the book, we also read about Victory gin, Victory coffee, Victory Mansions (which are the buildings they live in that are falling apart) etc. The word Victory is symbolic of the image that Party presents to the people of the state of their lives. This is also ironic because that image is obviously not reality.
Winston states on page nine that nothing is illegal because there were no longer any laws. This is ironic because the people were being judged and punished constantly, but by having no laws, the Party created the image of freedom.
Winston's' character starts to develop very quickly. We see in the first couple of pages that he is just playing the Party game but not believing it and by the end of the first chapter, we know the depths of his hatred against the Party.
In the midst of scrawling "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" in his journal, Winston is interrupted by a knock at the door. His insides jolt as he is expecting the Thought Police to be waiting to take him in. He is relieved to find that it is his neighbor Mrs. Parsons requesting some help with a clogged drain. In addition to the familiar smell of boiled cabbage shared by the building, Winston finds that the Parsons' flat stinks of sweat. We find out that this smell is the calling card of Mr. Parsons (Tom). He is not there, which is why Winston is being called upon to help with the clog. While freeing the drain he is attacked by the Parsons' children who were wearing the characteristic gray shorts, blue shorts, and red neckerchiefs that made up the official garb of the Spies. Organizations such as the Spies contributed to the unruly nature of most of the children in the Party. The children clamored on calling Winston a traitor and insisting to be taken to see the public hangings. Winston departed having suffered a painful catapult to the neck by the older boy. When he returned to his flat, he continued writing and his thoughts floated again to O'Brien. He remembered a dream in which a voice said to him, "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness." He had figured out that it was O'Brien's but could not place when he had made the connection. He thought again about the eye contact they shared this very morning. He wasn't sure at that moment whether O'Brien was with him or against him but he knew they had connected in some way. He continued writing, and realized that at that moment he was already dead. He wrote, "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death." Once he recognized himself as dead he made it his intention to stay alive as long as he could, and maybe make a difference for the future world.
Part 1, Chapter 2 Analysis
We are greeted with more irony at the start of this chapter. As Winston leaves his journal open to the words, "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER," he is attacked and called a traitor by the Parsons' children as he is unclogging their pipe. The scene is foreshadowing of the future he knows is in store for him.
Orwell describes Mrs. Parsons' as "a colorless, crushed-looking woman," and then describes her as having a "grayish face." Words such as gray, colorless, etc. are used throughout the book to paint a portrait of the typical person living under totalitarian government. What Orwell is trying to convey is that the people under that type of government aren't really living at all. The descriptions of the environment and situations endured by the people under the oppressing government in the book are more indicative of death than life. In this chapter and throughout the book Winston acknowledges himself as already dead.
Winston is dreaming. The dream started with images of his mother and baby sister then led to the girl with dark hair. He always thought of his family with remorse because he believed that they had been taken in order for him to be spared. He was awakened by the shrill alarm clock provided by the telescreen. He jumped out of bed naked because it was necessary for him to use his meager clothing allowance for work clothes and didn't have enough left for pajamas. Almost every morning the workout forced by the telescreen called the Physical Jerks is preceded by a coughing fit that only calms through a series of body contortions and spitting up of lung fluid.
The instructor coaches loudly and watches carefully through the wall to make sure everyone is pushing hard enough. This morning Winston wasn't exercising to her standards and she let him know it. She then proceeded to coax him into touching his toes with knees unbent. He succeeded at this for the first time in several years.
During the workout, he reflected on his childhood. He remembered a time when there had been peace in the country, even though the telescreen insists that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. He distinctly recalled an alliance with Eurasia at some point. However, his memories are useless because according to the Party slogan, "Who controls the past, controls the future- who controls the future controls the past." The Party clearly controlled the past by systematic destruction of all materials that would contradict any point they are currently pushing and re-creation of documentation to support their current claims.
Part 1, Chapter 3 Analysis
Color symbolism comes up again here. The only time Orwell uses a color (other than black, gray, or white) is to describe something during those moments that he feels alive. For example, the happy place in his dreams is called the Golden Country.
The idea of consciousness is another strand that pulls this work together. Orwell is creating an image of a population made unconscious by their ignorance, which put them under government control, which is perpetuated by the governmental control over them. He's showing us that once the world gets to the condition illustrated in the book, there won't be any way to get out of it. It's a catch-22. The people are required to be hypnotized and simultaneously forget that they are being hypnotized.
Winston trudged through his usual workday at the Ministry of Truth. He starts out by receiving slips of paper through message tubes, which list items in the newspaper, the Times, which are to be corrected. He then locates the issues on the telescreen and makes the necessary changes. Once the corrections are made, he has actually rewritten the past. He sends the pieces of paper into what's called the memory hole. The paper then meets its fate in flames and is destroyed forever.
The purpose of his work is always to make sure that any prediction the Party makes is right. He takes great pride in his plagiarism. He marvels at the fact that his acts of forgery were changing things that never really existed anyway. Most of what was in the newspaper were numbers and facts that had no basis in reality. Therefore, his job was to forge forgeries. For instance, if the Ministry of Plenty projected a quarterly output of one hundred forty five million boots and when the numbers come out they read sixty-two million, his job is to change the figure in the records so that Big Brothers' estimate in all recorded history would read sixty-two million. Very likely, there were no boots produced at all.
Part 1, Chapter 4 Analysis
Here is more evidence of paradoxical situations. One of Winston's' assignments at work is to create a person, whom he named Comrade Ogilvy, to serve as an example for the people. Comrade Ogilvy had been a model citizen his whole life. He was a complete abstainer, he didn't smoke, he had no recreation unless it was serving the Party, he took a vow of celibacy, and remained unmarried so that he could focus on duty. He diligently pursued traitors, thought-criminals and the Eurasian enemy, serving Oceania in every capacity possible. Once he was created, evidence for Comrade Ogilvy's' existence would be in all the history books. Conversely, once a person was vaporized, there would be no record that they ever existed.
Winston heads to lunch. The lunchroom is deep underground with low ceilings. Today the room is crowded and noisy. Winston runs into Syme, who works in the Research Department. Syme was hoping to get an extra razor blade from Winston since he'd run out. Winston lied and told him he didn't have any. Razor blades were one of the many items that were short in supply by the Party. At any particular time, there was any number of necessary items that Party members went without. There was always the option of attempting a search on the free market but it was usually to no avail.
They sat down together to eat their regulation lunch that consisted of a bowl of pinkish- gray stew, a small piece of bread, a nugget of cheese, and a cup of Victory coffee served without milk but with one saccharine tablet. Syme talked about his work project, the eleventh edition of the Newspeak dictionary. He became enthralled by the discussion of paring down the language to just the necessary basics of communication. He exclaimed, "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make Thoughtcrime impossible, because there will no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already in the Eleventh Edition we're not far from that point."
There had been a demonstration to thank Big Brother for increasing the chocolate ration. This was very strange since Big Brother had actually decreased the chocolate ration even though they had promised not to.
He looked around the lunchroom with annoyance. His eyes fell on Mr. Parsons, he smirked as he thought, "He would never be vaporized." He catches the girl with dark hair looking at him again and is sure that she has been watching him. He is also sure that she would never be vaporized either.
Part 1, Chapter 5 Analysis
Through Syme's words, Orwell shows us what he believes will happen if governmental controls continue to go unchecked. Control of the population through limitations is shown to the extreme here. At this point, not only is speaking monitored but also the language is being altered so that thinking can be controlled. Winston feels that Syme is too intelligent and that he will definitely be vaporized at some point because of it. In Oceania, even the people that fully believe in and follow the Party are not safe because intelligence is one of the real enemies to Big Brother.
Winston is marking an entry in his journal, and through his writing, we learn more details about the Party. If a member of the Party were to partake in promiscuity with a prole, it was punishable but not as severely as among Party members, which was deemed unforgivable. All marriages have to be approved by a specially appointed committee. The only reason marriage is allowed is to beget children who are then molded into working for the Party. If there is the slightest bit of attraction between the two, the union is refused. One purpose of the Party involvement in these matters to prevent couples from forming loyalty that Party couldn't influence but the main reason was to dissolve all pleasure from the sexual act.
Part 1, Chapter 6 Analysis
The color theme continues here. Winston is writing in his journal about a woman who he found appealing. He admits that what he most liked about her was the makeup on her face. Orwell uses subtle synesthesia here and throughout the book. The color makes him feel alive. The Party has taken all of the color (life) out of every possible aspect of living.
Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary
Winston writes in his journal, "If there is hope it lies in the proles." "Proles" is short for "proletarians," which is a word for the working class. He reflects on the current situation in Oceania where 85% of the population is proles. He thought about the percentage. The proles could easily take over the Party. An uprising would be unstoppable. The problem, of course, is that it had been easy for the Party to keep control of the masses. The Thought Police moved secretly among them, finding and removing any one who seemed to be a potential threat to the system. By disbanding any potential leaders and groups that started to form, they prevented the force that could instigate rebellion. They allowed them to commit all criminal acts and live in perfect ignorance. "Proles and animals are free," another Party slogan, succinctly describes the management of the majority of the population.
Winston observes women fighting over saucepans in the street. The shortage of supply of necessities affected proles and the members of the outer party alike. The party claims to have saved the people from the oppression of the capitalists, but their situation is even worse than before the Party's' rule. They just don't realize it. This point is repeated over and over again throughout the book. It was the ignorance of the people that caused them to be under oppression and it is the governmental upkeep of ignorance that perpetuates the system. The Party is called INGSOC in Newspeak, which is short for English Socialism. Socialism is a theory that advocates government ownership and control of all phases of production and distribution of goods. Orwell warns that while it seems innocent, logical, and efficient to have this type of system, it is impossible for it to work. The people ruling are ruling for the sake of power, which is addictive, and it won't stop until it has blossomed into full totalitarian rule, as in the book.
Part 1, Chapter 8
Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary
Winston walks alone down the street. It is the second evening at the Community Center he'd missed in less than a month. This is a great risk for him to take since they are not to be alone any time except at night in bed. The aroma of real coffee (as opposed to the Victory Coffee provided by the Party) wafted past his nostrils, reminding him of his childhood. As he strolled along a bomb came and obliterated a series of houses nearby. He is pelted by shattering glass from a nearby window. He passed a group of proles with their attention glued to the lottery numbers. There were many that placed their only hope for living on the chance of winning the lottery. The Party paid the large winnings out to people that didn't exist. The words he wrote in his diary echo through his head, "If there was hope it lay in the proles."
The neighborhood is familiar to him. It was where he bought his diary and the pen and ink. He spotted an old man in a pub and excitedly entered with the intention of trying to talk to him. He wanted to engage in conversation with someone in an older generation and ask about the past. He wanted some form of confirmation about history and the present time that he knew to be true. The old man was ornery and drunk. "You must have seen great changes since you were a young man," he asked. The man spun into a reverie of an incident at a boat race when someone knocked him over. Any further attempts Winston made at getting any kind of information out of him were also in vain. Feeling frustrated and helpless, he headed back to the street. He entered the shop where he had bought his diary. He spent a good bit of time there chatting with Mr. Charrington, the proprietor, as he showed Winston all of the few remaining wares in his shop. As he is leaving, the girl with dark hair passes. He freezes with panic. She must be following him. When he gets home, the telescreen is singing the latest song and he sits down with thoughts of the torture he will endure when he is brought in by the Thought Police.
Winston purchases a piece of coral suspended in glass. This piece is referred to throughout the rest of the book. It represents life (the color pink) kept in by glass (another grayish color representing the Party and oppression). He is always reflective when he looks at the piece, longing for the life that feels like it is just below his surface.
Part 2, Chapter 1
Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary
Winston is back at work and as he walks through a corridor, the girl with dark hair stumbles to the floor right in front of him. He starts to help her up and she crams a small note in his hand. Time is standing still as he sits in his cubicle waiting for an opportune time to read the note. When he finally reads it, he is shocked. He stares at it again to make sure he read it right, "I love you." Suddenly he is filled with desire. She disappears for a few days and he is unsure whether the Thought Police vaporized her or she killed herself. After her reappearance, he makes a few attempts to get her alone at a lunch table. He finally succeeds and they make arrangements to meet outside of work. At their brief meeting at Victory Square, they arrange another meeting when they can spend more time.
Part 2, Chapter 1 Analysis
As the girl with dark hair approaches Winston, Orwell describes her as "a solitary figure." This is symbolic because before he and Julia make their union that is what they both were. It had been four days since he'd seen her outside of Mr. Charrington's shop. When he saw her last, he had considered her the enemy and had contemplated bludgeoning her to death. Yet, when he saw her fall onto the floor with an already bandaged arm, his first instinct was to help her. He saw the human in her. Feelings welled up in him to which he was not accustomed. In this chapter, the element of love enters the scene. Love is synonymous with hope. Winston's' will to live grows stronger as does his sense of purpose. The first inkling of being alive comes with the idea of love. This is another place in the book where Orwell connects having feelings with being human. As the government strips away the liberty of feelings and then even the capacity to feel they are actually dehumanizing them.
Part 2, Chapter 2
Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary
On the appointed day, Winston made his way to the meeting spot. He arrived first and gathered some bluebells for the girl from the thick mass of them he had to walk through. She approached him from behind and made a motion to stay quiet. When they got a little further, she broke the silence. They exchanged various pieces of introductory information while she shared some chocolate she had gotten from the black market. They walked along and came to a pasture with a path meandering through it and intermittent molehills. He gasped with delight, "The Golden Country…" He had seen this landscape in dreams. They engaged in a romantic interlude and fell asleep.
Part 2, Chapter 2 Analysis
The use of the senses to represent life is obvious here. The color of the bluebells, the gold of the sunlight, the taste of real chocolate, romantic pleasure, hot sunlight on their
faces, and the softness of her body and hair all give the feeling that in this scene they are really alive. They feel far away from the cold, gray, mechanical, emotionless, dead world that has become their reality.
Upon awakening, Julia returned to her businesslike demeanor and gave him instructions for his return home. They had planned to use this hideout one more time but they never returned. They met once in a dilapidated old church but usually only in the streets. Among the crowds, they could talk by installments, which meant they walked separately and would cut in and out of conversation as they passed each other. Sometimes they had to leave a planned meeting spot without speaking because a patrol had just come by or a helicopter was circling.
Part 2, Chapter 3 Analysis
There is a stark contrast from this chapter to the last. They are back in their usual work routine, drones going through the motions. A bomb explodes covering them with white plaster. When they get up from the blast Winston sees Julia with the white plaster covering her skin and thinks she's dead. This is symbolic because as soon as they are back in the Party system, they are dead again.
Part 2, Chapter 4
Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary
Winston's eyes move around the small room upstairs from Mr. Charrington's shop. He was still surprised at himself for having rented it as a romantic rendezvous point for him and Julia. They enjoyed real coffee with real sugar. A rat visits and causes Winston to become pale. He is terrified of rats. They make plans to rat-proof the room as best as possible.
Part 2, Chapter 4 Analysis
The same themes we've seen continue here the smell of real coffee, the taste of real sugar, the colors of face makeup that Julia put on, and all the feelings that go with these things. The ticking clock continues the theme of their time running out. He reflected on the paperweight in yet another way: The paperweight was the room he was in, the coral was his and Julia's lives held in infinity in the center of the crystal.
Syme had finally been vaporized. Winston knew it would be coming for him eventually and now it had happened. He glanced at a list of the Chess Committee and found that Syme's name had disappeared altogether. This was the usual way when the Thought Police got you; all necessary changes in all records are made to make sure you had never even existed.
Winston and Julia continued to meet at Charrington's shop. Every moment they had together, they knew it wouldn't be much longer before the end. They had to be found out. Meeting in the same place so often meant sure death. They often lay naked discussing the possibility of the existence of Goldstein's' underground army, The Brotherhood. Winston is shocked to find out that Julia believed that Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. In reality, just four years ago Oceania was at war with Eastasia. She had bought in to what the Party created! She didn't understand why it was such a big deal. He was mortified that she didn't see that the past was being destroyed right in front of their eyes and nobody noticed.
Part 2, Chapter 5 Analysis
Words like windowless, stench, horror, hate, faked, embellishing, funeral and angry all continue the tone of the world condition in 1984. As preparations for Hate Week culminate, we see the many ways that Orwell believes the government can program us. For instance, movies, parades, slogans, lectures, fake photographs, rumors, reproduction of books, songs, posters, etc.
Part 2, Chapter 6
Part 2, Chapter 6 Summary
The moment he had been dreaming about for so long finally happened! O'Brien made his move to speak to him outside of work. In order to get Winston his address he used the excuse of needing to get the tenth edition of the Newspeak dictionary to him. Under usual circumstances, no one was to know the location of a person's home or see one another outside of work. His mind jumped to the process that had started with the opening of the diary and culminating at this moment with this summons from O'Brien. Even in his excitement, he felt deader than ever.
Part 2, Chapter 6 Analysis
More words such as death, chilly, frightening, shuddering, dampness and grave, continue the mood. The place where O'Brien confronted him was almost the exact spot where Julia slipped him the note, which was in the Ministry of Love. This is ironic
because this Ministry is this arm of government that is responsible for law and order. In a very subtle way, Orwell shows us another method used to control, camaraderie. By seeming friendly and on the same page as Winston, O'Brien is more easily able to manipulate him. This is another warning that there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to the government. Feelings of camaraderie can lull a person into a false sense of security, as with Winston here.
Part 2, Chapter 7
Part 2, Chapter 7 Summary
Winston awoke. He had been dreaming of his mother again. He told Julia about the dream and explained many details of the part of his childhood that he remembered. The moment he awoke was the first time he knew that he didn't murder his mother. He had believed that he indirectly was responsible for her death until just then. He remembered war and chaos, rubble in the streets, and always being hungry. When his father had disappeared, his mother didn't show any outward emotion but her demeanor changed. He remembered that she became spiritless. She moved through the motions of life and duties of child rearing quietly and mechanically. He recalled how selfish he was in his youth, how he actually stole food from his baby sister because his hunger was so overwhelming and continuous. This conversation turned into a discussion about what would happen when they were caught. They figured at the minimum there would be physical torture in various forms, drugs, forced sleeplessness, long periods of solitude, machines that monitor nervous responses, and endless questioning. They agreed that they would both confess to things they did and even things they didn't to in an effort to save themselves from any further horror. They agreed with righteous indignation that no matter what they confessed no one could get them to change their feelings for each other. Winston thought about all the methods of torture they would use and decided that it didn't matter because they couldn't ever get inside of the mind.
Part 2, Chapter 7 Analysis
Winston awakes with tears in his eyes and Julia asks him what's wrong. He explains a dream he had been having. It all took place inside the coral and glass paperweight. He keeps seeing himself and his life as the little pink coral trapped inside the glass.
Winston remarks that the proles are humans and they are not. The degree of lifelessness he feels is so deep that he doesn't even feel like one of the species. The Party has taken every aspect of humanity out of the human experience.
Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8 Summary
Winston and Julia finally get up the nerve to go to O'Brien's' house. They get to see first hand the luxuries of members of the Inner Party: clean accommodations, real coffee, a servant and even permission to shut off the telescreen for short periods. O'Brien gets right down to business, explaining as much of the details of the Brotherhood as possible. The guests were surprised to find out that even the servant was a member of the secret anti-government coalition. O'Brien outlines the requirements of membership: they must be willing to steal, betray, be involved in things that could cause the death of thousands of innocent people, and anything else that is deemed necessary to the movement. They eagerly agreed to everything except separation from each other. He explained they way in which Winston would receive a copy of Goldstein's' book to study. When they parted, O'Brien started to say, "We shall meet again…" and Winston, remembering his dream finished his sentence, "In the place where there is no darkness?" O'Brien confirmed and Winston and Julia left.
Part 2, Chapter 8 Analysis
Orwell show the inherent hypocrisy of the Inner Party in the description of O'Brien's' quarters, "…the richness of the blue carpet gave one the impression of treading on velvet." There was cream-colored wallpaper and the whole place was perfectly clean. There were cigarettes kept in a silver box wrapped with silky paper that actually kept the tobacco in. They had real wine and the telescreen could be shut off. The scene in comparison to the lives of those outside of the Inner Party was reminiscent of how Big Brother described life in the time of the Capitalists.
Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9 Summary
Winston is exhausted from his part of the work in carrying out Hate Week. During the festivities of the sixth day of the celebrated week, the crowd watched with excitement as the speaker explained that they were no longer at war with Eurasia, they were now their allies. The new enemy was Eastasia. The crowd picked up and placed their fury on the new enemy without missing a beat. Nobody asked any questions or even wondered at the apparent contradiction. Now they had always been at war with Eastasia. All of records would soon reflect this change and it would be made permanent. In the midst of the irate insanity Winston was given Goldstein's' book in the way that O'Brien had outlined. The only hope he had left was now in his briefcase.
After hurrying to the sacred space above Mr. Charrington's shop, he lay intently focusing on each word of the text as he read. Therein lay the reality of the world situation according to Goldstein. He pored over the material until Julia arrived, at which point he started back at the beginning and read to her. As he continued to read, he realized that he was receiving more information as to how the system worked but he still didn't have any insight into why.
Part 2, Chapter 9 Analysis
Orwell describes Hate Week: "…when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such a delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the two thousand Eurasian war criminals that were to be publicly hanged…they would have unquestionably torn them to pieces- at just this moment it was announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally." The fact that Orwell describes this intentional summoning of hate in terms of an orgasm is not a coincidence. It has been a theme throughout the book that the Party by controlling the sex act uses the pent up energy has fuel to perpetuate their system. As soon as the announcement to the public changed the status of the enemy, everyone threw their force into the new proclamation without question.
Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary
Winston and Julia awoke to their destiny. A voice behind the picture they had often talked about while enjoying their private time spoke with an iron voice. It informed them not to move and that the house was surrounded. As Mr. Charrington walked in with a changed demeanor, they knew that they were looking at a member of the Thought Police.
Part 2, Chapter 10 Analysis
The woman downstairs from the apartment they rented from Mr. Charrington was always singing. They could hear her clearly from the open window every time they were there. The words she sang are another strand of the theme of the inevitableness of their capture and the nature of the unavoidable process to follow. She sang, "It was only an 'opeless fancy, It passed like an April dye, But look an' a word an the dreams they stirred, They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!" It was a hopeless fancy to think that there was ever a chance of getting away with their flagrant disrespect of the Party rules. Their time together was short and passed quickly. The result of the tortuous process of molding them to Party specifications resulted in the Party stealing even their hearts.
When the Thought Police entered, one of them picked up the coral and glass paperweight and threw it, smashing it into pieces. This is symbolic of their hope being destroyed and their fantasy lives being obliterated. As the tiny piece of coral rolled across the floor Winston thought, "How small it always was!" This is symbolic of the smallness of their effort compared to the all-encompassing strength of the Party.
Part 3, Chapter 1
Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary
Winston looks around the white porcelain cell. Hidden lights flooded the room with bright light. He was surrounded by four telescreens. The ceilings were high and there was a low steady hum that could be heard at all times. He thinks he may be in the Ministry of Love but since there were no windows, it's hard to tell. His hunger pains were growing and strengthening. Hoping to find some breadcrumbs, he sticks his hand in his pocket only to be loudly chastised by the telescreens. No movements were allowed. The Party prisoners were always scared and quiet while the regular criminals were insolent and loud. It is impossible to tell how long he had been in there. There is no sunlight coming in from anywhere, so he can't even tell if it is night or day. There was a constant parade of prisoners in and out of the room. During this time, Winston hears about Room 101. From the way people are using any tactic to try to avoid it he knows it is the most horrible place imaginable. He hears boots approaching outside the door. He is shocked to see who enters. It is O'Brien.
Part 3, Chapter 1 Analysis
Winston sees Tom Parsons in jail. Parsons admits that there is only one crime, Thoughtcrime, and he is guilty. This is the ultimate irony because he was the Party poster child. This is showing that no one, no matter how genuinely involved with the Party, is safe from their judgment. Nobody's behavior could ever measure up to the impossible standards set by the Party.
Part 3, Chapter 2
Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary
Winston lay on a bed. O'Brien is standing over him. There is a man with a white coat and a syringe. He reflects on the number of times he had been beaten and the length of each beating. He had confessed everything. He had admitted to things he hadn't even done. He rolled down a hallway shrieking with uproarious laughter and shouting confessions. O'Brien, the man in the white coat, Julia, and some others all rolled and laughed with him. During a moment of wakefulness he hears O'Brien's voice saying, "Don't worry Winston; you are in my keeping. For seven years, I have watched over you. Now the turning point has come. I shall save you, I shall make you perfect." The voice Winston heard was the same that he heard in his dream seven years ago; "I shall meet you in the place where there is no darkness."
Winston is hooked up to a machine that floods his body with pain at O'Brien's' command. O'Brien asks him questions and if they're not answered to his liking, he gives the hand command. The pain is gradually increasing with every hand motion. O'Brien gently asked, "At this moment, what power is Oceania at war with?" He answered Eastasia. O'Brien continued, "…And Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, has it not?" Winston hesitated. He knew that just a week ago before he was arrested Oceania was at war with Eurasia but he also knew if he didn't give a satisfactory answer
the pain would come again. It seemed that during the whole interrogation process O'Brien could read his mind. O'Brien told him to answer his truth. Winston did just that. O'Brien explained to him that it was a delusion. He cited other 'delusions' he had over the course of the last few years and then explained what the reality was.
Winston can't understand why the Party would spend so much time and energy getting him to agree with their ways instead of just killing him. O'Brien explains that he is a flaw in the pattern and that they are not content with obedience or submission. He further explains that when Winston finally surrenders to them it must be on his own free will. They would not allow martyrs to go the grave exalting their cause with their death. The painful process continued.
Part 3, Chapter 2 Analysis
An undercurrent of deceit, of things not being what they seem, flows through the book. O'Brien made him think he is representing the movement against the Party and he really is the Party. This is another way Orwell is showing us that in life, with government, things aren't what they seem. He is urging us to look deeper. He is warning us not to be ignorant and encouraging us to think for ourselves. He is scaring us into doing our own research and fighting against any movement, no matter how small, towards more governmental control.
Part 3, Chapter 3
Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary
O'Brien explains the three stages of Winston's' reintegration: learning, understanding and acceptance. Room 101 will be his entrance into the second stage.
Winston learns that O'Brien is one of the authors of Goldstein's' book. He explains how it is all nonsense and would never happen. Winston remembers that he understood how the Party's' system worked but he never got a handle on why. O'Brien explained the why very simply, that the Party wants power for its own sake. "The object of power is power."
Part 3, Chapter 3 Analysis
Orwell makes it clear that regardless of whatever reason the government gives for increasing control it is all a cover-up for their addiction to power. Through O'Brien, he explains that a dictatorship that understands that the quest for power is at the root of their system cannot be overthrown. He cites that this was the mistake of other groups like the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. He writes that they took power with the intention of giving up the power once things have been made better for everybody. He differentiates Big Brother from other movements by saying that they seized power and do not intend to give it up.
He is feeling and looking better every day. The light and hum were the same but his new cell was more comfortable than the last ones. It had a pillow, mattress and a stool. He was being fed regularly, the food was good and they even gave him some meat. He has been given warm water to wash with and they had given him new clothes. He spent less time sleeping and started doing strength exercises. The Party had succeeded in breaking him down enough to accept everything they said to be true.
He wakes himself up yelling, "Julia, Julia, my love…" He knows his sleeping antics have betrayed him. He wonders how long he has added to his sentence from his outburst of emotion.
As expected, O'Brien shows up in his room. He gives Winston the status of his progress. He is improving, and mentally he is fine, but emotionally his progress is stagnant. He reminds him that he is always able to tell when he is lying and then asks him if he loves Big Brother. Winston answers no, that he hates him. O'Brien tells him he must love Big Brother and sends him to Room 101.
Part 3, Chapter 4 Analysis
They had broken him down so much that he was totally content with just being able to eat and be clean. As a result, by this point, his mind had surrendered and he obeyed the Party. Despite his strict adherence to the he was still hoping to maintain the privacy of his heart. His mid-dream outburst betrayed him. The Party would not rest until complete deterioration of every part of his being had occurred. Orwell believes it would be the same for us if socialism got a foothold and had a chance to erupt into a dictatorship.
Orwell writes that Winston reflects on his naïveté in thinking that he could ever do anything to dissolve any of the power of the Party. His every move that he thought to be secret had been watched by Big Brother. The purchase of the diary and writing implements, the journal entries, the paperweight purchase, and every aspect of his relationship with Julia had all been carried out with meticulous care so as not to be caught. Meanwhile, they had been watching him the whole time like "a beetle under a magnifying glass." The symbolism of the beetle under the magnifying glass represents the smallness of his effort under the greatness of Party. It represents the ease in which they could monitor and squash the small things that they saw, even though the magnitude of his effort felt so valiant to Winston at the time. He understands now that resistance is futile. The Party is God looking down on the tiny beetles that make up the population of Oceania. Nothing could be hidden from the Party not even feelings that the person is not conscious of having.
Winston is in the worst place imaginable- Room 101. He knew it would be terrible from the reactions of everyone that was to go there. He still couldn't imagine what could be so terrible that he didn't already endure. O'Brien explained to him that in this room is the worst thing in the world. What is considered the worst thing in the world varies from person to person. In his case, O'Brien continued, it is rats. So there it was, the place where one would face their worst fear. Winston filled with terror at the word. He yelled and pleaded. O'Brien ignored him and continued describing a contraption that would allow the rat to be kept in a cage strapped to his head with walls on three sides, the forth side being Winston's' face. O'Brien unsympathetically explained rats' tendencies to chew their way to freedom frantically. The cage was fastened on his head and he could smell the stench of the creature. His vision was blocked so that he could only see one huge old rat, with pink claws reaching up through the metal. As a last minute hope he screamed, "Do it to Julia, not me…" As he spiraled into the darkness of helpless fear he heard a click and knew that it was the cage door closing shut instead of being opened. He had saved himself. He had also betrayed Julia.
Part 3, Chapter 5 Analysis
At every point of Winston's imprisonment, he could feel what level of the building he was in. Room 101 was down as far as one could go. This is symbolic because the Party had to stoop to their absolute lowest, most inhumane level, and the victims were torn down to the very lowest possible state without being dead.
O'Brien explains to Winston that process of using the rats in a facemask was used in Imperial China for punishment. China is a Communist country. Orwell's mention of this is not an accident. He is explaining the similarity between the type of government that INGSOC has become and the type of government that the world had been fighting against. The deleterious effects of Communism on the human condition had been well understood at the time this book was written. The major leaders of the world had united to stop the spread of Communism in order to protect the peace of their nations. They understood that need for power that drove the Communist movement would not stay contained within the borders of the countries with Communist rulers. The need for power would not be satisfied until the whole world had been taken over. The common person in free societies knew this and Orwell was appealing to the fear that was associated with China and the rule of their people.
This chapter shows us the alarming truth that even our emotions, our heart, the very essence of our being, can be programmed given the right kind of access. The type of governmental situation in the book would give that access.
Winston sat in the Chestnut Tree café listening to the telescreen. As he sat in his usual corner, a waiter continually filled up his glass of Victory gin without being asked. He quietly listened to the war updates while playing chess. He had a job that paid him better than his old one and money was never a problem anymore. Any thoughts he had were short and usually had burned themselves out before they could get anywhere. He had recently seen Julia in the street and he half-heartedly followed her. They got to a private place and began to talk. They calmly confessed to betraying each other. Without emotion, they agreed that after they were forced into the betrayal they couldn't feel the same about each other. It ends with Winston finally losing the war against his self and loving Big Brother.
Part 3, Chapter 6 Analysis
In the end, Winston becomes one of the proles. All along, he had said if there was any hope it lay in the proles. In the state the Party reduced, him to, it is clear that there could be no hope in the proles, meaning that there is no hope at all. He understands why he couldn't get any information out of the old man in the bar, why the man could only talk in nonsensical circles. They had gotten a hold of him, too. He finally understands the song that he had heard at the Chestnut Tree Café, "Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me…" The Party system had forced him and Julia to betray each other's love. Their love was the only glimmer of hope through most of the book, and with their final betrayal, nothing was left. He remembered that Julia told him they couldn't get inside of him. He knew now that they could.
Orwell is making it clear from the ending that nothing, not hope, not love, not even the human spirit, can win the war against a totalitarian government. This book is a warning to prevent the insidious process of increasing governmental control from having an outcome like this in our world. He's given us a glimpse into a potential future based on the current direction of government that is as relevant today as was when it was written (1949).
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