Study Guide

1984

by George Orwell

1984 Summary

Overview

1984

Summary of the Novel
The concepts of free enterprise and individual freedom no longer exist in 1984. Only three superpowers remain to dominate a world of hatred, isolation, and fear. Eurasia and Eastasia are two of these superpowers. Oceania, the other, is always at war with one of them.

Winston Smith is a 39-year-old employee at the Ministry of Truth, London, located in Oceania. His world is shaped by the Party and its dictator/leader Big Brother, whose face is everywhere on posters captioned “Big Brother Is Watching You.” Big Brother controls life in Oceania through the four ministries of Peace, Love, Plenty, and Truth. Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth involves revisions of historical documents and rewrites of news stories to reflect the Party’s infallibility.

The Party, which carries out government policies in Oceania, rations food, issues clothing, and selects social activities. Both chocolate and tobacco are in short supply during this latest war. Winston’s clothing, including his tattered pajamas, is government issued, and his evenings are spent in government-sponsored meetings.

War and hatred dominate Oceania, where the Party monitors every move and expression with telescreens, hidden microphones, and spies. The Thought Police, Big Brother’s secret militia, help the Party quell any sign of revolt by eliminating all who think or behave in a disloyal fashion. Hate Week intensifies feeling against Emmanuel Goldstein, Enemy of the People, while increasing devotion to Big Brother. The Party also preaches that the proles, the majority, are natural inferiors to be kept in check.

The Party, however, does not completely control Winston. He secretly buys an illegal diary in which he writes the heresy “Down With Big Brother.” In doing so, he commits the worst offense, “thoughtcrime,” a Newspeak term for the “essential crime that contained all others in itself.” Many of Winston’s thoughts revolve around his attempts to remember various events and people from his childhood, especially his mother who had disappeared years before. Winston tries to investigate the specifics of life in London before the Revolution, but it seems the Party has been successful in eradicating all remnants of daily life in the past.

Winston enters into an affair with the free-spirited Julia, a fellow employee at the Ministry of Truth. At the beginning they view their desire for one another as a political act against the Party dominated by hate and suspicion. Since promiscuity among Party members has been forbidden, they view their affair as an act of rebellion. As the affair continues, Winston’s feelings for Julia change. Although the couple knows the affair is doomed, they continue to meet secretly in an attic room above a junk shop owned by Mr. Charrington, the man who sold the diary, and later, a coral paperweight, to Winston. The lovers discuss the repressiveness of their lives and the possibility of joining the Brotherhood, the secret underground of Emmanuel Goldstein whose express purpose is to overthrow Big Brother.

At work at the Ministry of Truth, Winston is approached by O’Brien, an acquaintance who seems to share his views. After Winston and Julia visit O’Brien at his apartment, he recruits them as members of the Brotherhood and promises to send them a copy of Goldstein’s book, which details strategies to destroy Big Brother. Winston pledges to do whatever it takes, including murder and suicide, to erode the power of the Party.

The inevitable occurs when Julia and Winston are arrested in their secret room, betrayed by Mr. Charrington, a member of the Thought Police. Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love where he is starved, beaten, and tortured during the next months in an effort to “cure” him. Ironically, his torturer is O’Brien, who confirms his identity as a dedicated Inner Party member. Winston submits after a long struggle when he is taken to the mysterious room 101 and threatened with a cage of hungry rats prepared to devour him. At this point he finally betrays Julia.

Soon Winston is released, but he awaits the bullet he knows will extinguish him. He unexpectedly runs into Julia, who admits that she too had betrayed their love. Surprisingly, Winston feels no desire for her, preferring instead to take his usual seat at the Chestnut Street Cafe where he spends another night in his habitual alcoholic stupor. Winston knows that it is only a matter of time before the Party executes him; nevertheless, when the telescreen barks the news of the army’s latest victory, he weeps with joy. The Party finally controls Winston, whose defeat is summed up in the final sentence, “He loved Big Brother.”

Estimated Reading Time:

1984 is divided into three major sections of approximately equal length, each with separate chapters. Orwell also included an appendix on Newspeak. Thus, in order to maximize understanding, the reader should plan no fewer than four reading sessions.

By reading approximately 30 pages per hour, the reader should be able to complete the entire novel in 8 to 12 hours. He or she should also plan to spend more time on Part I, where Orwell establishes the frameworks of plot, characterization, and theme.

Notes
1. J. R. Hammond, A George Orwell Companion—A Guide to the Novels, Documents, and Essays (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982), pg. 172.

2. Ibid, pg. 173.

1984 Summary (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Nineteen Eighty-Four, a grim satire directed against totalitarian government, is the story of Winston Smith’s futile battle to survive in a system that he has helped to create. The novel is set in 1984 (well into the future when the novel was written) in London, the chief city of Airstrip One, the third most populous of the provinces of Oceania, one of three world powers that are philosophically indistinguishable from, and perpetually at war with, one another.

Smith, thirty-nine, is in marginal health, drinks too much, and lives alone in his comfortless apartment at Victory Mansions, where he is constantly under the eye of a television surveillance system referred to as Big Brother. Smith’s wife, Katharine, who lived with him briefly in a loveless marriage—the only kind of marriage permitted by the government—has long since faded from Smith’s life, and his day-to-day existence has become meaningless, except insofar as he has memories of a time in his childhood before his mother disappeared. In the midst of this meaningless existence, Smith is approached clandestinely by Julia, a woman who works with him in the Ministry of Truth. She passes him a note that says, “I love you.”

The next several months are passed with “secret” meetings between Winston and Julia. From Mr. Charrington, a shopkeeper from whom Winston has bought a diary and an ornamental paperweight, they secure what they believe is a room with privacy from Big Brother’s surveillance. During these months together, Winston and Julia begin to hope for a better life. Part of this hope leads them to seek out members of the Brotherhood, an underground resistance movement purportedly led by Emmanuel Goldstein, the official “Enemy of the People.” In their search for the Brotherhood, Winston and Julia approach O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party, a man who they believe is part of Goldstein’s Brotherhood. Smith trusts only Julia, O’Brien, and Mr. Charrington. He feels that he can trust no one else in a society in which friend betrays friend and child betrays parent. Both he and Julia know and articulate their knowledge that, in resisting the government and Big Brother, they have doomed themselves. Still, they seem to hope, much as the oppressed animals in Orwell’s Animal Farm embrace hope in a hopeless situation.

Winston and Julia’s small hopes are destroyed when they are arrested by the Thought Police, who surround them in their “private” apartment. They are further disillusioned when they learn that Mr. Charrington is a member of the Thought Police and that their every movement during the past months has been monitored. Winston realizes further, when he is later being tortured at the Ministry of Love, that O’Brien is supervising the torture.

Evident in both the Ministry of Truth, where history is falsified and language is reduced and muddied, and in the Ministry of Love, where political dissidents and others are tortured, is Orwell’s preoccupation with the effects of paradoxical political language. Even the slogans of the Party are paradoxical: “War Is Peace,” “Freedom Is Slavery,” and “Ignorance Is Strength.” The Ministry of Truth, particularly, is concerned with reducing language, moving toward an ideal language called Newspeak. To clarify the purpose of the language purges, Orwell includes an appendix, “The Principles of Newspeak,” in which he explains that Newspeak, the official language of Oceania, has been devised “to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism.” Once Newspeak is fully adopted, “a heretical thought—that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc—should be literally unthinkable.” It is because Winston Smith still knows Oldspeak that he has been able to commit Thought Crime.

In the Ministry of Love, Smith comes to understand how totalitarian control works, but he continually wonders about the reasons for it. Why, for example, should Big Brother care about him? It is O’Brien who provides Smith with the answer: power. Power, as O’Brien explains, is an end in itself. Power will destroy everything in its path. O’Brien concludes that, when all else is gone, power will remain:But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

The purpose, then, of totalitarian government becomes only that of sustaining its feeling of power.

Still, even late in the novel, when O’Brien forces Smith to look into a mirror at his naked, tortured body and his “ruined” face, Smith clings to the idea of his humanity. He says to O’Brien, “I have not betrayed Julia.” Yet Smith is stripped of this last tie to his humanity before Orwell’s bleak vision is complete.

After a brief time of physical recovery, Smith wakes from a dream, talking in his sleep of his love for Julia. He has retained some part of his will and concludes of Big Brother and the Party: “To die hating them, that was freedom.” Whatever he says in his sleep is, of course, being monitored by Big Brother. As a result, Smith faces his ultimate horror, the horror that makes him betray Julia. Physically and mentally ruined, Smith is released from the Ministry of Love to await the death that O’Brien has promised him. Smith retains only enough self-awareness to tell Julia, during their final brief meeting, that he has betrayed her. She, too has betrayed him.

Winston’s final defeat is encapsulated in the last words of the novel, seconds after the “long-hoped-for bullet” is “entering his brain.” He has become convinced of the insanity of his earlier views; his struggle is finished: “He loved Big Brother.”

1984 Summary (Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Externally, Winston Smith appears well adjusted to his world. He drinks the bitter victory gin and smokes the vile victory cigarettes. In the morning, he does his exercises in front of the telescreen, and when the instructor speaks to him over the two-way television, he bends with renewed vigor to touch the floor. His apartment is dingy and rickety, but at thirty-nine years old, he is scarcely old enough to remember a time when housing had been better. He has a decent job at the Ministry of Truth because he has a good mind and the ability to write newspeak, the official language. He is a member of the outer ring of the Party.

One afternoon, after giving up his lunch at the ministry, Winston has a little free time to himself. He goes to an alcove out of reach of the telescreen and furtively takes out his journal. It is a noble book with paper of fine quality, unobtainable at present. It is an antique, bought on an illicit trip to a secondhand store run by old Mr. Charrington. Although it is not illegal to keep a diary—there are no laws in Oceania—it makes him suspect. He writes ploddingly about a film he had seen about the valiant Oceania forces strafing shipwrecked refugees in the Mediterranean.

Musing over his writing, Winston finds to his horror that he had written a slogan against Big Brother several times. He knows this act is a crime, even if the writing is due to his drinking gin. Even to think of such a slogan is a crime. Everywhere he looks, on stair landings and on storefronts, are posters showing Big Brother’s all-seeing face. Citizens are reminded a hundred times a day that Big Brother is watching their every move.

At the Ministry of Truth, Winston plunges into his routine. He has the job of rewriting records. If the Party makes an inaccurate prediction about the progress of the war, or if some aspect of production does not accord with the published goals of the ninth three-year plan, Winston corrects the record. All published material is constantly changed so that all history accords with the wishes and aims of the Party.

There is a break in the day’s routine for a two-minute hate period. The face of Goldstein, the enemy of the Party, appears on the big telescreen, and a government speaker works up the feelings of the viewers; Goldstein is accused of heading a great conspiracy against Oceania. Winston loudly and dutifully drums his heels as he takes part in the group orgasm of hate.

A bold, dark-haired girl, wearing a red chastity belt, often seems to be near Winston in the workrooms and in the commissary. Winston is afraid she might be a member of the thought police. Seeing her outside the ministry, he decides she is following him. For a time, he plays with the idea of killing her. One day, she slips a little note to him, confessing that she loves him.

Winston is troubled. He is married, but his wife belongs to the Anti-Sex League. For her, procreation is a Party duty. Because the couple produced no children, they split up; Winston’s wife left him. Now this girl at work—her name is Julia—speaks of love. Winston has a few private words with her in the lunchroom, being careful to make their conversation look like a chance meeting. Julia quickly names a place in the country for a rendezvous. Winston meets her in the woods and, far from a telescreen, they make love. Julia boasts that she had been the mistress of several Party members and that she has no patience with the Anti-Sex League, although she works diligently for the group. She also buys sweets on the black market.

Winston again visits Mr. Charrington’s antique shop, and the proprietor shows Winston an upstairs bedroom preserved as it had been before the Revolution. Although it is madness to do so, Winston rents the room and, thereafter, he and Julia have a comfortable bed for their brief meetings. Winston feels happy in the old room, which has no telescreen to spy on them.

At work, Winston sometimes sees O’Brien, a kindly looking member of the Inner Party. Winston deduces from a chance remark that O’Brien is not in sympathy with all the aims of the Party. When they can, Winston and Julia go to O’Brien’s apartment. He assures them that Goldstein is really the head of a conspiracy that eventually will overthrow the Party. Julia tells of her sins against Party discipline, and Winston recounts his evidence that the Party distorts facts in public trials and purges. O’Brien then enrolls them in the conspiracy and gives them Goldstein’s book to read.

After an exhausting hate week directed against another enemy, Eurasia, Winston reads aloud to the dozing Julia, both comfortably lying in bed, from Goldstein’s treatise. Suddenly, a voice rings out and orders them to stand in the middle of the room. Winston grows sick when he realizes that a hidden telescreen has recorded the actions at O’Brien’s apartment. Soon the room is filled with truncheon-wielding police officers. Mr. Charrington comes in, no longer a kindly member of the simple proletariat, but a keen, determined man and a member of the thought police. One of the guards hits Julia in the stomach, and the others hurry Winston off to jail.

Winston is tortured for days—beaten, kicked, and clubbed until he confesses his crimes. He willingly admits to years of conspiracy with the rulers of Eurasia and tells everything he knows of Julia. In the later phases of his torture, O’Brien is at his side constantly. O’Brien keeps him on a rack with a doctor in attendance to keep him alive. He tells Winston that Goldstein’s book is a Party production, written in part by O’Brien himself.

Through it all, the tortured Winston has one small triumph: He still loves Julia. O’Brien knows about Winston’s fear of rats and brings in a large cage filled with rodents; he fastens it around Winston’s head. In his unreasoning terror, Winston begs him to let the rats eat Julia instead. Winston still hates Big Brother, then says so. O’Brien patiently explains that the Party wants no martyrs—they strengthen opposition—nor do the leaders want only groveling subjection. Winston must think right. The proletariat, happy in its ignorance, must never have a rousing leader. All Party members must think and feel as Big Brother directs.

Winston is finally released, now bald and without teeth. Because he had been purged and because his crime had not been serious, he is given a small job on a subcommittee. Most of the time, he sits solitary in taverns and drinks victory gin. He even sees Julia once. Her figure has coarsened and her face is scarred. The two have little to say to one another.

One day, a big celebration takes place in the tavern. Oceania has achieved an important victory in Africa. Suddenly, the doddering Winston feels himself purged—he now believes. Now he can be shot with a pure soul, for at last he loves Big Brother.

1984 Summary

Part One
In George Orwell’s 1984 Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party from Oceania (a fictional state...

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1984 Chapter Summary and Analysis

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Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Winston Smith: main character, employee at the Ministry of Truth

Big Brother: leader/dictator of the Party

O’Brien: official of the Inner Party, Winston’s co-worker at the Ministry of Truth

Emmanuel Goldstein: Enemy of the People

Julia: 26-year-old employee at the Ministry of Truth, worker for the Junior Anti-Sex League

Summary
On a cold afternoon in April 1984, Winston Smith returns to his apartment at Victory Mansions. He barely notices the many posters of a 45-year-old man with a black moustache whose captions read “Big Brother Is Watching You.”

Inside the apartment is a telescreen through...

(The entire section is 1040 words.)

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Mrs. Parsons: Winston’s neighbor

Summary
Winston’s writing is interrupted by his neighbor, Comrade—or Mrs.—Parsons, who asks his help with a repair. Her children play a favorite game: Spies. Thinking of the “child heroes” who denounce their parents, Winston supposes that the Parsons’ children are typical of most others. Dressed in the uniform of the Spies, the children leap about accusing Winston of all sorts of crimes, including “thoughtcrime.” Mrs. Parsons explains the children’s exuberance as pent-up energy because they have not been out of the house all day. It seems she has been unable to take them to the much-anticipated public...

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Part 1, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Winston’s mother: appears only in Winston’s dreams, disappeared many years ago

Summary
Winston only vaguely remembers his parents, who disappeared in one of the Great Purges of the fifties. Winston’s only memory of his father is of the thin soles on his shoes.

He recalls his mother and sister in a vivid dream where, as passengers on a sinking ship, they clutch one another right before it falls to the bottom of the sea. From the expression on his mother’s face, Winston can see that she died loving him. Winston is struck by the impossibility of this emotion’s existence in a society now dominated by war and hatred. Things have certainly...

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Part 1, Chapters 4 and 5 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Tillotson: employee in the Records Department

Syme: Winston’s friend, expert in Newspeak

Tom Parsons: Winston’s neighbor and coworker, loyal to the Party

Summary
Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth is to alter or “rectify” records to create documentary evidence supporting the Party. As soon as he finishes with the day’s assignment, he drops the instructions into the memory hole, where he assumes they are destroyed along with the papers containing the original information.

The Records Department is only a small branch of the Ministry of Truth, the primary purpose of which is to supply the citizens of Oceania...

(The entire section is 1035 words.)

Part 1, Chapters 6 and 7 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Katharine: Winston’s wife, loyal Party member who disappeared years ago

Summary
At home, Winston continues the illicit diary. His next entry begins with a vivid account of an encounter with a prostitute many years before. Writing this account, an exercise in frustration, makes him want to bang his head against the wall.

It occurs to Winston that one’s worst enemy is his own nervous system. He thinks of a passerby on the street who was having muscle spasms; most frightening was the fact that they were unconscious. This leads Winston to observe the most deadly danger of all: talking in one’s sleep.

Winston tries to refocus on the...

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Mr. Charrington: kindly old shopkeeper.

Summary
London is bombed as the war continues. Winston, who sees a human hand in an alley, has little reaction as he kicks it into the gutter.

On this long walk he meets an old man in a bar whom he asks about life before the Revolution. The old man has no recall of anything significant; as a result, Winston’s frustrations are intensified.

He wanders into the junk shop where he had bought the diary. There he buys a coral paperweight from the shopkeeper, Mr. Charrington, who seems glad for the business as antiques are not much in demand these days.

In an upstairs room Winston notices...

(The entire section is 422 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Four days after spotting the girl from the Fiction Department outside the junk shop, Winston sees her at work. After falling in the corridor she is having trouble regaining her balance since her arm is in a sling. Before he tries to help, Winston feels confused. On one hand, he believes the girl might be an enemy out to kill him; on the other hand, he sees a fellow human being in need. As Winston helps her from the ground, she slips a note into his hand.

Winston returns to his work station to begin some routine task. He thinks about the note. Maybe it is a summons from the Thought Police or perhaps a message from the underground, possibly from the Brotherhood. As soon as he senses that he...

(The entire section is 676 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

Summary
After traveling a considerable distance, Winston arrives at the predesignated meeting spot. Although there are no telescreens, he worries about concealed microphones and patrolling soldiers who might check his passport.

The girl arrives and leads Winston to a clearing on a grassy knoll surrounded by trees. Winston worries about rejection, but the girl is not put off by his age, physical appearance, or marital status. They embrace and kiss but Winston has no physical desire for her. He merely feels incredulous over the entire experience.

Winston finally learns her name: Julia. He confesses that he had hated the sight of her, thinking she was a member of the Thought Police....

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Part 2, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Summary
During the next few weeks Julia and Winston make love only once, in a ruined church Julia knows. Since meeting is so dangerous, sometimes after arriving at a spot the most they can do is exchange glances. Time is a problem as well, since so many evenings are devoted to Party activities.

Winston learns more about Julia. She is 26 years old; she lives in a hostel with 30 other women, and she works on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department. By her own admission she is not intelligent. Although she enjoys the process of creating books, she has little regard for reading them.

Julia remembers nothing prior to the early sixties. She is well-regarded at work, having been...

(The entire section is 676 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Winston rents the room above the junk shop. Mr. Charrington, who is obviously glad about the rent, seems unaffected by the fact that the room will be used for a secret affair.

Winston’s paperweight sits on the table. He has brought some Victory Coffee and saccharine. The clock on the mantelpiece reads 7:20, but it is really 19:20 in the outside world.

From the courtyard a solid-looking prole woman sings as she hangs the laundry on the clothesline. She is singing a melody created just weeks before by a versificator in the Music Department. To Winston, the melody, combined with the usual sounds of the neighborhood, seems delightful. Despite the noise, however, without a...

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Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Syme vanishes, almost as if he had never existed.

Meanwhile, preparations for Hate Week continue. Julia’s department is publishing a series of atrocity pamphlets. Winston spends part of his work day altering sections of old news stories that will be quoted in the latest speeches. The bombings of the city grow more frequent.

New posters that have no caption but show a large Eurasian soldier holding a submachine gun appear all over; wherever one goes the gun seems to follow. These posters seem to outnumber even those of Big Brother. Accompanied by the incessant bombing of innocent children, these posters foster an air of patriotism amidst the chaos of the city.

In...

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Part 2, Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Summary
O’Brien approaches Winston at work to talk to him about one of his recent articles on Newspeak. O’Brien refers to a friend whose name happens to have slipped his mind who has a high opinion of Winston’s work.

Winston thinks briefly of Syme, but Syme has been abolished, has become an “unperson.” Still, Winston believes this remark was intended as a sort of signal. In sharing this small act of thought-crime, Winston and O’Brien become accomplices.

As they continue down the hall, O’Brien remarks that Winston has used two words that are now obsolete in Newspeak. He offers Winston a new tenth edition of the Newspeak dictionary—not yet readily available—suggesting...

(The entire section is 366 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Awakening from yet another dream, Winston remembers his last glimpse of his mother and the circumstances of her disappearance. For the first time he clearly remembers these events, which had been deliberately suppressed for years.

Winston remembers childhood afternoons spent scavenging the garbage bins for scraps. Even his father had been unable to fulfill his role as provider; Winston’s most vivid memory of him is of his thin-soled shoes. After his father’s disappearance, Winston’s mother had merely gone through the motions of housekeeping and child care (a woman’s role at that time); she seemed to be waiting for something to happen.

After a lapse of some weeks, a...

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Part 2, Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Martin: O’Brien’s servant

Summary
After taking separate routes to avoid detection, Winston and Julia arrive at O’Brien’s apartment, where they are admitted by the servant, Martin.

For a moment, Winston feels embarrassed and somewhat stupid for believing O’Brien to be a political ally without any substantial proof.

O’Brien turns off the telescreen, a privilege granted only to Inner Party members. Confessing that he believes O’Brien is involved in the underground, Winston expresses a wish to join. He admits that he and Julia are thoughtcriminals and adulterers. He tells O’Brien they want to put themselves at his mercy....

(The entire section is 537 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Having worked over 90 hours in the past few days, a fatigued Winston makes his way to the hideout at Charrington’s shop with Goldstein’s book. Winston is thinking about the sixth day of Hate Week when, after numerous activities designed to increase hatred of Eurasia, the Party has announced that Oceania is at war with Eastasia and that Eurasia is an ally. After the announcement Winston spent much of the next week rectifying the political literature of the last five years. By the end of the sixth day, no documentary evidence of the war with Eurasia remains.

Upon arriving at Charrington’s shop, Winston begins the book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism....

(The entire section is 1514 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis

Summary
When Julia and Winston awaken to a cold room, it is 20:30. Winston looks from the window at the ever-present singing prole hanging the laundry below. Winston admires the sturdy peasant; in fact, to him she is beautiful. He thinks of all the people held apart by lies and hatred, yet possessing the same hopes and potential to overturn the world.

Winston suddenly feels convinced that he knows what Goldstein had written as his final message, that hope lies with the proles. Equality translates into sanity.

Winston reminds Julia of the thrush that sang so beautifully that first day they had met in the woods. Winston sees that everyone sings except the Party members. As a member of...

(The entire section is 359 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

New Character
Ampleforth: a poet

Summary
Winston finds himself in a cold, barren cell, presumably in the Ministry of Love, with telescreens monitoring his every move. This is his second cell. He had shared the first one with several other prisoners, including Party prisoners and common criminals. The Party prisoners were obviously easily intimidated and controlled by the guards, who gave them all the dirty jobs. They never spoke to anyone, including one another, except for a reference to “room one-oh-one.”

As Winston sits alone in his cell thinking of what lies in store, he thinks of O’Brien with hope, for perhaps the Brotherhood will send the razor blade...

(The entire section is 773 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Winston, who continues to be regularly beaten, realizes that these beatings are only the beginning, a matter-of-course. The torture continues by Party members whose aim is to humiliate and belittle him through the use of constant traps and contradictions. This torture is supposed to destroy his power of reasoning.

Even the suggestion of a beating brings Winston to tears, and his only purpose in life now is to avoid a beating by confessing to whatever the Party seems to want—including crimes he could not have possibly committed.

Overhead, a light glares as Winston is strapped into a chair with several surrounding dials. Although he fades in and out of consciousness, he seems...

(The entire section is 822 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Having completed the first phase of his treatment, “learning,” Winston moves to the second stage, “understanding,” which he must complete before being allowed to advance to the third stage, “acceptance.”

O’Brien, who admits to collaborating on Goldstein’s book, says that because the proletarians will never revolt, the Party will rule forever.

Winston now understands the “how,” but O’Brien also tells him “why.” Winston believes that O’Brien will tell him that the Party rules for the good of the majority. When he shares this view with O’Brien, he receives another jolt. O’Brien claims that the Party seeks power for its own self-gratification. He...

(The entire section is 618 words.)

Part 3, Chapters 4 and 5 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Since the beatings have stopped, Winston slowly has grown stronger, spending much time thinking and dreaming. Acknowledging how futile it had been to resist the Party’s power, Winston recognizes his own insignificance by mechanically writing, “Freedom Is Slavery,” and, “Two and Two Make Five.” Then, he writes “God is Power.” Although he remembers some contrary things, he dismisses the incidents as false memories.

Winston practices “crimestop,” a Newspeak term for the automatic process by which the mind stops any dangerous thought. In the back of Winston’s mind, however, is the recognition that the only sure thing in his life is the certainty that he will be shot from...

(The entire section is 474 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Finishing another Victory Gin, Winston occupies his usual seat in the Chestnut Tree Cafe where his routine is to sit alone in the corner table, drinking gin as he stares at the chessboard. He has been awaiting news of the war with Eurasia; Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.

Winston’s mind wanders as he continues to drink. Staring at the chess pieces in front of him, he briefly entertains the thought that Eurasia might win the war and the Party’s power would be shattered, but the thought quickly fades as he traces “2+2=5” in the dust on the table.

Winston sees Julia after his release. Like him, she has changed. Winston likens her body to the stiffness of a...

(The entire section is 479 words.)