How does the weather contribute to the narrative in Orwell's 1984? 

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Winston at first is such a creature of the indoors that sunshine elicits a negative response from him. When he looks out the window of his apartment early on and sees the sun and blue sky, the world seems to him "cold" and "harsh," without color. When he meets Julia in the woods for the first time, he feels that the sunshine exposes him:

The sweetness of the air and the greenness of the leaves daunted him. Already on the walk from the station the May sunshine had made him feel dirty and etiolated, a creature of indoors, with the sooty dust of London in the pores of his skin.

But as they relax together and hear the beautiful song of a bird, Winston begins to unwind and enjoy the outdoors:

It was as though it were a kind of liquid stuff [the song of the bird] that poured all over him and got mixed up with the sunlight that filtered through the leaves. He stopped thinking and merely felt. The girl's waist in the bend of his arm was soft and warm.

This is the beginning of his rehumanization, a move away from the fear and hate that has dominated his thinking and towards love. From now, when Winston and Julia have either their outdoor rendezvous or their meetings at Mr. Charrington's, the sun will be shining, a symbol of the warmth between them and the joy they share. Significantly, shortly before they are arrested, Winston notes that the sun has gone down and is no longer shining on the courtyard behind Mr. Charrington's shop.

After his arrest, in the bowels of Minilove, Winston no longer experiences sunshine, except in his dreams of Julia. At the end, however, he sees a shaft of sunlight falling into the Chestnut Tree Cafe and envisions himself confessing his crimes, "walking in the sunlight," and receiving the longed-for bullet entering his brain. Here the sunshine is ironic, associated with his death.

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1984

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