From Part 2, chapter 10 to part 3, chapter 1 of 1984, address how a main character is changing or evolving.

1 Answer

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The original question had to be edited.  Winston endures a great deal of change from Part 2 in Chapter 10 the first part of Chapter 3.  At the start of chapter 10, Winston is highly philosophical.  Noticing the Prole woman singing, Winston reflects about her place in the world.  While she might not be physically beautiful now, something Julia indicates by saying she's "about a meter" in terms of width, Winston reflects how at one point, she was beautiful. Winston is intellectually active at this point in the narrative.  He is an active part of the world around him. He recognizes that the woman is beautiful now not because of much in way of physicality, but because of the life she has led and her ability to sing her way through it.  In this moment, Winston understands that singing is a form of resistance.  Everyone sings, but the party.  Winston internalizes this reflection by asking Julia about the singing thrush during their first meeting.  

Winston's reflection and sense of wonder in the world is in stark contrast to how he acts when the Thought Police break through the walls and imprison both lovers.  Whereas Winston was reflective about the world, intellectually willing to engage with it, upon realizing that the Party has discovered them, Winston becomes frozen, paralyzed with withdrawal.  He doesn't move.  When Julia is beaten, he does not watch her and certainly does not defend her.  He simply stands still, white with fear. There is a stark contrast in how he was at the start of chapter 10 with how he is by the end of it.

This condition of paralysis continues into the first book of the final part.  While in his cell, he sits still, refraining from anything that would get him reprimanded by the voice over the telescreen.  Throughout this chapter, Winston is more of an object, an embodiment of passivity who wonders what will be done to him.  The abuse he suffers reflects this passivity.  From the point in which he was listening to the Prole woman sing and the reflection which demonstrated him to be an active and intellectual participant in the world around him, Winston has become an object, dehumanized by fear and victimized by the forces that seek to remove the spirit of questioning and wonderment that was so much a part of his identity.