What is a thought-provoking question for Part 2, Chapter 7, of George Orwell's 1984?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As Winston and Julia fall more deeply in love with each other and their relationship develops, Winston, in chapter seven of Part II, begins to have more memories of his mother and his childhood. Why do you think his relationship with Julia triggers these memories? What is the connection between his mother and Julia?

Winston also becomes less hate-filled as his relationship with Julia grows. He realizes, for instance, that for the first time, he does not despise the proles. He begins to see them as fully human, and he theorizes that they represent an old-fashioned form of humanity that does not exist in Party members. He think that, for the proles,

What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. . . .The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside.

Do you believe that what Winston surmises about the Proles is true, or is he simply being sentimental? How can you support your opinion?

Finally, after Winston and Julia discuss their inevitable torture and death, Winston thinks:

They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.

Based on a reading of the novel, do you believe this is true? Look particularly at the end of the novel, when Winston is in the Chestnut Cafe. Is there a part of himself that Winston has kept separate from the Party?

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are a couple of key events in Part 2, Chapter 7, of 1984 that can be used to develop a thought-provoking question for discussion.

In this chapter, for instance, Winston wakes up crying because he has remembered the "last glimpse of his mother." This is very painful for Winston because he remembers that he stole his sister's share of the chocolate ration. Winston ran away from the house and never saw his mother again. It is worth considering why these repressed memories are suddenly coming back to Winston or how he connects these painful feelings to the Party's control of Oceania.

Additionally, in this chapter Winston and Julia talk about the inherent dangers of their relationship. They know, for instance, that if the Party catches them in this room, they will be tortured and probably killed. Consider how Winston and Julia distinguish between confessing to their guilt and betraying each other. Is Julia right when she says the Party cannot alter the way people feel about each other?

What you say or do doesn't matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you—that would be the real betrayal.

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