1984 Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis
by George Orwell

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Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

Winston is relieved to find not the Thought Police but his neighbor, Mrs. Parsons, outside his door, asking him to take a look at her blocked-up kitchen sink. In the Parsons’ messy apartment, Winston reluctantly fixes the disgusting sink while Mrs. Parsons assures him that if her husband, Tom, were home, he would have fixed it right away. Tom Parsons works with Winston at the Ministry, and Winston describes him as a stupid, unquestioningly enthusiastic man who is a leading member of the Sports Committee and faithful participant at the Community Center. The young Parsons children then appear, dressed in the uniforms of a children’s organization called the Spies. They menace Winston with a toy gun, calling him a traitor, a thought-criminal, and a Eurasian spy. Winston finds this disturbing, but Mrs. Parsons blames her children’s behavior on their disappointment at not being allowed to go and watch the hanging of a group of Eurasian prisoners of war in the park that evening. As Winston is leaving, he feels a sudden jolt of pain—the Parsons boy has shot him in the back of the neck with a catapult. Winston notes the look of terror on Mrs. Parsons’s face as she drags her son, who calls Winston “Goldstein,” back inside. Winston reflects that most people are afraid of their children nowadays, as organizations like the Spies teach kids to be so enthusiastically loyal to the Party that they report their own parents to the Thought Police.

Winston returns to his diary and, while trying to think of what to write, remembers a dream he had seven years ago. He was walking through a dark room when he heard O’Brien’s voice say, “We will meet in the place where there is no darkness.” Though he doesn’t know if O’Brien is a friend or enemy, Winston believes there is a connection between them and that the words from his dream will come true. His thoughts are interrupted by a newsflash on the telescreen announcing Oceania’s defeat of...

(The entire section is 521 words.)