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Part 1, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Winston dreams about his mother and younger sister, both of whom disappeared when he was ten or eleven. In the dream, he sees them sinking deep down below him and understands that they are willingly sacrificing their lives for his. Winston reflects that the tragedy and sacrifice of his mother’s death is something that wouldn’t be possible today, when privacy, family, friendship, love, and complex emotions have been subordinated to fear, hatred, and pain. The dream then shows Winston a sunlit field he often visits in his dreams and thinks of as the Golden Country. Walking toward him across the field is the girl with dark hair, who tears off her clothes and throws them aside. Instead of feeling desire for the girl, Winston feels admiration for that gesture, which seems to him to have the power to destroy the Party’s whole ideology and to belong, like tragedy, to the “ancient time.”

Winston is awakened by the blast from the telescreen that acts as an alarm for every office worker. As he goes through the Physical Jerks, the mandatory morning exercise routine, he reflects on his childhood. Winston dimly remembers a time of relative peace when Airstrip One was called England. He recalls hiding with his family in a Tube station from an unexpected air raid around the time an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Colchester. Since then the war has been continuous, and though Winston remembers that only four years ago Oceania was at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia, the Party claims that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia. In this altering of the past, the Party is aided by “reality control,” in...

(The entire section is 441 words.)