Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary

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Last Updated on March 10, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 649

Winston wakes up with the feeling that he has slept for a long time, but the clock says otherwise. Julia notes that it has gotten colder and wants to make coffee, but the stove has, strangely, run out of oil. The two of them get dressed and look out the window at the singing prole woman as she hangs up a seemingly endless series of diapers. For the first time Winston realizes that the woman is beautiful, though her sturdy, coarsened body shows the effects of years of hard work and childbearing. With his arm around Julia’s soft waist, Winston reflects on the fact that the two of them can never have a child; they can only pass on their ideas. In contrast, the prole woman has no ideas to pass on, but she continues to sing after having spent a lifetime raising children and doing domestic work. Winston feels a sense of reverence toward her. Gazing at the sky, he thinks how strange it is that the sky is the same for people all over the world and that the majority of the world’s people are the same in spite of the ignorance, hatred, and lies that separate them. One day, Winston believes, these masses will rise up and create a world of equality and sanity. Though he still hasn’t read all of the book, he feels certain Goldstein’s final message is that hope lies with the proles. Winston compares the proles to birds who will stay alive to pass on their undefeatable vitality from generation to generation, a vitality the Party lacks. He asks Julia if she remembers the thrush that sang to them, and Julia replies that the thrush wasn’t singing to them or even to itself; it was simply singing, just as the proles do. The future belongs to them, Winston believes, and though he and Julia will never see it, they can share in it by passing on the knowledge that two plus two is four.

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Winston says, “We are the dead.” Julia repeats the phrase, and then a third, “iron” voice repeats it as well. Terrified, Winston and Julia leap apart. The voice commands them not to move, and neither thinks of disobeying. The picture of St. Clement’s Dane crashes to the floor, exposing a telescreen, which is where the voice comes from. Winston hears the tramping of boots and a cry of pain from the courtyard. Julia says to Winston that they may as well say goodbye. The voice from the telescreen echoes her before a different, familiar voice recites a line from the rhyme Mr. Charrington taught Winston: “Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head!” The room then fills with men in black uniforms. All Winston can do is try to stay still so that the men won’t hit him with their truncheons. One of the men smashes the glass paperweight, and Winston thinks how small the piece of coral always really was. Another man kicks him, and yet another punches Julia. Still not daring to move, Winston watches her writhe on the floor, feeling her pain and her struggle to breathe until two of the men pick her up and carry her away. Then Mr. Charrington comes into the room and, his former cockney accent gone, commands one of the men to pick up the broken pieces of the paperweight. Winston suddenly realizes it was Mr. Charrington’s voice he heard on the telescreen. Though he is still recognizable, Mr. Charrington’s appearance has changed entirely: he is much younger than he seemed and wears a cold expression. He is, in effect, a completely different person from the man he once appeared to be, and Winston realizes that the proprietor of the junk shop is actually a member of the Thought Police.

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Part 2, Chapter 9 Summary

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