1984 Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis

George Orwell

Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis

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.

Winston says, “We are the dead.” Julia...

(The entire section is 649 words.)