1984 Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis
by George Orwell

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Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

June arrives. Winston has rented the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop, which he and Julia are now using as their meeting place. Winston originally formed the idea of renting the room while imagining how the glass paperweight would look in it. The paperweight now sits on the old-fashioned table there. Mr. Charrington is aware that Winston is conducting a love affair in the room and has promised to keep this information to himself. Winston is aware that he and Julia are committing the most obvious, flagrant crime it is possible for Party members to commit with their trysts in the rented room, but the temptation of having a private place to be together is too much for either of them to resist.

While he waits in the room for Julia, Winston watches through the window as a huge prole woman pegs diapers on a clothesline in the courtyard. She sings a popular song produced for the proles by the Ministry of Truth’s Music Department on a machine called a versifactor, and Winston thinks her singing is almost pleasant. He reflects on how difficult it was to arrange meetings with Julia before he rented the room: both of them have been working much more than usual in preparation for an event called Hate Week, and the last time they made plans to meet at the clearing in the woods, Julia canceled after getting her period early. This made Winston angry, as he had begun to feel that he needed and had a right to Julia, but in the next moment he was overcome by tenderness as she squeezed his hand. He wished they had a place where they could be alone and at ease, and the next day he thought of renting the room above the junk shop. Both he and Julia know how dangerous this is, and Winston thinks now of the torture they will inevitably face in the Ministry of Love.

Julia arrives with her tool bag full of real coffee, tea, and sugar she bought on the black market. She then makes Winston face away from her. As he watches the prole woman contentedly hanging laundry and singing again, he thinks how dangerously unorthodox it would seem for a Party member to spontaneously burst into song. When Julia tells him to turn around, he sees that she is wearing makeup—something Party women simply don’t do. Winston thinks she looks much prettier and more feminine this way. When he embraces her, he realizes she is also wearing perfume—the same perfume the prole prostitute had worn, but that doesn’t matter to him. Julia tells Winston that in their private room she will be not a Party...

(The entire section is 685 words.)