1984 Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

George Orwell

Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

Winston sits on a bench in a bright white, windowless cell that he thinks must be in the Ministry of Love. The only other things in the cell are a door, a lavatory pan, and four telescreens. His stomach aches with hunger; though he isn’t sure how many hours ago he was arrested, he has not been fed since. He sits as still as possible before giving in to the temptation to fish for breadcrumbs in the pocket of his overalls, at which point a voice from the telescreen yells for him to keep his hands out of his pockets. Keeping still again, Winston remembers the first place he was brought after his arrest, an ordinary prison cell that resembled his current one except that it was dirty, noisy, and crowded with ten to fifteen people at a time, including both Party members and proles. While the Party prisoners looked terrified and said nothing, the prole prisoners seemed not to care about their situation, fighting with or trying to bribe the guards and yelling at the telescreens. Most of the proles expected to be sent to forced-labor camps where violent common criminals would form a privileged class and political prisoners would do the dirty work. At one point, the guards hauled in a huge, kicking, yelling woman of about sixty and dumped her on top of Winston. The woman slid off Winston’s lap, apologizing, then vomited on the floor. She seemed to like Winston and drew him nearer. When she found out his last name was Smith, she exclaimed that that was her last name too and that she could be his mother. Winston thought to himself that this was actually possible, considering how years in a forced-labor camp might change a person. No one else spoke to Winston, and the other Party prisoners seemed terrified of speaking at all, though Winston did overhear two women Party members whispering about something called “room one-oh-one.”

(The entire section is 1102 words.)