1984 Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

George Orwell

Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

Winston regains consciousness to find himself strapped to some kind of cot, with O’Brien and a man holding a syringe staring down at him. Though his memories of his time so far at the Ministry of Love are broken by bouts of unconsciousness, he remembers having gone through a nightmarish period of routine brutal beatings, which he eventually realized all prisoners are subjected to as a matter of course, just as all prisoners are forced to confess to a long list of crimes. Sometimes he fought against confessing; sometimes he begged for mercy before the beating even began. After a while the beatings stopped, and Winston was interrogated not by armed guards but by Party intellectuals who questioned him for hours at a time. Though these interrogators made sure he was constantly uncomfortable and in pain, their main method of breaking him down was the relentless questioning itself: they accused him of lying and contradicting himself, screamed at him, threatened to have him beaten again, then called him “comrade” and asked him to repent in the name of Ingsoc and Big Brother. These interrogations broke Winston down even more than the beatings had, reducing him to tears until he confessed to every crime he was falsely accused of and implicated almost everyone he had ever known. Since the Party recognizes no distinction between thought and action, Winston reasoned that in a way these confessions were all true. Winston also has several disconnected, dreamlike memories: He was diving into a pair of glowing eyes. He was sitting in a chair surrounded by dials beside a man in a white coat when guards arrived to take him to Room 101. In another memory he traveled down a huge, light-filled corridor along with Julia, Mr. Charrington, O’Brien, and all the employees of the Ministry of Love while joyfully confessing his crimes, feeling forgiven and as though he had miraculously avoided something terrible....

(The entire section is 1264 words.)