1984 Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

George Orwell

Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Winston’s “sessions” with O’Brien continue, though he is no longer strapped down so tightly. He is less afraid of the dial now that he knows O’Brien usually only turns it when Winston shows stupidity. Today, O’Brien tells Winston that his “reintegration” in the Ministry of Love has three phases—learning, understanding, and acceptance—and that it is time for him to enter the second phase. He reveals that he himself is one of the authors of the book supposedly written by Goldstein and tells Winston that while the book’s description of the Party’s methods is accurate, its description of a gradual spread of free thinking followed by a proletarian rebellion is nonsense—the Party will remain in power forever. O’Brien acknowledges that Winston understands how the Party maintains power and asks him why he thinks the Party clings to that power. Winston, feeling weary at the sight of the unhinged enthusiasm in O’Brien’s eyes, replies that the Party believes it is ruling over Oceania for the good of the masses, who are unfit to govern themselves and are being given happiness in exchange for freedom. O’Brien sends Winston a jolt of pain with the dial and tells him that was a stupid thing to say. He explains that the Party cares nothing for the good of the masses and seeks power for its own sake. Unlike past oligarchies like the Russian Communists or the Nazis, the Party does not bother to pretend to itself that its dictatorial rule is a means to an end. Rather, the Party regards power, persecution, and torture as ends in themselves. Individuals can achieve power only by completely merging...

(The entire section is 856 words.)