Part 3, Chapters 4 and 5 Summary and Analysis
Winston slowly recovers his physical strength in a new, slightly more comfortable cell. He is no longer beaten or interrogated, and he is given better food, clean clothes, water to wash with, medicine for his ulcer, a set of dentures, and even cigarettes. At first he spends almost all of his time asleep, dreaming “happy dreams” of peacefully talking with his mother, Julia, or O’Brien. He is satisfied with being alone and thinks mostly about his dreams, feeling that without the constant threat of pain, he has “lost the power of intellectual effort.” Eventually he begins to sleep less and to build his strength by exercising. Though he is still very weak, he believes his body and even his face may be getting back to normal. He thinks to himself that it was absurd of him to ever have tried to fight the power of the Party, who had watched his every move for seven years before his arrest. Sanity is statistical, he thinks, and the Party is both immortal and in the right. Taking up a slate and a pencil that have been left for him, Winston writes “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,” “TWO AND TWO MAKE FIVE,” and “GOD IS POWER.” Accepting and surrendering to Party doctrine, he now regards his memories of the war with Eurasia and the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford as false memories. But when he tries to tell himself that because the Party dictates the laws of nature, O’Brien could float off the floor if he wanted to, Winston runs up against his old belief that this is impossible and could only occur as a hallucination, not as a real event. Though he stops himself immediately, telling himself that there is no such thing as the “real” world and that reality is only in the mind, Winston knows he never should have had the thought at all. He decides to train himself in crimestop by thinking up illogical statements the Party could make and forcing himself to believe in them, exerting great mental effort to deliberately not understand the arguments that would prove them false.
At the same time, Winston wonders when the Party will shoot him. He begins to imagine he is walking down the sunny passage from his earlier dreams and then through the Golden Country, feeling joyful, healthy, and finally free from fear, pain, and doubt as he waits to be shot. Suddenly, though, he returns to reality as he realizes that he has just called Julia’s name. In that moment he felt that he loved her more than ever and that she needed his help. Winston is horrified at what he has done, realizing that his cry has served as an involuntary confession of the fact that although he has surrendered to the Party intellectually, in his heart he still hates them. He resolves that from now on he will keep his surface thoughts and feelings entirely orthodox, but he will keep his hatred locked away, concealed even from himself, until the moment before he is shot, when he will defy the Party by dying an unrepentant heretic. “To die hating them, that was freedom,” he decides. Meditating on the degradation he will have to inflict on himself in order to achieve this almost total orthodoxy, Winston asks himself how he really feels about Big Brother. He is interrupted by the arrival of O’Brien and a group of guards. Clutching him by the shoulders and looking at him closely, O’Brien tells Winston that he was stupid to think he could deceive O’Brien; he has progressed intellectually but not emotionally. O’Brien asks Winston what his true feelings are toward Big Brother,...
(The entire section is 946 words.)