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Summary

Page history last edited by Ellen K. 9 years, 4 months ago

Part One

 

     1984 begins with Winston in his apartment staring at an empty book he bought. He begins to transcribe the “restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years” (10). His writing is interrupted to recall the event of that day that had pushed him to compromise his safety.  He recalls his day at work in the Ministry of Truth where describes his hatred for an attractive young girl from the Fiction Department whom he occasionally passes in the hallways. He hates this girl, Julia, because he knows she is a cog who would denounce him to the Party at the slightest act of abnormality. He also explains a man named O’Brien who holds a position of importance as a member of the inner-party. Winston deduces from subtle actions that O’Brien, despite his position, may, like himself, be against the Party.  It is immediately after the Two Minute Hate that for a fraction of a moment, Winston and O’Brien make eye contact. Winston is convinced that through this, the two were affirming their shared feelings of dissent against the Party.

     Winston realizes that during his recollection of that day’s events that he has subconsciously scribbled “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” all over the page.  Winston realizes that regardless of his actions, he will eventually be arrested for thoughtcrime.  He recalls a reoccurring dream where an unidentified voice says “we shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” (25).  Winston has suspicions that it is the voice of O’Brien. Winston also recalls a dream about his mother. He has only the slightest memories of his family but remembers his mother and little sister, whom he is convinced, gave their lives for him.  Winston is fairly certain that his family perished in the purges that take place in his youth. 

     Winston heads to his workplace where you see his job firsthand of correcting facts that are no longer true, which he enjoys doing.  It is during lunchtime that Winston grows concerned of Julia staring at him.  When he returns to his apartment, he continues relieving his frustrations in his diary, which he feels is an inadequate practice. Winston comes to the conclusion that the only hopes of overthrowing the Party lies in the Proles (Proletariat), but he fears they lack the collective conscious. Curious to see if anyone remembers anything from before the revolution, Winston walks through Prole neighborhood where he comes across the very store where he bought his diary. He goes inside where the proprietor shows him a room upstairs free of surveillance. Winston decides he will return.      

 

Part Two

 

     Few days later, Winston receives the secret message from Julia. It is a very short message with only three words: "I love you" (108). Winston is surprised and confused by this unexpected confession yet he wants to get in touch with her. They manage to meet from time to time in different places to avoid being caught by the Party since adultery is prohibited in Oceania. Julia is also against the Party although she has no intention to destroy them, nor is she interested in joining the Brotherhood. Winston decides to rent an old room behind Mr. Charrington's shop, a place free of telescreen, and uses it as a secret meeting place with Julia even though this means he has to be in the same room with his hated creature, rats, at all times. During this time, his co-worker Syme is "vaporized." This incident leads him to have a first time talk with O' Brien who then invites Winston to his house. Winston is thrilled by this invitation and decides to take Julia with him. He declares to O' Brien that he and Julia are the enemies of the Party. O' Brien, in response, tells them that the Brotherhood exists and Goldstein is a real person as well as offers to send him a copy of Goldstein's book. This book, however, does not give him any more insights than what he already knows: "He understands how; he did not understand why" (217). In the same secret room, Winston and Julia say to themselves "We are the dead" (221) when they hear a third person respond "You are the dead" (221). It comes out that the person is actually the voice from telescreen that is hidden behind a picture. Winston and Julia are captured within minutes by the Thought Police led by Mr. Charrington.  

 

Part Three

 

     After the arrest, Winston Smith is confined in the ‘Ministry of Love.’ In there, he meets the woman, Ampleforth, Parsons, and O’Brien. At first, he thinks that O’Brien is arrested as well, but soon realizes that O’Brien is the person who observed him for seven years. He finds out that this place is where the voice in his past dream meant by saying, “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” (25). “To cure him and to make him sane” (261), O’Brien tortures Winston physically and mentally through three stages of reintegration: Learning, understanding, and acceptance.

     During the stage of acceptance, Winston is sent to the room 101 where there is the worst thing in the world waiting for him. This worst thing varies from person to person and for Smith, they are rats. Experiencing the extreme fear of rats, Winston gives up his last humanity by shouting “Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!” (297)

     At last, he is released. He becomes the perfect man for the Ingsoc, the one without his own opinion or thinking. He and Julia meet after that and confess that they betrayed each other. In the end, Winston, in the Ministry of Love, confesses his strong love toward Big Brother and calmly waits for the execution.

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