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Transcript of George Orwell:1984
Book 1:Chapter 1-4
Book 1: Chapters 5-8
Book 3: Chapters 1-6
TYPE OF WORK · Novel
GENRE · Negative utopian, or dystopian, fiction
LANGUAGE · English
TIME AND PLACE WRITTEN · England, 1949
DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION · 1949
PUBLISHER · Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
April, 1984, Winston Smith(39 years old) drags himself to his home in Victory Mansions on the 7th floor. The face of Big Brother covers the posters that are everywhere with the quote "Big Brother is watching you." Other posters read "Ingsoc," Which is a mix between English and Socialism. Except in undisclosed areas, two-way telescreens are installed in every public and private room in Oceania so that the Party can monitor the population through the police patrol and the thought police.. Winston is employed as an editor (read: creator of propagandist lies) in the Records Department at the Ministry of Truth. From his window, Winston sees the four governing branches of the Party: the Ministry of Truth, which deals with historical records; the Ministry of Peace, which wages war; the Ministry of Love, which is basically the White House; and the Ministry of Plenty, which plans economic shortages. There is one place in Winston’s apartment that is hidden from the view of the telescreen: the alcove. Winston starts writing a diary in the alcove.. Winston has a varicose ulcer above his right ankle that itches and gets inflamed often.. The Party’s chief enemy is Emmanuel Goldstein, whose "lean, Jewish face" flashes across telescreens multiple times a day and serves as the subject of the "Two Minutes Hate" episodes.
Winston has lunch in the canteen with coworker/comrade Syme, who works in the Research Department. Syme is a genius of sorts, but too smart for his own good. Winston imagines that the Party might vaporize Syme someday.. Syme and Winston discuss Syme’s work on revising the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Syme tells Winston that the aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought, with the end goal of making thoughtcrime literally impossible since there soon will be no words in which to express anti-Party sentiments. The brunette co-worker Winston fancies but hates suddenly stares at him in the canteen. Winston is so paranoid he confuses lusty looks with thoughtcrime suspicions.
Winston leaves his cubicle at work for the restroom. Four days have passed since we last saw Winston wandering the prole district.
He encounters the brunette "spy" in the corridor – she falls, hurting her arm, and passes him a scrap of paper folded into a square. The note says, "I love you."
Winston suddenly feels an intense desire to live. Then he doesn’t know what to do.
After two more days, Winston manages to sit at the same table in the canteen as the brunette. They quickly arranged to meet each other among crowds at Victory Square at seven that evening.
When they do meet, the thick crowd hides their movements from the telescreens.
The brunette gives Winston precise directions to a place where they can be alone the next Sunday, at 3 p.m.
They briefly hold hands, hiding amidst the crowd.
Cut to said Sunday. Winston follows the brunette’s directions and the two meet in the countryside in some bushes, away from telescreens and hidden microphones.
The brunette kisses Winston, and tells him that her name is Julia.
Winston feels confident with the hiding place, given Julia’s apparent experience.
Julia tears off her Junior Anti-Sex League sash and shares a small slab of luxury chocolate with him. They continue walking through the bushes and into the woods.
In the woods, Julia tears off her overalls, flings them aside, and they do the deed.
Winston asks whether Julia has had sex before. She answers that she’s done it scores of times and always with Party members.
Winston responds that the more men she has been with, the more he loves her, for he sees sexuality as the ultimate form of rebellion against the Party.
Indeed, Winston is thrilled that the animal instinct – simple sexual desire – is still alive. With it, they are able to strike a blow against the Party.
The two lovers fall asleep..
Winston believes that the stability of the Party depends on having a lot of paralyzingly stupid people around – like Tom Parsons, his neighbor and coworker.. The Party decides everyone needs to love the Party and not anyone else, except Big Brother. So they eliminated love among family members, actual lovers, friends, and one-night-stands.. You own nothing and the Party owns everything. Winston writes the diary for the future, and the unborn. He writes about a movie he had previously seen, O'Brien, and an intriguing brunette in his workplace.
Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present
controls the past.
Apparently, the Party despises littering. Oceanians are to deposit every scrap of paper they find into the ominously named "memory holes," slits in and alongside buildings leading to underground furnaces where all documents are destroyed.. Winston’s job consists of faking the truth. He alters print sources to ensure that they are in agreement with the Party’s version of past and present events.. He oftens thinks that the Part's version of the truth may not entirely be true.
War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; and Ignorance is Strength.
Winston dreams about the past. More specifically, he dreams about his mother’s disappearance when he was age 10 or 11, the alluring brunette at his workplace, and Shakespeare. He wakes up with "Shakespeare" on his lips. A whistle from the telescreen wakes Winston up at 7:30 a.m. He goes into a coughing fit, his ulcer swells and itches, and he has to complete the routine morning exercises the telescreen orders him to do. While Winston exercises, and again because the future sucks, he tries very hard to remember as much as he can about the past. His reflections lead him to doubt the Party’s authority on certain matters. He concludes that he had never heard the word "Ingsoc" before 1960, but he can not prove it.
Winston takes a stroll through prole streets, and envies the lives of the ignorant and the free. He wanders into a pub for beer, and strikes up a conversation with an old man about life pre-Party. Winston passes by the secondhand store in which he bought his diary. We meet Mr. Charrington, a 63-year-old widower who had owned the shop for about 30 years. Winston purchases a glass paperweight containing pink coral. He likes it because 1) it’s useless and 2) it has a link to the past.Chatting with the owner, Winston is soon led upstairs to a room in which Mr. Charrington and his deceased wife used to live, but that is now abandoned.. Seeing that no telescreen exists on the wall (indeed, there is only a print of St. Clement’s Church hanging where a telescreen ought to be), Winston ponders the possibility of renting this room so he could be alone in private.On his way home, Winston encounters a Party member in blue overalls (Party uniform), and sees that she is the brunette coworker. He takes this as confirmation that the brunette was spying on him. Frightened, he temporarily contemplates murdering her with the paperweight in his pocket.
Winston writes in his diary about sex.He starts off by discussing his encounter with a prostitute in 1981, moves on to his fifteen month marriage to Katharine,and finishes off with the Party’s denouncement of physical attraction and sex for pleasure. Winston hates on the unthinking, brainwashed followers of the Party, such as Katharine, as he continues to reminisce about sex with her, which she saw only as a "duty to the Party" to make baby comrades.
Winston writes in his diary that if there is hope in overthrowing Party rule, then it lies in the proles, the disregarded masses comprising 85% of the population of Oceania. The proles are largely untouched by the Party; they’re not smart enough for the Party to bother brainwashing. Winston looks through a children’s history book and copies the passage about capitalists into his diary.. Winston now recalls an occasion when he had proof that the Party was changing history. At one time, in 1973, Winston had held in his hands evidentiary proof that certain people who the Party deemed never existed had actually existed.., unfortunately he destroyed it.
Upon waking up, Julia instructs Winston on how to return to London.
Over the coming weeks, the two arrange several meetings but only succeeded in getting it on once during the month of May.
Engaging in what they call "talking by installments" in prole districts after work, Julia reveals that she is twenty-six-years-old, lives in a hostel with thirty other girls, and had her first sexual encounter when she was sixteen with a sixty-year-old Party member who later committed suicide to avoid arrest.
Also, she is not interested in any organized revolt against the Party, but is always up for a some sex to quietly and personally rebel.
The two muse about the reasoning behind the Party’s anti-sex campaigns.
Winston tells Julia about a walk he once took with his wife, Katharine, three or four months into their marriage, during which he contemplated pushing her off a cliff to her death. Winston says that it would not have mattered whether he pushed her or not, because it is impossible to triumph over the kind of oppression the Party exerts over their lives.
Julia does not understand.
Syme (the genius co-worker) has vanished as Winston predicted. Now he has ceased to exist, therefore he never existed.
Winston observes the various preparations for Hate Week: posters, propaganda, Hate songs, and streamers.
Winston reflects that he met with Julia at least seven times during the month of June; all the sex has alleviated the symptoms of his varicose ulcer, his coughing, and his need for alcohol.
Winston briefly thinks about Mr. Charrington, the guy who runs the shop in the prole district and is always down for the small talk. Winston is thankful for the privacy sanctuary Mr. Charrington affords him and Julia. Sounds like more foreshadowing.
Winston is troubled by he and Julia’s impending death due to their affair which, in case you forgot, is completely illegal.
He fantasizes that Katharine will die so he can remarry, and even about changing he and Julia’s identities to become and live like proles.
Winston and Julia speak about politics and the Brotherhood. But Winston is annoyed by Julia’s selfish concerns and lack of lofty rebellious goals. He speaks of questioning the Party’s authority, an organized revolution, his intellectual crush on O’Brien, and passing on his efforts to the next generation.
Winston rents the room above Mr. Charrington’s secondhand shop for private time with Julia. The pair has been preparing for Hate Week at work, and because of the longer hours, Winston has become increasing frustrated sexually.
He daydreams about growing old and living a carefree life with Julia.
Julia bursts into the room with real coffee, milk, tea, sugar, and bread – luxuries that only Inner Party members are privileged to have. She puts on makeup – which she is definitely not allowed to do – and totally turns Winston on.
The two go at it and fall asleep afterwards.
Lounging in bed, Julia notices a rat and Winston proclaims that it is his biggest fear.
At 3 p.m. one day, months later, Winston sits at the Chestnut Tree Café, where dismissed Party members go to have gin. He is content, and now accepts all that the Party says and does.
He reminisces about that time back in March, 1985 when he had seen and spoken to Julia again. She had stiffened, her physique had coarsened and her face had been scarred by the torture endured, presumably. Or maybe they really did sick those rats on her…
At the time, Winston felt nonchalant about Julia. They spoke of their mutual betrayal and how torture can change people. They agreed to meet again, though neither intended to carry it out.
Winston cries. He remembers happy family life with his mother and sister, but wonders if it is a false memory; he listens to the telescreen spewing propaganda that he now truly accepts.
He daydreams about his time at the Ministry of Love. Most of all, though, he kind of wants to die via bullet to the brain.
He looks up at the picture of Big Brother on the telescreen, and feels joy over his love for him. He has achieved a victory over the traitor he used to be.
Winston wakes up in a bright, high-ceilinged, windowless cell in the Ministry of Love. At last, he is at the place where there is no darkness – the lights never go off. Four telescreens monitor him, one on each wall. He is referred to as "6079 Smith W."
The cell is crowded with ten or fifteen people, and very noisy. Winston observes that Party prisoners (political ones, nicknamed the "polits") are always silent and terrified, but the ordinary or common criminals seem to care for nothing.
Winston first meets a large prole woman who shares his last name (that would be Smith). Both contemplate the possibility of her being his mother.
Winston briefly meets a poet, Ampleforth, who was incarcerated for the crime of leaving the word "God" in a Kipling translation. Before long, he was dragged off to a mysterious place called "Room 101."
Winston then sees his neighbor and coworker, Tom Parsons, who’s supposed to be a goody-two-shoes. Parsons tells Winston that his little daughter chewed him out to the Patrols upon hearing his blabbering "down with Big Brother!" in his sleep.
Winston then meets a man dying of starvation, and watches as a man named "2713 Bumstead J" is beaten for trying to feed the starving man. Bumstead is then sent to Room 101. Bummer.
Next thing we know, Winston is completely discombobulated, not knowing how much time has passed or whether it is day or night. He dreams about saving Julia by agreeing to double the amount of pain allotted to him.
He also wishes the Brotherhood would send him a razorblade to kill himself with. Because that’s what brothers are for.
Finally, O’Brien enters Winston’s cell, and self-introduces as the chief operator of the Ministry of Love.
Winston is crushed that his intellectual crush ended up being unworthy, and a guard uses the truncheon to mangle Winston’s left arm.
At which point he doubts his ability to be a hero at all. So begins his journey of physical torture.
Book 2: Chapters 1-5
Book 2: Chapters 6-10
O’Brien makes supposedly subversive contact with Winston in the corridor at the Ministry of Truth. Winston feels as though he has been waiting for this moment for his entire life.
O’Brien discusses with Winston the tenth edition of the Newspeak dictionary, and tells him that he can take a peek at it if he makes a visit one evening.
Accepting O’Brien’s home address, Winston feels affirmation with regards to the conspiracy that he has dreamed of. He feels that this event is a continuation of what he started with the diary and then with his affair with Julia. Yet he still accepts that it will eventually lead to death at the Ministry of Love.
Winston awakes one morning in the room atop Mr. Charrington’s shop, crying. He tells Julia about his dreams of the past – repressed memories of his childhood revealed. Up until this moment, Winston has believed that he had murdered his mother. But the dream says differently.
Winston tells Julia that the Party has made them inhuman by severing familial ties and loyalties, and by its attempt to alter histories. The proles, he says, are the only human creatures left.
Winston and Julia discuss their future actions, given O’Brien’s contact.
The two acknowledge the possibility of 1) torture and 2) death if they get caught.
"Whatever," they say (roughly speaking,) "as long as we stay true to each other."
Winston feebly claims that confession is not betrayal, as long as you know on the inside that you are right. This is like integrity lite, or the diet version of principles.
Winston and Julia awake at eight-thirty p.m. The two discuss how the future depends on the proles and their progeny.
They realize that the two of them are kind of screwed. Or rather, that "they are the dead."
From behind the picture of St. Clement’s Church, Mr. Charrington’s voice repeats, "You are the dead." Turns out, that picture of St. Clements’s Church? Actually a dummy front for a telescreen. The house is surrounded by boots. No, wait, make that stomping boots.
The troops storm in through the window and proceed to kick and beat Winston and Julia. The troops drag Julia away. Mr. Charrington finally enters the room; Winston realizes that he is a member of the Thought Police.
Winston and Julia arrive at O’Brien’s luxurious flat. O’Brien turns off the telescreen in the room – a privilege only Inner Party members are afforded – and Winston eagerly declares he and Julia’s desires to work in the Brotherhood (you remember, that rebellious force against the Party). O’Brien and Martin, his Chinese servant, offer them wine. They toast to Emmanual Goldstein, their common leader..O’Brien questions Winston about his hiding place and tells him about the importance of Goldstein’s book, a manifesto of sorts, which he shall arrange for Winston to receive. Someone will drop off Goldstein’s book in a public place, and Winston is to have it read and returned within 14 days. O'Brien talks of a second meeting and Winston asks if this will be the "place where there is no darkness."
Goldstein’s manifesto is now in Winston’s hands. Winston goes to his private room atop Mr. Charrington’s shop to read it. Having worked more than 90 hours in five days leading up to the commencement of Hate Week,.He reflects back on Hate Week: the switch-a-roo on the 6th day planned by the Party on which a speaker announced that Oceania was at war with Eastasia, and not Eurasia; the subsequent riots by the masses blaming the switch-a-roo on Goldstein; the overwhelming eighteen hour days he and workers like himself spent in the Records Department to delete any reference to Eurasia having ever been an enemy…
As Winston reads through Goldstein’s The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, Julia joins him in their private sanctuary. He reads to her.
Ten torture methods later…Winston (like all the other prisoners) confesses to a long range of crimes – espionage, sabotage, etc. The confessions are a mere formality. This is so not over yet.
Winston’s spirit is broken (along with several body parts), and his sole concern becomes to 1) find out what they want him to confess, and 2) confess like crazy to avoid torture.
O’Brien is still running the torture show, by the way. Turns out, he’s been surveying Winston for the last seven years. Or so he says.
Winston is strapped onto a torture machine that is designed to stretch backbones until they break.
O’Brien controls the dial that directs the machine. Suspense builds. So does the tension.
O’Brien informs Winston that his crime was refusing to accept the Party’s control. Winston even went so far as to rely on his own memory.
Winston becomes brainwashed, as tends to happen when you’re on a backbone-stretching machine.
O’Brien informs Winston that Julia has long betrayed him, quickly and easily. Winston, by now focused on the backbone-stretching machine, doesn’t give a hoot.
You might be wondering why they do this whole torture business. Winston is too busy being tortured to wonder, but O’Brien tells him anyway, which is convenient for us. He says that they convert "traitors" before they kill them so that there are no martyrs.
After weeks of torture, O’Brien tells Winston that he is about to enter the second stage of the three-stage process of "reintegration": learning, understanding, and acceptance.
O’Brien reveals a cornucopia of information to start the process of reintegration: the Party is indestructible because it seeks absolute power for power’s sake; the Party will succeed indefinitely because it controls the only reality that matters – the human mind; the Party shall eventually be rid of all enemies because all private loyalties will be abolished.O’Brien forces Winston to look in the mirror for a picture of "humanity." Winston cries upon seeing his deterioration; he looks to be 60-years-old with the grayness, emaciation, and a not-so-straight spine.Winston lashes back, and O’Brien recognizes that there is one last strength: Winston has not yet betrayed Julia.
After weeks or maybe months, the torture eases. Winston grows fatter and stronger.
Voluntarily, Winston tries to make himself believe in Party slogans, and writes them down. He tries to learn to be stupid.
One night, he screams out Julia’s name in the middle of a nightmare. Guards come for him, and he realizes that he has a new goal: to die hating the Party. Now that would be a personal victory. To die hating the Party would be freedom attained.
Winston faces O’Brien, and tells him he hates Big Brother. O’Brien replies that the time has come for Winston to go to Room 101, because now he must not only obey, but love Big Brother.
O’Brien tells Winston that the worst thing in the world is in Room 101. What is the worst thing in the world, you ask? Well, it depends on the person.
For Winston, that thing is rats, in an Indiana Jones and snakes kind of way.
O’Brien threatens Winston by showing him a cage of large, vociferous rats, waiting to gnaw away at Winston’s face.
Winston, with the rats just inches away from his face, is terrified. The oh-so-chivalrous Winston shouts out, "do it to Julia!"
That does the trick for O’Brien. He’s satisfied. No more private loyalty = only party loyalty to Big Brother.
Big Brother is always watching you.