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Jones, Aaronson, Rutherford

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Michelle Zhong

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Jones, Aaronson, Rutherford

Narrator's attitude
- Critical
knows that all stories about them are false
- Winston actually saw the three men at the Chestnut Café after their first confession,
a dated newspaper photograph showing them “at some Party function in New York”, on the same day that they had confessed that they had been somewhere in Siberia betraying important military secrets.
- “It was enough to blow the Party to atoms, if in some way it could have been published to the world and its significance made known (Orwell 82).”
- “They were corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave (Orwell 79)”
- not very sympathetic
How are they important?
Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford are essentially symbolic representation of victims of oppression under the reign of Big Brother. Their tragic fate betray the dehumanized nature of the Party, which forces invalid confession out of contributing members to the revolution through violence and torture. They are eventually killed by the Party to secure Big Brother’s power. By examining their story, appearance, feeling, and the rhyme played by the telescreen in their presence, George Orwell portrays the loss of humanity in Oceania under Big Brother’s rule.
Who are they?
- Three of the leading figures during the revolution, Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford are betrayed by Big Brother/the Party and arrested. Shortly afterwards, they are released after confession of spying, murdering, sabotaging the Party’s interest, and leaking information to enemies.
- During that time, Winston witnessed the three men sitting in Chestnut Cafe, Aaronson and Rutherford with broken noses, Jones with tears in his eyes.
- They were arrested a second time, forced to confess more deeds than before, and executed as traitors.


- Appearance: “they were men far older than himself… (Orwell 79)”
"At one time he must have been immensely strong; now his great body was sagging, sloping, bulging, falling away in every direction (Orwell 80)"
- Moral: “the glamour of the underground struggle and the civil war still faintly clung to them (Orwell 79).”
“Rutherford had once been a famous caricaturist, whose brutal cartoons had helped to inflame popular opinion before and during the Revolution (Orwell 79-80).”
- Social Qualities: “The three men sat in their corner almost motionless, never speaking (Orwell 80)”
- Behavior: “The three men never stirred (Orwell 80)” when the voice came out from the telescreen saying, “Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me: There like they, and here like we/Under the spreading chestnut tree (Orwell 80)”

Thoughts and feelings
- Thoughts: "They [cartoons] were simply an imitation of his earlier manner, and curiously lifeless and unconvincing.......an endless, hopeless efforts to get back into the past (Orwell 80)."
- correlate with Winston's thoughts.
- See futility and and pointlessness in the society that they are living in: Reality is remolded OR person is executed.
- Feelings: "The three men never stirred. But when Winston glanced gain at Rutherford's ruinous face, he saw that his eyes were full of tears (Orwell 80)."
- This shows their genuine feelings toward the society and the Party,
- unfair and unjust

The rhyme
The rhyme: the rhyme played through the telescreen at Chestnut Cafe is very symbolic of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford’s lives.
- diction embeds symbols
Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

At the playing of this rhyme, Rutherford’s eyes fills with tears. He is clearly triggered by the content and message of the rhyme, mostly because it reminds him of their deceived fate.

The original rhyme is as follows:
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree
I loved him and he loved me:
There I used to sit up on his knee
‘Neath the spreading chestnut tree.

Jones, Aaronson, Rutherford
Chestnut tree
- Symbolizes justice, honesty, and chastity, virtues that the Party promoted among citizens of Oceania.
ironic because this is what the Party did NOT do.
- Symbol contrdicts message
- By replacing the original rhyme’s “love” with “sold”, Orwell tries to convey the idea that betrayal occurs in the name of twisted justice, honesty and chastity, thus destroying the most humanly emotion: love.
- Resonates with the contradiction within Party Slogans.
- paradox and doublethink
- Represents Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford’s paradoxical and unfortunate fate.

- Comments on the growing extent of the Party’s destructive power to humanity.
- Virtue is merely a facade that shelters treachery and betrayal.
- Starting from Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, the Party’s incriminating reaches normal citizens, growing more and more powerful.

- Lie has two meanings: the position of resting (under the chestnut tree), or the act of telling a false statement (betray).
- link both the virtues of a chestnut tree and the opposing idea of betrayal as a way of brainwashing.
- Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford are victims of this brainwashing as no one save for Winston ever doubts their false confessions and blindly believes in whatever the Party wants one to believe.

“under the spreading chestnut tree,
I sold you and you sold me”.
Full transcript