1984 – Reading Journal
Summary Chapter 1 and 2
We are introduced to Winston Smith the main character of the story. Works at Ministry of truth. Ministry of truth is one of four government buildings in destroyed London, the main city of Airstrip One, a province of Oceania. Year is 1984 and three contries are at war, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. Oceania is run by the party whose leader is Big Brother. Winston is sick of his life in the ruined city and decides to keep a diary. This is against the law in Oceania. He felt his feelings begin to hate Emmanuel Goldstein, leader of the enemy party. He also spots O’Brien, a party leader whose eyes he see’s a bit of political sympthy. See’s young girl who he dislikes. He feels it is only a matter of time before his though crimes are detected. A knock at the door he thinks is police. Mrs.
Parsons, his neighbor is at the door and asked him to unclog a sink. He does it but smells sweat all over the apartment. Mrs. Parsons is a follower of party doctrine and a fellow employee at the ministry. The children are members of Spies, a youth that encourages spying and telling on traitors, including parents. Winston is revolted. He returns home and writes a couple more minutes before going back to work. He remenbers a dream where O’Brien tole him he would meet him in a place wher there is no darkness. He washes his hands and hides the diary
Major ideas, conflicts and themes are introduced. We are shown how the earth has changed, into 3 main contenients. we are also introduced to the main character and how he fits into the new world. Also we are shown how the computer age has taken over peoples minds. The language is easy to understand, it has not really changed much over time. Seems like nothing left after nuclear war, just ruins remaining. We are introduced to Tom Parsons which Winston is contrasted with. The city is very drab.
“Big brother is watching you, the caption beneath it said” “Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever.”
Summary Chapter 3,4 and 5
Waking from dreams, he remembers his mother and sister, and can barely remember their disappearence and feels responsible for there deaths. He has another dream where he is in the perfect countryside with the girl he had noticed eariler. He dreamed she stripped for him. This time he is woken up by the telescreen, telling him to do his exercises. He thinks about how much power the Party has over all information. Begins work at the ministry of truth. His job is to correct printed articles in line with the Party’s orders. The Ministry and records department jobs are to rewrite history to make the party look good. They get a break because of the 2 minute hate. When he gets back he replaces a speech by Big Brother with invented history. Makes up story about a man named Ogilvy. The article had become contrary to the present party policy. It is replaced as though is never existed. Winston meets Syme, a philologist, for lunch. Syme explains parts about Newspeak. They are joined by Parsons. Winston thinks of the fate that each co-worker will recieve. Syme will be vapourized because he is to smart, where Parsons is dull enough to escape vapourization. He is the only one who has not been taken over by the propaganda that is always being brodcast. He notices the same girl from the other day starring at him and thinks it is the thought police.
The Golden country that he dreams about is definatly a release or a freedom from the the drabness of London. Also from the party. We are introduced to the fact that he has no mother or father or sisters or brothers anymore because they were taken by the party. He is realizing that he is rebelling against the party and he understands that he is at risk. Winston is in search of the truth and is concerned because of the party’s ability to change history. We find that he likes his work even though it is for the party and against morals. He is introduced to the girl that will play a big part in the book most likely.
“People in the Records Department did not talk readily about there jobs.”
“Winstons greatest pleasure in life was his work”
Summary Chapter 6,7 and 8
He records in his diary and encounter a couple of years ago with a prostiture made up to look young, but was really and old woman. This menory of the encounter causes him to think of the policy regarding sex and marriage which the party has enforced. This causes him to think of his miserable life with his wife Katherine, that he has not seen in eleven years. Winston resents the intrusinon of the Party into the sex lives of its members. Also realizes the discouragement of sexual enjoyment, that makes any love affair with a party member impossible. Writing down the incident does not help him. He makes another entry in his diary, this one concerning the proles. He feels they are the only group that might overthrough the party, but they are unaware of it. There is no way of finding the truth about the past but he does think that present life is worse than the past. He remembers a photo that came into his possession trying to change the pastbut he destroyed it. He plans to stay free. After work one evening, he wonders into the prole end of London, and ends up near the store where he bought the diary. Follows man into pub and plans to ask him about revolution but man is incoherent. He leaves the pub and wanders. He ends up outside the little antique shop and decides to buy a glass paperweight. Mr. Charrington shows him a room upstairs and Winston dreams of renting it. He notices a dark haired girl following himand he is sure it is the thought police and he will be arrested.
We discover that people have a bond when it comes to sexuallity that the party connot control. Even thought the party rejects sexual relationships between its members. Sexual experience is no longer allowed in the society and Winston longs for one. He confesses in his Diary about his last expereince but it does not help. We find he has faith in the proles and there ability to revolt. It is hard to set up a revolt with the thought police detecting every thought. Winston reaches a crises with the thought police.
“Winston reached down and cautiously scratched his varicose ulcer”
“Not a word could ever be proved or disproved”
Summary Part 2, Chapter 1, 2 and 3
At work he runs into the dark haired girl again, in the hallway. She falls and while he is lifting her up she slips him a note. He reads it at his desk and is amazed to find that it simple states, I love you. Eager and excited to meat with her, he has to wait 7 days until they eat together in the cafeteria. They decide to meet in Victory square. When meeting there, they arrange another meeting next sunday afternoon. At the designated meeting place, in the countryside outside London, he finally learns her name. Julia explains that she considers herself rebelious to the party. She has had sex with many other non-members. Suddenly he walks into the scene exactly like his dreem. She removes her clothes and they have sex. He belives that sexual desire may be the force that destroys the party. Following there secret meeting they meet each othe occasionally. Julie arranges the meetings. They go a month without seeing each other but whenever they can before and after. She belives that she must pretend to cooperate with the party and in secret break the rules whenever possible. Winston thinks that rebellion is the best answer. They discuss past girl and boyfriends and how the party controls them.
He is ready for the Julia but is worried about a possible trap. His negative approach to life and his sexual fustration make him ready anyhow. Once he commits to her he connot go back and he is committing though crimes. This may be the beginning of the end. He was happy to find that she was not a virgin and had previous affairs. His idea of revolt is changed and he now is enjoying being corrupted. Julia takes charge of the relationship, showing her aggressivness. She does not believe in Winstons ideas on rebellion and thinks that differently.
“A sense of helplessness took hold of Winston”
“Between you and me, the antique trade’s just about finished”
Summary Chapter 4,5,6 and 7
Winston does rent the room above the antique show and realizes the foolishness of what …..he and Julia are doing. She brings him coffee and real sugar and real old-fashioned make-up. Julie tries to remember an old nursry rhyme, while Winston immagines that he and Julia and the room itself were all closed in like the paperweight. Many preperations for the upcoming hate week keep Winston, Julia and the others very busy. Winston discovers that his friend Syme has dissappeared and all records of him have been altered. Meanwhile, Parsons is still busy and happy in the preperations for hate week. He was right about them. Because of the increased work load he and Julia do not meet as much but in the room above the antique shop they look at things from the past and other forbidden things. They discuss the hopelessness of there private rebellion and that it cannot go on forever. He is dissappointed that Julie does not reject propaganda from the partyand her theroy that the party sends bombs on itself. One day at work O’Brien gives Winston his address and asked him to stop by so tha he can lend him an advance copy of the Newspeak dictionary. Winstonthinks this is a conspiracy against the party and is excited but, thinks it will end in touture and death. Winston dreams of his mother again and the hunger and awful conditions there were before the disappearence. He feals bad for asking for rationed food and stealing his sisters choclate. When he came back they were gone. Winston tries to tell her but she is tired. He is glad him and her have there own feeling toward each other.
He rents room above the antique shop showing his independence and his plunge into the end. He wishes the room could be closed in like the paperweight. We find out how different the two main characters are. The state does not care what kind of person you you are. Julia understanding of the party is much better that Winston although she is nieve to many things that the party does. Winston defines his rebellion in three steps, first the thought then the word(Diary) then the act(Julia). O’Brien seems to be a good man, also in rebellion. His mother was like him.
“The timy interior of the shop ws in fact uncomfortably full, but there was almost nothing in it of the slightest value”
“A sharp cry of pain was wrung out of her”
Summary chapter 8,9 and 10
Winston takes Julia to the O’Briens apartment. He wonderes is O’Brien is also a rebel because he finds him in front of the telescreen, hard at work. Over toast he explains to Winston what is required of the secret rebel brotherhood. They except the terms of the menbership except that they will never see each other ever again. O’Brien promises to be given a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein’s book, secretly in the future. After a long week, of sorting through millions of documents, changing them to prove that the Party’s decision that Easstasia, and not Eurasia, was the enemy that they have been fighting all along. He rushes home to read the copy of the book. He reads while lying back and relaxing. Julia falls asleep when he tries to read her sections of it. When they awake from there sleep they start talking, but a voice issues from behind the picture on the wall. It is a hidden telescreen which instructs them not to move. They are rushed by armed guards. The Thought Police had been observing them all along. Winston and Julia are violently seperated. Mr. Charrington enters the room without his disquise, looking much younger. He is a menber of the thought police.
Winston thinks of O’Brein as a strong, unexcitable man. He is dedicated and wholeheartyu to the brotherhood. Winston joins the brotherhood and tells about his dreams. We understand about hate week a little more. Winston reads the book that is given to him by O’Brien. Winston and Julia get arrested. They find out that O’Brien was the enemy. There was a sorta feeling that O’Brien was the bad guy, and they would get cought sonner or later.
“He was a bit early”
“The lane widened, and in a minute he came to the footpath she had told him of”
Summary Part 3 Chapter 1 and 2
Winston is being held prisoner in a large, crowded cell at the Ministry of Love. Ampleforth and Parsons are both prisoners also. Parsons was tured in by his own daughter for thoughtcrime. He feels increased discomfort and room 101 is continually mentioned by several prisoners. O’Brien enters the cell with a guard and Winston now realized he has been betrayed by him. O’Brein is a member of the Inner Party. O’Brien orders the guard to strike Winston who feels a great deal of pain on his elbow. Winston is tortured both physically and mentally for an unknown length of time. He keeps getting interrogated with beations and questions until he confesses to many crimes. O’Brien reveals that he has been watching Winston for seven years. O’Brein wants total rehab. from Winston. O’Brien explains why the party can never be defeated. He has been informed that Julia quite easily betrayed him and has now been released totally rehabilitated. Winstons questions about room 101 is not answered.
Finally he is caught by the thought police, which was inevidable since the beginning. He realizes that he has been betrayed by Julia and O’Brien. But he says he would never betray her. All time is lost while he is in jail. We is going to be rehabilitated and is taken to the dreded 101 for more mind games. Winston does not crack, except that O’Brien gets him to believe is a little crasy.
“Listen the more men you have had the more I love you”
“We can come here once again”
Summary Chapter 3 and 4
O’Brien tells Winston th esecond stage of his rehab. is about to begin-understanding the why in party. He also tells winston that he wrote sections of Goldstiens book. He says the Party rules for the sake of power, and power alone. The proles will never revolt. O’Brein questions him further and punishes him when he does not answer correctly. Winston says he is morally superior to the Party, but O’Brien has a tape of the conversation about what Winston was willing to do to join the brotherhood. Winston thinks that the party will be defeated by a noble man, but O’Brien shows Winston himself in the mirror. Winston weeps looking at his own aged and ghastly body. He conforts himself by thinking about how he never betrayed Julia. Winstons health is improving, and he is trying to accept the rightness of the party. He examines the past events and realilizes the party was in control the whole time. He realizes also that he party can make anything right if is wants to. He has to practice doublethinking. He wakes up from a troubled sleep, calling Julia’s name. O’Brien enters his room and Winston confesses that he still hates Big Brother. He is sent to room 101.
He had also looked to O’Brien for sanity and stength and kindness but now he sees what he really is a power-hungry guy who likes infliction of pain. He finds out he has been watched for 7 years. After being broken or cracked he still has the fact that he has not turned against Julia. They completely destroyed Winston and he has now entered the party.
“Have you heard the rumours of the existance of the brotherhood.”
“The brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an orgainization in the ordinary sense”
“He was tired, but not sleepy any longer”
Summary Chapter 5 and 6
The torture room is brightly lit, room 101. O’Brien says that the room contains the worst thing in the world. It turns out to be rats in a cage which can be strapped over his face. Winston yells and screems and is overcome by the horror and the terror. He screams that this punnishment should be given to Julia and not him. O’Brien spares his life. Winston is then released. He is sitting under a tree at the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He drinks very heavily now. He remembers meeting Julia and how they talked about how they betrayed each other. The party would not allow them to see each other, but neither felt anything anymore. He remembers a game of his childhood but then it is pushed out by the broadcast that comes on the telescreen. Eurasia is once again the enemy. His heart fills with love for Big Brother.
The party knows the worse nightmare of each person and is ble to use that against them. It worked on Winston. Finnally he gives in and the party has won.
“He did not attempt to kiss her, nor did they speek”
“He loved Big Brother”