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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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Leaving Mr. Charrington reluctantly, Winston heads home with the paperweight in his pocket. His heart almost stops when he sees a figure in blue overalls. It's the dark-haired girl, and he fears she is following him. Paralyzed, he wonders if he can brain her with the incriminating paperweight. He heads home, frightened and drained of the will to resist.

He takes out his diary, reflecting: "It was at night that they came for you, always at night. The proper thing was to kill yourself before they got to you." In what he took to be a moment of danger with the girl, Winston had lost the power to act.

This section is important to any study of Winston's character, since he thinks about O'Brien and about what will happen to him after the Thought Police take him away. He knows that before death he will suffer torture, but wonders why: after all, nobody ever escaped detection or failed to confess. "Why then, did that horror, which altered nothing, have to he embedded in future time?"


He reflects again on what he thinks O'Brien said: "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness." He thinks he knows where this is. It's the "imagined future, which one would never see, but which, by foreknowledge, one could mystically share in." Is this Winston's death wish at work? His loneliness? His desire to be like other people? It may be all three.

From a coin, Big Brother stares at him. He studies the legend:

WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

NOTE:

Orwell never quite manages to explain these slogans in the course of the novel, so they are defined in an unwieldly extract from Emmanuel Goldstein's revolutionary bible. We'll discuss this when we get to Part Two.

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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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