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

Weeks or months have passed. Winston is getting fatter, his room has been made more comfortable. He dozes, dreaming happily of the Golden Country, of his mother, of Julia and O'Brien. He is relatively content. Being fed, clean, and unmolested are enough. As he gets better, he does a few pushups and begins to write on a slate.

At this point, he realized the foolishness of his single-handed attempt to oppose the party, and thinks he has given up. He knows the Thought Police have watched him for seven years, and that they have photographs and know everything about him. All he has to do is learn how to think as they think. He writes:

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

He writes:

TWO AND TWO MAKE FIVE.

But he can't keep from writing:

GOD IS POWER.

He believes he has accepted everything, that the laws of nature are nonsense, that everything the Party says is true. He tries to train himself to believe everything the Party says, no matter how ridiculous. Yet he still has to exercise crimestop and stop himself from asking treasonable questions.

In the meantime he wonders how soon they will shoot him. He daydreams about the moment, about walking down the corridor, waiting for the bullet in his back. The inevitability of death releases him from doubt, and makes him certain and strong. He imagines himself walking into the Golden Country of his dreams and memories. Before his capture, the Golden Country existed in the past for Winston; now it belongs to the release of death; it is a vision perhaps of heaven. Suddenly he shouts Julia's name. He loves her more than ever.


He has undone himself. The guards, knowing that, in spite of all his obedience, he still hates the Party, will be at the door in seconds. He has surrendered with his mind, but not his heart. The brainwashing will begin all over again, but he is determined, no matter what they do, to keep his inner self alive. They will shoot him one day but he will still hate them all.

To die hating them, he thinks, will be freedom.

O'Brien and the guards arrive. What does Winston think of Big Brother? Winston confesses that he hates him. O'Brien says it's time for Winston to take the last step. It is not enough to obey Big Brother, Winston must love him. O'Brien orders Winston to Room 101. Winston's last dream is about to come true: for this is the dark place with something terrible waiting for him, just out of sight.

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