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Free Study Guide-1984 by George Orwell-Free Online Booknotes Summary
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CHAPTER 4

Summary

Winston, broken in body and spirit, decides to accept the ideas of the party. As a result of his acceptance, he is moved to a better cell and given more food and clothes. He cleans himself and begins to put on weight. His physical wounds also begin to slowly heal; but he still bears emotional scars. Once, he wakes up screaming, "Julia! My love Julia!" He feels anxious about her whereabouts.

By the end of the chapter, Winston finally accepts whatever the party says. He is even convinced that 2 + 2 makes 5 and believes in the party's slogans that "Freedom is Slavery."


Notes

The reader is made to sympathize with Winston, who is now broken in body and spirit and totally brainwashed. He knows that if he does not espouse the party's ideas, O'Brien will continue to torture him. Through the example of '2 + 2 = 5', the author makes the reader understand the means the party uses to brainwash the people. If Big Brother says something is true, it must be true; if Big Brother wants to change the equation to its correct form of 2 + 2 = 4, then that would also be true, for the Party says so. This "doublethink" is forced on the people in all kinds of situations, causing them to be unable to distinguish the real truth. In spite of the fact that Winston's mind is now caught up in doublethink, he is determined to keep his spirit free.

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