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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTESPART ICHAPTERS 1 - 2SummaryThe first two chapters of the novel give a vivid description of the state of Oceania under an authoritarian, single-party rule. The main character, Winston Smith, is living in what used to be called London before the Revolution. It is clear to the reader that he is not supportive of the totalitarian government of Oceania.In Chapters 1 and 2,Winston Smith is shown struggling to write a diary away from the prying eyes of the telescreen installed in his flat. He reminisces about the incident that has occurred in the Ministry of Truth, where Winston works in the records department. That morning, during the 2-minute hate session, Winston sees O'Brien, one of the top officials of the Inner Party. While everyone during the hate session wasshouting and screaming at Goldstein, the enemy and traitor to Oceania, Winston pauses for a moment and turns. For perhaps a second or two, his eyes meet with O'Brien's. Something in O'Brien's eyes makes Winston think that, like him, O'Brien is not a loyal party member.While writing his diary, Winston is suddenly interrupted by his neighbor, Mrs. Parsons, who asks him to help her fix a pipe in herkitchen. Relieved that it was not the police, Winston goes over to the Parsons' flat, which is dirty and smelly. While leaving their flat, Winston is struck with a catapult by the Parsons' youngest son; he also accuses Winston of being a traitor. This makes Winston rather uneasy and he wonders if he is really safe from the thought police.NotesThe novel opens with a description of the futuristicsociety of Oceania. It is a highly mechanized, unemotional state that is ruled by the iron hand of a single party dictatorship. Life in Oceania is not pleasant. The physical deprivation and the bomb attacks on the city where Winston lives bring to mind images of Soviet society and war-torn Britain. There are shortages of essential items, such as food, clothing, and razor blades, all of which have tobe rationed, just as in Soviet society and war- torn Britain.Winston Smith represents the loneliness and alienation of the individual in a monstrous society ruled by machines and telescreens, which govern every single aspect of life. It is a society that denies friendship, companionship, love, trust, and family ties. It is also a society where no one is allowed to think against or question theRuling Party. Neighbors and children are taught to spy on others and report any improper behavior to the authorities. It is significant to note in Chapter 2 that the Parsons' youngest child attacks Winston and accuses him of being a traitor. Even the smallest children are brainwashed. |
CHAPTER 3SummaryIn Chapter 3, Winston is asleep, dreaming about his mother. He sees his mother and a babysister sinking into a dark hole, probably a well. They are looking up at him while he stands there watching. Winston's mother had disappeared when he was just 10 or 11 years old, but he has often dreamed of her. Next he dreams about a dark-haired girl in a beautiful countryside. In the dream, the dark-haired girl from his office throws her clothes aside and walks towards him. Her nakedness doesnot evoke any desire in him. Instead, what overwhelms him is the gesture. By her taking off her clothes, the girl seems to have destroyed the authority and control of the party. His dream is interrupted by the shrill whistle from the telescreen. It is the alarm to wake all office workers, which is sounded at 7:15 a.m. everyday. Winston drags himself out of his bed, totally naked, since he cannotafford pajamas. Each member of the Party receives only 3,000 coupons annually for clothes; a suit of pajamas costs 600 coupons. Winston can do without them.Winston is in a bad shape physically, suffering from vericose ulcer. Each morning he wakes up with a violent coughing fit. This morning is no different, and for a few minutes, he is doubled up on his bed, coughing till he grasps for breath.The...
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