1984 By George Orwell Summary and Analysis Part 2: Chapters 2-3

Summary

Winston Smith and Julia meet in the countryside. They talk a bit in the hideout that Julia has frequented with other men. They walk to the edge of a pasture, which Winston remembers from his dreams as the Golden Country. A bird lands on a branch near the couple, and Winston muses on its presence. Returning to the hideout, Winston and Julia make love. Winston discovers that Julia likes physical intimacy, unlike his former wife, and partakes in it quite frequently with Party members. Winston is happy in the knowledge that corruption and unorthodox acts happen often within the Party. They leave the hideout and agree to meet there again; instead, they meet in the belfry of a ruined church.

Julia tells Winston more about herself in the belfry, especially about her job, her love affairs, and her hatred of the Party. Winston and Julia discuss being caught. "We are the dead," Winston says to her. Julia is not convinced and keeps a more positive attitude. She draws a map in the dust of the place where they will meet again.

Analysis

Julia personifies the psyche of the oppressed individual under absolute despotic rule who suppresses individuality, creativity, and personal human relationships. She seems to be an absolute orthodox member of the Party, but in her "personal" time represents the exact opposite of what a Party member should be: She is at once in the Junior Anti-Sex league and participates in sexual activity with Party members. She prepares banners for Hate Week, while believing that those kind of Party functions are wholly without value. Everyone in Winston's immediate world demonstrates a kind of apparent social-political schizophrenia, believing one way and behaving another.

The Golden Country where Winston and Julia meet alone for the first time is the symbolic motif that developed when Winston dreamt earlier in the novel about Julia being there and flinging off her clothes. The bird in the pasture is clearly a symbol for freedom — the kind of freedom that Winston desires. "For whom, for what, was that bird singing?" Winston asks himself. "No mate, no rival was watching it. What made it sit at the edge of a lonely wood and pour its music into nothingness?" These are questions Winston should be asking himself of his new relationship with Julia and, in fact, of his relationship with Big Brother. The bird is everything Winston is not but wishes to be.

The memory of the incident with Winston's wife, Katharine, is significant in that it describes a more orthodox or acceptable sexuality in Katharine, and it introduces another symbol: the two different colored flowers growing from the same root. The two flowers are Winston and Katharine or Winston and Julia, and the root symbolizes what the two have in common that sustains their natural individuality and differentness. Both are from the same root but are quite different in their philosophies.

The conversation at the end of Chapter 3 illustrates the fundamental differences between Winston and Julia: Winston is the eternal pessimist and Julia the eternal optimist. When Winston says, "We are the dead," Julia responds, "We are not dead yet." Julia brushes his statement aside and, in her usual manner, focuses on the physical by embracing him. Julia is preoccupied with physicality, while Winston is more introspective. Being against the Party, however, is enough to keep them connected.

Glossary

bluebells any of various plants with blue, bell-shaped flowers, such as the harebell, Virginia bluebell, etc.

etiolated pale and unhealthy.

knoll a hillock; mound.

incredulity unwillingness or inability to believe; doubt; skepticism.

thrush any of a large family of passerine birds, including the European song thrush and blackbird.

belfry a bell tower.

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What are the Party slogans -- War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength -- examples of?




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