1984
George Orwell

by

Karim Chandra

Book 1 Chapter 3-5
Summary

Winston dreams of his mother, who vanished in one of the 'Great Purges' that happened in the 1950s when Winston was ten or eleven years old. In the dream, Winston's mother is sitting underneath him with his younger sister in her arms, in some kind of underground room. In this memory, he feels emotional and devastated in light of the realization that by one means or another she surrendered not only her life but also his sisters, for him. He always saw her death as a tragic moment, cherishing her and through this memory he develops a ‘personal loyalty’, something that the party cannot allow.

Still dreaming, Winston suddenly finds himself in the Golden Country, which he stumbles upon frequently in his sleep. The Golden Country is "an old rabbit-bitten pasture, with a foot track wandering across it and a molecule here and there...the elm trees were swaying faintly in the breeze, their leaves just stirring in dense masses like women's hair." In this dream, a young lady from the Ministry whom Winston disdains for her overzealous approach to party matters approaches him and removes her clothes in a manner so "mind-blowing" that its sight alone goes against the position of the party. He wakes with words, "Shakespeare", on his lips.

At work, Winston peruses his day-to-day assignments, sent to him as little tube-shaped paper rolls that spurt from a pneumatic tube. The messages instruct him to "amend" certain articles or news materials to guarantee the Party is at all times legitimized and seen in a positive light, regardless of its inconsistency between its predictions and the outcome. For example; the Ministry of Plenty’s production yields should be tailored and modified to reflect the recent figures that the ministry produced. When Winston finishes assignments by directing amendments into the speak write at his work area, Winston puts all related documentation into a "memory hole," in doing so sending any proof of adjusted information to an expansive furnace in the central point of the building.

Analysis

All through this section, we unmistakably observe the striking inconsistencies in the Party's correction of the past, which Winston specifically participates in through his assignments in the Records Department at the Ministry of Truth. Any past documentation that goes against a present Party objective, accomplishment or improvement must be changed or adjusted to align to the Party's present activities. Along these lines, the "past" is always showing signs of change and continually modified. At a certain point, Oceania is at war with Eurasia and has in most cases been at war with Eurasia, however later in the novel; Oceania is at war with Eastasia and has almost always been at war with Eastasia. For the Party, the past is variable and malleable. Winston declines to acknowledge this, most evidently amid the Ministry of Plenty report toward the end of Chapter 5 where Winston listens in wonder and disgust to false reports that the Ministry of Plenty has surpassed all production projections.

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