1984

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1984 Book 2, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Four days later, at work, as Winston is walking past the dark-haired girl, she suddenly falls. As he is helping her up she slips a note into his hand. Afraid to read it immediately, Winston wonders whether she is a member of the Brotherhood. Back at his cubicle, he reads the note. It says: "I love you."
For one person to tell another that they love them requires subterfuge because the Party sees love as dangerous. Winston wonders if the girl is a rebel. She is, but through love, not violence.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Later, Winston sees the girl in the lunchroom but can't bring himself to speak to her. Finally, after a week of failure, he manages to sit alone with her for a few minutes during lunch. Speaking quickly and looking down to hide their conversation, they agree to meet at Victory Square after work, where they believe they will be safe because of the crowds.
Winston and the girl can only build a relationship, a private life, in secret. Just as Winston sees the proles as the key to revolution against the party, they see the crowds proles as providing them the privacy they need to be themselves.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Class Struggle Theme Icon
At the time of their meeting, Victory Square is filled with people pushing and running to see a convoy of Eurasian prisoners. As they stand together watching the event, the girl whispers to Winston directions to a location in the countryside outside of London, near a dead tree. As the last truck in the convoy passes, the girl squeezes Winston's hand. He dares not look at her, but stares ahead into the eyes of a prisoner.
Winston and the girl's budding love is here compared to the war fever of the crowd. Winston and the girl see nature as a safe haven that gives them privacy from the party, but the fact that they will meet under a dead tree–nature that has died–is not a great omen.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon