1984

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1984 Book 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Syme is vaporized and becomes an unperson. As a heat wave grips the city, the city is consumed by preparations for Hate Week. Winston embellishes articles that are to be quoted in speeches while Julia produces atrocity pamphlets. As Parson and his children hang streamers all over Victory Mansions, they endlessly sing the new Hate Song written for Hate Week. A poster that shows a monstrous Eurasian soldier holding a machine gun is displayed all over the city, outnumbering even the portraits of Big Brother.
While in the previous chapter Winston and Julia build their own private world, their own private reality, the beginning of this chapter reaffirms the Party's power to shape reality: making Syme disappear not just from the face of the Earth but from history as well. And it forces Winston and Julia to help it as it manipulates the emotions of its citizens.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Reality Control Theme Icon
Winston and Julia continue to meet in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop. Winston stops drinking gin and grows healthier. Mr. Charrington shows Winston other treasures from the past, and teaches him more nursery rhymes. Winston thinks of Charrington as an "extinct animal."
Meanwhile, though, Winston and Julia do continue building their private world, and it gives them something to live for. Charrington's nursery rhymes show that he has a memory of both history and innocence.
Themes
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Class Struggle Theme Icon
Winston tells Julia about his suspicion that O'Brien is, like them, an enemy of the Party. Julia, though, believes that the Party is unconquerable through organized resistance and that the rumors of the Brotherhood and the war with Eurasia are inventions created by the Party to maintain order. She thinks that secret disobedience such as their lovemaking is the only effective form of rebellion against the Party. Winston, however, continues to dream about joining the Brotherhood and is dismayed at Julia's cynicism. He tells her she is only a rebel from the waist down.
Winston and Julia rebel against the Party in different ways. Julia merely wants to resist, to do small things that allow her to have a private life and identity. Winston wants to overthrow the party, to have a revolution. Winston's insult that Julia is only a rebel from the waist down denies Julia's intelligence while emphasizing her sexuality. In doing so, he links her to the proles, who he sees as vital but mindless. Which is not to say that Winston is correct to insult Julia in this way.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Class Struggle Theme Icon