1984

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1984 Book 3, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Winston is first taken to a holding pen occupied by common criminals as well as political prisoners. He notices that the common criminals fight back while the Party prisoners are silent and terrified. An enormous, drunken prole woman is carried in and thrown onto Winston's lap. Her name, too, is Smith. She wonders if she could be Winston's mother.
The prole criminals retain their individuality and courage even in prison. The Party members, raised to be fearful and obedient and to understand the true power of the Party, are, in contrast, terrified.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Class Struggle Theme Icon
Next Winston is taken to a cell in the Ministry of Love. It is the place where there is no darkness, since the lights are never turned out, and there are no windows. Ravenous with hunger, he wonders if he will see O'Brien, and hopes O'Brien will send him a razor blade.
The place of no darkness is a cell where every illusion of privacy, and therefore individuality, is taken away. Winston hopes for the razor blade because he hopes to kill himself as a final dignified stand against the Party.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Reality Control Theme Icon
Ampleforth the poet arrives, imprisoned because he has retained the word "God" in a poem by Kipling. Shortly afterward he is led off, terrified, to Room 101.
101 is often used to mark introductory lessons–what things will be "taught" in that room?
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
Next, Parsons is delivered to the cell, guilty of thoughtcrime committed in his sleep and reported to the police by his daughter. He uses the lavatory pan, then is taken away.
Parson's crimes were unconscious! And he was turned in by his daughter! The horror of the Party is driven home.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
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A man with a skull-like face, whom Winston realizes is dying of starvation, is brought in. A fat, chinless prisoner named Bumstead offers the emaciated man a piece of bread, which the man fearfully refuses. A guard enters and strikes Bumstead. An officer orders the skull-faced man to go to Room 101. The skull-faced man begs the officer to kill his family or to just kill him rather than send him to Room 101. He struggles and is taken away with a broken hand.
Even basic kindness, such as sharing a piece of bread, is not allowed in the Ministry of Love. Room 101 is further established as something that inspires terror, though we don't yet know why. The skull-faced man is willing to betray everything important to him, to give up his life and his love, to avoid learning what is taught in Room 101.
Themes
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Alone in the cell and delirious with thirst and hunger, Winston thinks of Julia and wonders if she is suffering. O'Brien enters and Winston naïvely exclaims, "They've got you too!" O'Brien tells Winston not to deceive himself, he has always known that O'Brien is on the side of the Party. A guard strikes Winston on the elbow with a truncheon, blinding him with pain. Winston realizes that no one can be a hero when faced with torture because the pain is too much to endure.
Winston's dreams of being a part of the Brotherhood are shattered. He was being tricked all along. O'Brien further implies that Winston always knew he was being tricked, that Winston always knew he was headed to this prison, which is true. Winston also realizes that torture is not something you can heroically resist.,that you will always succumb to it.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Reality Control Theme Icon