One day, O'Brien stops Winston in the hallway at work and makes a reference to the vanished Syme. Because referring to an unperson constitutes thoughtcrime, Winston realizes that O'Brien is risking his own safety in order to gain Winston's trust. O'Brien then invites Winston to visit him at his home, saying that he will loan him an advance copy of the Tenth Edition of the Newspeak dictionary.
Suddenly Winston finds himself closer to making contact with a real rebellion than he had ever dreamed.
Winston feels that he is on a path that started on the day he had his first rebellious thought against the Party. He assumes that the path will lead him to torture and death at the Ministry of Love, but is nonetheless excited to be going to O'Brien's house.
Even in this moment when Winston feels that he is on the verge of actually joining a true rebellion against the Party, he can't bring himself to believe that he will actually be successful in defeating it, and in fact assumes he will die an awful death. But the dignity of standing and fighting is enough for him, even if it leads to death.