Literature Study Guides1984Book 2 Chapter 1 Summary

1984 | Study Guide

George Orwell

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Book 2 | Chapter 1

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Book 2 | Chapter 1 of George Orwell's novel 1984.

1984 | Book 2, Chapter 1 | Summary

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Summary

Four days after Winston's visit to the junk shop, the dark-haired girl passes him in the hall at work and slips a piece of paper into his hand. Back at his desk, Winston places it among other papers so he can read it without detection. Worrying that it's from the Thought Police, but hoping it might be from the rebel group the Brotherhood, he reads it. It is handwritten and reads, "I love you." Home in bed, Winston considers the note, and because of how agitated the girl was when she handed it to him, he's sure she means it.

The two eventually meet in the canteen and fix a meeting place and time without looking at each other—Victory Square at 19 hours. When she arrives a passing convoy of Eurasian prisoners draws a mass of people to the square. Forcing themselves into the crowd, they're at last shoulder to shoulder. She asks him to take Sunday afternoon off, and he agrees. She outlines a complicated route for him to follow and says to meet at 15 hours. She gives his hand a quick squeeze. He studies every detail of her hand. Needing to remain undetected, neither looks at the other as they part.

Analysis

The world Orwell has created is believable. So, if the reader takes a critical look at the way the relationship between Winston and Julia begins, it is logical to question whether Julia truly loves Winston or if she is planning to entrap him.

Readers already know that the Parsons children are spies who say Winston should be vaporized. In this chapter Winston and the girl get to meet and even grasp each other's hands because of a crowd drawn to the square to gawk at a passing convoy of prisoners. Other scenes in the novel show people taking pleasure in the looming torture of fellow humans. Winston doesn't participate in the gawking at unfortunate souls like these, but most Party members and proles do. Winston is very different from the rest of his society.

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