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Literature Study Guides1984Book 2 Chapter 10 Summary


George Orwell

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Book 2 | Chapter 10

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Book 2 | Chapter 10 of George Orwell's novel 1984.

1984 | Book 2, Chapter 10 | Summary



When Julia awakens she wonders why the stove's gone out because she'd made sure the oil had been full before going to sleep. It has gotten cold, and she can't make coffee. Winston goes to the window and listens to the woman singing in the yard. While he thinks of her as fat and ugly, it also strikes him that she is beautiful.

Winston realizes that people all over the world are the same. While they've been separated by hatred and lies, a race of conscious beings is sure to arise. "We are the dead," he says aloud. Julia repeats his words, and then, from behind them, they hear the words again, this time by the Thought Police. They are caught. The woman in the yard stops singing, and there is the sound of the washtub being thrown across the yard, along with a yell of pain. Men in black uniforms stampede into the room. As ordered, Winston and Julia turn back to back and hear trampling. The paperweight is smashed to pieces, and Julia is punched in the chest. She lands on the floor, struggling for breath before being brutally carried out of the room.

Just as Winston wonders if they caught Mr. Charrington as well, he walks into the room, much changed. He's a member of the Thought Police and has trapped Winston and Julia with the illusion of privacy in the room.


Orwell foreshadows Winston and Julia's arrest when there's no oil in the stove although Julia had made sure it was full; was someone else in the room? When the Thought Police arrive, they repeat everything Winston says. Winston's private space has been exposed as a Party space. The extent of Winston's thoughtcrime is known to the Party.

In the first half of the chapter, the earlier pessimism turns into a type of optimism. Despite the fact that "the book" says inequality will always exist, Winston is hopeful. He reflects on the bird singing in Chapter 2 of Book 2 and the woman singing outside the window—symbols of freedom and beauty. While they sing the Party does not. So Winston is convinced that the proles will rebel if enough stay conscious and believe that 2 + 2 = 4.

Although Mr. Charrington has seemed like an innocent prole up to this point, when he enters the room, all he has to do is speak and the uniformed men are quieted. He is no longer wearing his spectacles, has lost his cockney accent, and looks completely different. Mr. Charrington has deceived Winston from the start, again driving home the point that in 1984 no one can be trusted and nothing is as it seems.

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