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Literature Study Guides1984Book 2 Chapter 2 Summary


George Orwell

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Book 2 | Chapter 2

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

1984 | Book 2, Chapter 2 | Summary



Winston and Julia meet in the shade of bushes, away from telescreens and hidden microphones. Winston steps into "pools of gold," walks across ground that is "misty with bluebells," and listens to a bird with a speckled breast singing. Despite the privacy of their surroundings, they keep their voices low. Julia (whose name readers finally learn) is 15 years younger than Winston but is attracted to him because she's detected that he also hates the Party. The Party wants sexual relations to be free of desire, so the couple's sexual attraction becomes political, and their climax is a victory.


Orwell creates a very different scene for Winston and Julia's rendezvous. The description of the place they meet—"pools of gold," "misty with bluebells"—is the only vision of beauty so far in the novel.

It's also in this chapter where Winston realizes that he and Julia have committed a crime against the Party. He is pessimistic about their future now and says, "We are the dead."

A thrush alights on a nearby branch, sings, and then takes flight. The bird is a symbol of the freedom Winston and Julia are playing at but have not achieved. Winston is just like the bird that can't stop singing, except he can't fly away.

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