Literature Study Guides1984Book 2 Chapter 7 Summary


George Orwell

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Book 2 | Chapter 7

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Book 2 | Chapter 7 of George Orwell's novel 1984.

1984 | Book 2, Chapter 7 | Summary



Winston awakens from a dream that took place inside the paperweight. The dream was of the early days of the Revolution when his family lived in a small room. His father had disappeared some time before, and the child Winston greedily took all of the chocolate his family—now just his small sister and mother—had been rationed. He ran away from them, and when he returned his family was gone. He tells Julia he had always thought that he murdered his mother.

Julia comes fully awake when Winston says aloud, "The proles are human beings. We are not human." He believes that emotions make people human, and, because Party members are without emotions, they are already dead. He decides they should part: if she stays clear of him, she can survive. She decides to do whatever he does even if that means rebellion. They decide that, if the Party makes them confess, their feelings will not change. The real betrayal, Winston says, would be to make them stop loving each other. He thinks the Party can't do that.


Winston's realization of what the Party has done is becoming clearer. He realizes that, in the midst of futilely trying to take care of her kids, his mother exhibited a kind of nobility and had feelings. The Party has robbed the people of feelings and natural impulses. But the proles have retained their natural sympathies. Winston's memory of the time he coldly kicked a severed hand into the street drives home his belief that the proles are the only ones with any feelings.

Winston believes that the Party will find and kill him. But he knows that, as long as he can hold onto his feelings, they cannot kill his spirit. Winston's sexual relationship with Julia and the practice of writing in his diary—both illegal acts—are what allow him to finally wake up to his internal feelings. He and Julia begin to believe there is a difference between their private space and the public space of the Party and make a promise to continue their love for one another, even if (when) the Party captures them. This is what makes Winston a rebel—his faith in the value of human emotion.

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