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George Orwell

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1984 | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 13:00, April 4, 1984

    Winston Smith begins the rebellious act of writing in a diary purchased from an antique shop.

    Book 1, Chapter 1
  • An hour later

    Winston remembers O'Brien, an Inner Party member, and a dark-haired girl he both wants and hates.

    Book 1, Chapter 1
  • The next evening

    In the prole quarter, Winston buys a paperweight from Mr. Charrington at the antique store.

    Book 1, Chapter 8
  • A few days later

    The dark-haired girl slips him a note at work that says, "I love you"; he decides to meet her.

    Book 2, Chapter 1
  • May 2, 1984

    The girl and Winston make love in a meadow away from surveillance. He learns her name is Julia.

    Book 2, Chapter 1
  • June 1984

    Winston rents the room above Mr. Charrington's shop and meets Julia there several times.

    Book 2, Chapter 4
  • End of June 1984

    Julia and Winston go to O'Brien's luxury flat; they are questioned and both join the Brotherhood.

    Book 2, Chapter 8
  • About a week later

    The Thought Police arrest Julia and Winston after he reads Emmanuel Goldstein's book.

    Book 2, Chapter 10
  • Several hours later

    Winston is imprisoned in the Ministry of Love, beaten for days, and then tortured in Room 101.

    Book 3, Chapter 1
  • Weeks later

    Released, Winston meets Julia but doesn't care because his will is gone and he loves Big Brother.

    Book 3, Chapter 6

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Book 1, Chapter 1 The story begins in London in 1984. Posters of an imposing male face with a mustache, captioned with the phrase "Big Bro... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 2 It is Mrs. Parsons at the door, not the ever-vigilant Thought Police. The building is dingy and falling apart; she asks ... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 3 As Chapter 3 begins, Winston is dreaming of his mother, who disappeared with his younger sister in the 1950s during an e... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 4 Chapter 4 begins with a description of Winston's work at the Ministry of Truth. His job is to change what was written in... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 5 Winston is in the canteen (lunchroom) at work when his coworker Syme joins him. Syme is working on the 11th edition of t... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 6 Winston is writing in his journal about a time when he had hired a prostitute. The practice is forbidden, but even if Wi... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 7 "If there is hope," Winston writes, "it lies in the proles." Winston is reflecting on the proletariat, or working class,... Read More
Book 1, Chapter 8 Winston wanders into the slums of London. After narrowly escaping a rocket bomb, he sees a severed hand on the street an... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 1 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 ... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 2 Winston and Julia meet in the shade of bushes, away from telescreens and hidden microphones. Winston steps into "pools o... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 3 "Never go home the same way as you went out," Julia says as they part. The next time they make love, it is in the belfry... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 4 Winston is back in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop. He's rented it long term. At the front of the hearth are an oi... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 5 Winston figured that Syme would disappear one day, and he has. His name has been removed from lists, and he has therefor... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 6 As Winston walks along a corridor at the Ministry, O'Brien lays a friendly hand on his arm. He'd been reading one of Win... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 7 Winston awakens from a dream that took place inside the paperweight. The dream was of the early days of the Revolution w... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 8 Having come by different routes, Winston and Julia arrive at O'Brien's apartment in a part of town where the wealthy Inn... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 9 Winston is now in possession of "the book," Goldstein's manifesto. But outside, banners, speeches, parades, and displays... Read More
Book 2, Chapter 10 When Julia awakens she wonders why the stove's gone out because she'd made sure the oil had been full before going to sl... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 1 Chapter 1 of Book 3 begins with Winston in a cell. He believes he's in the Ministry of Love. A hungry ache in his belly ... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 2 Winston is in a cell, drifting in and out of consciousness because of endless interrogations and beatings. He confesses ... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 3 O'Brien tells Winston that he collaborated in writing "the book" and goes on to give Winston the answer to the question ... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 4 Winston has been made more comfortable in his cell. He can eat and bathe, and the painful varicose ulcer he's had since ... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 5 Winston is taken to Room 101 many meters underground. He's strapped to a chair so tightly that he can't move his head. O... Read More
Book 3, Chapter 6 As the final chapter of the novel opens, Winston sits in his usual corner of the Chestnut Tree Café. Gin is his life now... Read More
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