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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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SECTION II

Instead of Thought Police, the person at Winston's door is his neighbor, Mrs. Parsons. Although Party members call one another comrade, this timid lady is very much a Mrs. Will Winston help her fix the plumbing? Her plump, patriotic husband is out on Party business. Winston is harassed by her monstrous children, who, in a patriotic fervor, accuse him of Thoughtcrime. They are Junior Spies.

NOTE:

In World War II, Hitler Youth, indoctrinated from childhood, grew up to turn in their parents. Orwell uses the Parsons children as strong indicators of the dangerous political climate.

Depressed and anxious, Winston retreats to memories of a dream in which someone said, quietly, "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness." He is sure it was the voice of O'Brien. And this is important: "Winston had never been able to feel sure... whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy. Nor did it seem to matter greatly. There was a link of understanding between them...." Yes, they will meet in the place where there is no darkness. In his loneliness and isolation, emotions which may mirror Eric Blair's loneliness in Burma, this hope is enough for Winston.


Writing in his diary, Winston reflects that this criminal act makes him a dead man. Look for echoes of this thought, especially as Part Two ends. His fatalism is interesting. Does this defiant act reflect high heroism or is it the result of a death wish? You can argue this either way, on evidence found in the book. At the moment, Winston wants to save his skin, so he carefully hides the diary.

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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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