Just as Winston answers the door, he realizes that he
has left his diary open with “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” clearly visible. Fortunately, it is only a neighbor needing help with her plumbing.
Winston’s work with the Minitrue is to change history.
He is involved mainly with articles in The Times newspaper, and he goes back and changes the text so that it supports the present. For example, if in the past Big Brother had made a prediction and it did not transpire, Winston would go back and change the prediction and destroy any evidence regarding the original entry.
There was usually a public hanging once a month, which was a source of
entertainment to some.
Most goods were also rationed and coupons were required for clothes etc.
Winston couldn’t afford pajamas, so he slept naked.
Children were, by and large, obnoxious and were quite keen on going to see
the hangings. The latest hangings were of captured Eurasian prisoners of war with whom Oceania was at war. The other major power in the world was Eastasia with whom Oceania has an alliance.
Winston’s neighbor, Mrs. Parsons, was in fear of her children.
One felt compelled to watch the telescreen so as not to arouse suspicion
from the Thought Police who might be watching. There is a newsflash saying that Oceania’s forces in South India have won a glorious victory, which might bring the war to an end in the near future.
When he put his diary away in a drawer, Winston would place a small grain of
dust on the book, so that if it were moved he would know.
We obtain a further insight into this depressing world
where children rush to hangings as a form of entertainment, and terrorize their parents who know that their offspring are the future of the Party, and their task is merely to provide for them in their early years.
In this way, the Party is able to control the citizens of Oceania through the children.
We are already seeing the effects on Winston’s psyche resulting from his
diary. He is becoming more and more paranoid, and takes comfort from the fact that O’Brien appears to be a conspirator, while he is convinced that the girl with the dark hair is a member of the Thought Police.
These assumptions will have a dramatic effect later on in the story.