Party members are expected to attend meetings at the Community Center.
Party members did not have any spare time, and should never be alone except in bed. The Party assumed that citizens worked, ate, slept or took part in some kind of communal recreation.
Winston decided to miss the Community Center meeting even though attendances
were monitored, and this was the second occasion recently that he had missed. He decided he would have some solitude and he decided to visit the areas where the proles lived.
He was conspicuous in this area, being dressed in his Party clothes.
Proles might consider him to be a spy.
Close to where he was walking, a rocket bomb demolished some houses.
He had fallen on his face to obtain cover, and when he got up again he noticed a human hand, severed at the wrist, close by. He decided to go to a drinking-shop, or pub as it was called by the proles. One of the main topics of conversation in the pub was the lottery organized by the Ministry of Plenty. The majority of the prizes were largely imaginary and only small sums of money were actually paid out.
Winston noticed an old man arguing with the barman about his drink. He
had requested a pint, but the barman said they only had liters and half-liters. Winston was curious about this old man, as he was a rarity. Most people of his age had died during the great purges.
Perhaps he could give Winston some information about what life was like when he was young. Unfortunately, the man rambled, and Winston was unable to get much sense out of him. Winston left the pub and
soon found himself at the shop where he had acquired his book.
The shopkeeper recognized him and showed him a coral paperweight. Winston paid $4 for it and slid it into his pocket. The shopkeeper took Winston upstairs where he had some other bits and pieces in an empty room. There was an enormous bed there made out of mahogany, but it was clearly too big for Winston to move. On the wall was a picture, which Winston gazed at for a few moments. He said, “I know that building. It’s a ruin now.” The old man replied that it was a church called St. Clement’s Dane, and then he sang “Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clement’s.” “That’s a rhyme I heard when I was a small boy” said Winston. “I don’t know how it goes on from there, but it ends up with ‘here comes a chopper to chop off your head’, it had something to do with the churches in London.” He toyed with the idea of renting the room, which would probably only cost a few dollars, if he had the courage to take the risk. Of course, there was no telescreen.
Winston left the shop only to see the girl with the dark hair walking
She looked directly at him and then walked quickly on, as if she had not seen him. Winston was paralyzed. There was no doubt any longer that the girl was spying on him. In panic, Winston left the scene, only to find that he had walked up a blind alley. He felt trapped. He toyed with the idea of finding the girl and killing her before she could report him to the Thought Police. He did not have the courage to take this action.
Eventually he made his way back to his own flat “The proper thing was to
kill yourself before they got you.”
It is only a matter of time before Winston is discovered. He is
committing more and more crimes, and his behavior is becoming erratic.
In this part of the book, we have obtained a description of London, a major
city of Oceania in 1984.
The central figure is Winston Smith, who the reader sees as a minority of one, fighting the powerful system, which controls everyone’s lives. The Party obtains this control by providing strict rules for every individual, which covers their private and working lives, the language they use and the elimination of eroticism. Winston rebels against all of these. He keeps a diary in which he documents his Thought Crimes. He consorts with proles, both sexually and also in an attempt to establish the true history of Oceania.
The next part of the book will see a development of these themes and also
how the Party endeavors to rehabilitate Winston Smith.