O’Brien’s servant shows Julia and Winston into a softly lit room, at the end
of which O’Brien works at his desk.
O’Brien switches his telescreen off, much to Julia’s surprise and in response O’Brien confirms, “We can turn it off – we have that privilege.” This will enable O’Brien to talk to his visitors for about 30 minutes before anyone becomes suspicious.
O’Brien waits for the couple to speak and eventually Winston tells O’Brien
that he believes there is a conspiracy against the Party and that he, O’Brien, is part of it.
O’Brien does not deny this. O’Brien’s servant comes in, Martin, and it is explained that he is also a conspirator. They share wine, which the couple has never tasted before. O’Brien confirms that there is a movement called The Brotherhood, and that Goldstein is its leader.
He asks Winston a string of pointed questions such as, “You are prepared to
give your lives?
You are prepared to commit murder? To betray your country to foreign powers?” Winston replies, “Yes” to all of these questions. O’Brien’s last question is, “You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never see one another again?” “No”, answers Julia.
O’Brien is happy that they have been honest with him. He goes on to
say that in the service of The Brotherhood it might be necessary for their identities to be changed for them to have surgery to alter their appearance, all of which they agree to.
Their time soon runs out and O’Brien suggests that they leave immediately.
Julia leaves first and is given a tablet to hide the smell of wine.
O’Brien still needs more details from Winston and he asks for information
regarding their hiding place, and Winston complies. O’Brien says that there is a book by Goldstein and he will arrange for Winston to get a copy.
O’Brien will get a message to him and the next day he is to come to work without his briefcase. Someone will come up to him in the street and say, “I believe you have dropped your briefcase. Here it is.” Inside there will be a copy of Goldstein’s book, which must be returned within 14 days.
Before Winston left, O’Brien said, “We shall meet again – if we do meet
again –“. Winston replied, “In the place where there is no darkness?” O’Brien nodded in agreement.
O’Brien asks if Winston has any further questions, and almost at random,
Winston asks if he ever happened to hear the old rhyme that begins “Oranges and lemons”. O’Brien recites the whole verse. With that, Winston takes the tablet and leaves O’Brien’s home.
The reader is somewhat shocked that Winston and Julia go to O’Brien’s
home. This is surely folly on their part, but clearly Winston has convinced Julia that O’Brien is a fellow conspirator.
This concern heightens when Winston keeps nothing from O’Brien, laying himself open to condemnation. For some reason Winston seems to trust O’Brien completely. Perhaps it was the switching off of the telescreen.
We obtain an insight into how members of the Inner Party live – in relative
luxury compared to the rest of society.