1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part VIII)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part VIII)
Full Episode: Chapter 2, Part 8
  • Do you think Winston wanted to say yes to the question about being able to never see Julia again?

Early on in the meeting with O'Brien, Winston and Julia are asked about the lengths they would go to do what needs to be done for the Brotherhood. First off, its interesting here that Winston pretty much speaks for Julia for all of these questions. We wrote previously on how both of them hate the Party, but it is only Winston who wants to see the Party overturned for the well being of future generations. Julia just wants to live her life and basically have fun while dodging the attention of the Party. I would not expect Julia to even attend the meeting with O'Brien given this vibe of hers.

The list of things O'Brien asks are rather horrifying, like committing murder, blackmail, and losing their identity. The one that Julia refuses to do is to never see Winston again. Winston takes his time in his response, trying to find the words. I think his mind wanted to say yes, but deep down his heart was telling him no. He loves Julia, and look at all the positive things that have come from having this relationship with her (happy, ulcer subsiding, gaining weight). I think that Winston was afraid that by him saying no to this request by O'Brien, he would not be let into the brotherhood, judging by his delayed response. In the end, O'Brien seems happy they were honest with him.

  • Is O'Brien's servant human?

Julia and Winston and let into O'Brien's house by his servant Martin. Martin is also part of the brotherhood and sits in the meeting with the three of them. I totally get weird robotic vibes from him. He reminds me more of the quacking man from chapter one without being nearly as annoying. Halfway through the meeting, he gets up and leaves, but not before scanning over their faces to get familiar with them. Winston notes how Martin's eyes "flickered over their faces", and how he had no emotion on his face. Martin has been basically expressionless, but it could be normal. Remember, with telescreens everywhere Winstons has mentioned how it is important not to look a certain type of way for fear of attracting the wrong kind of attention. This could be just the instinct of Martin, much like O'Brien does not get excited or happy or anything at all really during the meeting. He is very to the point like he has done this sort of briefing hundreds of times. Ultimately I think Martin is human, just holds no emotion in these times.

  • How do you suppose O'Brien was able to finish the rhyme of St. Clement's?

Before Winston leaves, he has the chance to ask O'Brien one question. Now keep in mind, he might not even see O'Brien again after this. Instead of asking something about the Brotherhood, Big Brother, or The Book, he asks O'Brien if he has heard a rhyme that begins with "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's...".

To Winston's surprise, O'Brien finishes the rhyme. "Yes, I knew the last line", says O'Brien before telling Winston that their time is up. To me this suggests the access to information Inner Party members have. We originally here this rhyme from Charrington in his shop when Winston is about to buy the paperweight. Charrington can barely remember it himself, as it seems to hearken to a time possibly before Big Brother came to power. With history slowly being erased by the Party, rhymes like this are slowly forgotten, but maybe not for the Inner Party.

We see the privileges Inner Party members have like access to better chocolate, cigarettes, and O'Brien is even able to turn off his telescreen for a little bit. I don't think its far fetched for him to even have access to the history that they have worked to rewrite. The buildings mentioned in the rhyme, St. Clements and St. Martins are actually still around in Oceania today, but the reason for their existence is probably lost. Well, if they are still around, it must be by influence of the Party, and if by influence of the Party, the Party has a reason for keeping them around and not demolishing them. That history though, only lies with the Inner Party circles.