- Do you think Winston is being overly optimistic on his talk with O’Brien?
In a word, YES! I really did not know where all this optimism is coming from when I was reading part six. O'Brien stops to have a chat with Winston about his writing and proceeds to compliment him on it. There are two things in which Winston notices that makes him think O'Brien is subtly trying to communicate to him something about the Brotherhood/Party resistance. One is the mentioning of Syme, which we learned in part five, has been vaporized. Although O'Brien does not mention Syme by name, he refers to him as Winston's friend and actually does not remember his name. Winston mentions how a reference to an unperson is a really dangerous thing to do. Winston is now a witness in this potential crime, and he thinks O'Brien has done this in order to let Winston know that he is on his side. This I fail to see as it is not like O'Brien actually uses Syme's name.
The second thing is O'Brien giving Winston his address so he can come over and look at the new edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. Winston mentions how it is incredibly difficult to exchange addresses and you really don't know where anybody lives. I don't think going over to somebody's house to hang out is something that is commonly done among Party members. So I believe Winston thinks the whole dictionary scenario is a cover for him and O'Brien meeting in secret. This whole chat is taking place in front of a telescreen so they have to be subtle about their meeting and disguise it as just a book exchange instead of what Winston thinks it will be about...
I think Winston is really stretching it with thinking this will lead to some sort of formation of a possible revolution. Remember, all of Winston's thought on O'Brien believing in the same notions of the Party as him, stem from one look they exchanged back in Chapter One. Don't you think more evidence should be needed to see if O'Brien is on the same side as Winston???
- Was Winston any different as a child compared to how the Parson’s children are when he meets them in Chapter One?
Winston as a child honestly seems no different than the Parson's children. The Parson's, or at least Mrs. Parsons, have little control over their children. When Winston goes over to help fix the faucet, the children are running around screaming at him that he is a criminal. The son is pointing his toy gun at him while the daughter pretends to do the same. Winston is quite uncomfortable at the whole situation, while Mrs. Parsons can only look on in fear. Winston feels bad for her, and thinks that the children will eventually turn their own mother in to the thought police.
This is what sounds like happened to Winston's mother we find out. Winston as a child was always stirring up trouble in regards to food. He was always hungry and trying to take more for himself. One day, he steals a piece of chocolate away from his sister and runs out the door, when he returns his mother and sister have both vanished. Seemingly, by running out, it might have triggered an alert to the thought police and they must have came and made them disappear, although I am still unclear of what crime they committed. It also doesn't sound like Winston went and told the authorities about his mom and sister, so maybe the telescreen alerted the authorities? Either way, Winston was the same swine of a child as the Parson's children, always causing trouble for his mother.
- What can the party Not make you do?
When Winston is speaking to Julia they talk about breaking up in order to save themselves. If the Party finds out about their relationship they could have them killed. Winston talks about the Party making you confess in order to get other accomplices out of you, but Julia states that although they can make you confess, they can't get inside of you. They can make you say anything they wanted, but they can't make you believe it. Sure, many Party members go to hangings, participate in Hate Week, yell at Goldstein...but do they actually believe in the principles of the Party? Are they just doing enough so they don't get vaporized? This is the point that the lovebirds are driving at, your internal feelings are what make you human, and that is one thing that you can control. That is, if you choose to...