1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part X)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part X)
Full Episode: Chapter 2, Part X
  • What just Happened???

This was easily my favorite chapter of 1984, even having already finished the book at this point. It is for the shock and surprise that happened with Winston and Julia being arrested. I totally did not see anything like this coming. Let us give a quick recap.

Winston and Julia have both been busting their humps working overtime trying to rectify the past during Hate Week because of a last minute switch in enemies that Oceania is at war with (Eurasia? Eastasia?). After the hell of working overtime, Winston goes to his rented room at Charrington's shop with his briefcase containing Goldstein's book. He starts to read the book, getting through a couple chapters. Julia arrives and they end up falling asleep at the room. The next day as they are hanging out a voice reveals itself from behind the picture frame in the room....and it is a telescreen!! Next thing you know, police are rushing the room. Charrington is revealed to be a Thought Police Officer, and seemingly Julia and Winston are taken away....

I can not help but think that Charrington set up Winston from the very beginning. Remember, it was Charrington who sold Winston the diary, and later that paperweight. It is interesting when Charrington enters the room at the end of Chapter Two, he commands one of the officers to pick up the paperweight, which broke, off the floor. Now, why would this detail be put in the book? I think it is obvious that this weight has some sort of significance for Charrington to even mention it, and I believe that this piece was sold to Winston so that it could be used to spy on Winston. That's right, the paperweight was really a hot mic the whole time. Charrington, if you remember, is cheerful when selling the thing to Winston, and I don't think it was because he made a profit on it.

Also, I think that the police or Charrington messed with the clocks in Winston's room in order to get him to oversleep. Winston notices right away the position of the sun in relation to the clock. When he is arrested, the clock on the mantelpiece reads 21:00, and he mentions how the sun is too strong outside for it to be this time. It is possible that Winston and Julia did this to themselves by oversleeping and staying past their welcome, but the police arrived really quick after the discovery of the telescreen. It could also be possible that since we are to suspect the telescreen has been in the room the entire time Winston has been renting it, it could have tipped off authorities while the couple were asleep.

When Winston tours the room for the first time, he actually mentions how there is no telescreen present. Charrington notes this and actually quickly changes the subject:

"'Ah,' said the old man, 'I never had one of those things. Too expensive. I never seemed to feel the need of it, somehow. Now that's a nice gateleg table in the corner...'"

You see how fast he does that?!?! It is like he wanted to switch off that subject really quick.

One question I have is the timing of the arrest. Winston and Julia have been hanging out in the room on many occasions, but why in this instance are they actually arrested? This occasion is however unique, in that Winston had in his possession the book of Goldstein and was actually reading it. This type of crime probably goes well beyond thought crime and could be interpreted as an act of revolution.

Let me know what you think about Chapter 2, Part Ten!