1984 Discussion (Chapter 3, Part VI)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 3, Part VI)
Full Episode: Chapter 3, Part VI
  • We see a complete reversal of Winston in this final chapter, can you name some of the things Winston now does that reflects him being a good party member?

What an extraordinary turn of events! At the conclusion of 1984 we see a huge 180 degree turn in the behavior of our protagonist Winston Smith. When we first met Winston, we see him struggling with his thoughts on the Party and Big Brother. This led him to purchasing the diary off the black market and writing in it in secret. We then go on to see that Winston knows that life used to be different in Oceania, and that it was not even called that before. He realizes the countries they are at war with change, He ends up in a romantic relationship with Julia, He remembers the picture of Rutherford, Aaronson, and Jones, etc. This is in start contrast to the Winston we see here in part six after his time with O'Brien in the Ministry of Love, which I have been calling sort of a "rehab center". The ministry of love was meant to replace whatever love you had for the love of Big Brother (and only Big Brother). Once the three stages of learning, understand, and acceptance are complete, Winston is to be reintegrated into society, which is where we catch him here

We catch Winston being a good party member by his focus on the telescreen and the announcement about news from the battlefront at Africa. Winston has a whirlwind of emotions thinking about a possible defeat and the horror of the aftermath of enemy troops taking over Africa. He is clearly now invested in this effort and wants more war in order to protect the well being of Oceania. He becomes ecstatic when the victory is announced towards the end of part six.

Winston later writes on the dust on the table with his finger that 2+2=5. Remember, in his session with O'Brien he initially struggles with admitting that this could be possible before the shocks come about. Now, it seems that Winston is at peace with this fact of life.

It is revealed that Winston has also met Julia again since his time away from the Ministry of Love. Here is where we see Winston's ultimate unity with the Party. He embraces Julia and notices right away she feels different, very corpse like and bigger. He admits to betraying her, and even still, they express that they would want to meet up again. He follows her for some time, and then eventually grows disinterested and instead feels a desire to head back to the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He is longing for his usual spot in the cafe and the endless supply of Gin. In my opinion, he also does not want to miss another telescreen announcement. His love of Julia has now been replaced by the love of the Party/Big Brother...

  • What is the ultimate victory?

To put it simply, the ultimate victory, is over yourself. There is a quote by the physicist Richard Feynman that I think alludes to what this could potentially mean

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

The victory is in fooling yourself that 2+2=5, or that Big Brother invented the airplane, or Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. It is finally swallowing up everything the Party gives you and not even questioning it. You hold no feelings deep down in your soul that something sounds fishy about all these things. Ultimately, you love nothing but Big Brother, as we see Winston profess in the final lines of the book. That is why they shot Winston at this moment, he died fully believe in the cause of the Party. He is not a martyr because he does not hold any contrarian views, he is fully bought in to the system. Victory in his defeat...