Part 2: Chapter 1 to Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Following the low point of the previous chapter, something entirely unexpected happens. As he is coming out of the bathroom at work, Winston sees the dark-haired girl approaching him in the hallway. She has been injured, and her arm is in a sling. Just as they are getting ready to pass one another, she stumbles and falls on her arm. Winston knows that he should fear and maybe even hate her, but instead feels tenderness. He helps her up, and she slips a note into his hand. Knowing that he must not betray himself, Winston puts it away. He is now sure that the woman is not a member of the Thought Police; she might even be part of the rebel group called the Brotherhood. He returns to his desk and, after waiting a few minutes, he peaks at the note. “I love you,” it says.

Winston destroys the note but can barely contain himself. He focuses on his work. He realizes that he has misjudged her as a mindless follower of the Party. That night, he faithfully reports to the Community Center, motivated more than ever not to give himself away. Whereas in the previous chapter he thought himself as good as dead, now he wants to live. Several painful days go by. Finally he has a chance to speak to her while they are alone at a table during lunch. They quickly make plans to meet after work in a public square. At the appointed time, Winston looks for a chance to approach her without drawing attention. Luckily, a caravan of political prisoners streams by, and a crowd forms to watch them. Camouflaged by the crowd and the distraction of the caravan, Winston and the girl stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and she gives him directions to a place where they can safely meet. Briefly, they hold hands—the novel’s first moment of true intimacy.

Chapter 2

That Sunday afternoon, as agreed, Winston follows the girl’s directions. He has a feeling that she has arranged secret meetings before and knows how to do so without getting caught. He is early, and waits in a shady lane in the countryside....

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Essays About 1984