Part 3: Chapter 1 to Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Winston awakens in a large, brightly lit holding cell with a telescreen on each wall. He has no idea how long he has been there, but only that he has not eaten since he was captured and that he is painfully hungry. Earlier he had been in a temporary holding cell, filthy and crowded with both political prisoners and common criminals from the proletariat. Now, he suspects, he is somewhere in the Ministry of Love. He knows he is supposed to sit still on the bench, yet his hunger drives him to reach into his pocket to see if there might be a crust of bread there, and he is immediately rebuked by a voice from the telescreen.

After some time, Appleforth, a poet he knows vaguely, is ushered into the cell, and they discuss the charges against them. He is taken away, and some time later Parsons joins him. Despite being an enthusiastic Party member, Parsons was heard mumbling the phrase “Down with Big Brother” in his sleep—and turned in by his young daughter, no less. He is genuinely remorseful and wants to be “cured” so that he can again be in good standing with the Party. A series of other prisoners joins Winston in the cell. One is near starvation, and when a fellow prisoner attempts to share a crust of bread with him, he is beaten brutally by the guards. Then Winston is alone again. He loses track of time.

Eventually the door is opened, and O’Brien walks in. At first, Winston assumes that he, too, has been caught by the Thought Police. Then, however, he realizes that O’Brien has always been loyal to the Party. He reminds Winston that he somehow always knew he would be caught. A guard strikes Winston harshly on the elbow, and he blacks out.

Chapter 2

Following O’Brien’s visit is a seemingly endless stretch of torture, during which Winston is beaten, interrogated, forced to confess, then beaten again. The goal is to break his will. After a certain point, the brutal beatings by the black-clothed guards cease, replaced by a...

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Essays About 1984