Part 3: Chapter 4 to Chapter 6

Chapter 4

After being brought to such a staggering low point, for a while Winston is treated better and allowed to heal. The beatings and torture stop, and he is given better food. He puts on weight and regains some of his strength. The impulse to rebel seems dead in him. He is ready, intellectually, to accept the Party’s reality.

When he wakes from a dream shouting his love for Julia, however, he realizes that, emotionally, he still resists the Party. He is prepared to obey the Party, but not to love it. He hates the Party, and hates Big Brother. He confesses this to O’Brien because he knows he cannot successfully hide it.

Chapter 5

The final stage of Winston’s “reintegration” brings him to Room 101. He has heard talk of Room 101 from the beginning of his imprisonment. The mere mention of the room inspires a great fear in most prisoners. He has asked about it and been told that deep inside, he knows what awaits him there.

It turns out that Room 101 is different for every prisoner. It is the stuff of their nightmares, the thing that cannot be endured, which brings a suffering that goes beyond pain. For Winston, it is rats. They have been at the edge of some of his worst dreams, even though they are never seen and never named. He is strapped to a chair and shown a kind of mask that is also a cage containing two rats, each in its own separate compartment. It can be placed over his head and, once a certain lever is lifted, the rats will have access to his face. They are fearsome and hungry rats, and O’Brien assures Winston that they will show no mercy—going for his eyes, or perhaps his cheeks, or his tongue. They will essentially eat him alive.

Pushed to his breaking point, Winston betrays Julia in a way he has not yet done. Yes, he has told them everything he knows about her, reported on everything they did and said together. Now, however, he begs O’Brien to unleash the rats on her instead of him. It is the ultimate degradation,...

Sign up to continue reading Part 3: Chapter 4 to Chapter 6 >

Essays About 1984