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1984

1984

by George Orwell

1984 Book 2, Chapter 8 Summary

  • Winston and Julia arrive at O’Brien’s luxurious flat. Man, the Inner Party has it made.
  • The description of the materialism here is not unlike that said of capitalists earlier in the text. Interesting!
  • O’Brien turns off the telescreen in the room – a privilege only Inner Party members are afforded – and Winston eagerly declares he and Julia’s desires to work in the Brotherhood (you remember, that rebellious force against the Party).
  • O’Brien and Martin, his Chinese servant, offer them wine. They toast to Emmanual Goldstein, their common leader.
  • The four converse about Goldstein, the conspiracy, and the underpinnings of the workings of the rebellious forces. Finally, O’Brien asks various questions of Winston and Julia to test their commitment to the Brotherhood.
  • They’re all getting pretty hammered, and finally O’Brien excuses a tipsy Julia.
  • Upon Julia’s exit, O’Brien questions Winston about his hiding place and tells him about the importance of Goldstein’s book, a manifesto of sorts, which he shall arrange for Winston to receive. Someone will drop off Goldstein’s book in a public place, and Winston is to have it read and returned within 14 days.
  • O’Brien dismisses Winston, and alludes to a second meeting. Winston asks if he means in the place where there is no darkness, as he often has dreamt of O’Brien saying. Without skipping a beat, O’Brien nods and repeats the confirmation.
  • Finally, Winston and O’Brien repeat the old rhyme about St. Clement’s Church. To Winston’s surprise, O’Brien knows the full stanza. Jeez, it’s almost like O’Brien has been watching him or something.
  • The two shake hands, and O’Brien turns the telescreen back on while Winston leaves his abode.
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