Although there’s some action right off the bat regarding Winston’s subversive act and whatnot, it’s still kind of boring. And pessimistic. We get the sense that Winston’s life has always been this way – totally banal – and he’s finally gotten to the point of expressing that frustration. But not quite enough to constitute a conflict.
Real acts of subversion! Winston has gained an ally in his covert acts of rebellion against the Party. Will they succeed in their plans against the Party? Julia’s involvement adds a second dimension to our protagonist’s life, and we wonder how it will all turn out. Now, not only does Winston have to hide his journal writing from the Party, but must find hideouts to consummate his love. Will this make it harder or easier for Winston to survive and succeed? All these questions sound like conflict, don’t they?
We all knew it was going to get complicated once the enigmatic Inner Party member got involved. Why does Winston trust him? Why isn’t Winston paranoid, for once? And what about that odd interaction at O’Brien’s residence? That was sure fishy. And in traditional English Major language, fishy = complicated.
Were the entire first two Books hinting at Winston’s ultimate demise? Didn’t Winston know from the moment he put ink to paper that he was going to get caught? We knew it was coming. But at this of all moments – come on. The poor guy’s in bed after sex and feeling all loved and happy, until his metaphorical teddy bear is ripped violently from his grip.
What is Room 101? What happens there? Why does everyone fear it? Just when we thought things could not get worse than being cooped up and beaten to near-death, they do.
Room 101, where one confronts one’s worst fear, has arrived. This is where the last inkling of rebellion – and, figuratively speaking (or possibly literal, given the torture), the last backbone of Winston’s subversion – is broken. We know nothing more will come after this. This is the anti-climax, the "falling action," as Winston surrenders his will.
Quite the resolution, Orwell. The rebel has been reformed and now loves the Party he attempted to overthrow. His being at the Chestnut Tree signifies the ending also – that’s the spot where old Party members go to spend their retirement. Not to mention that his chance meeting with Julia, the former love of his life and muse to his soul, was apathetic. This guy is obviously done for.