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View Full Version : Part 2, chapter 7: A flashback to Winston's childhood.



KevinBrowning
June 3rd, 2004, 12:03 PM
"Chapter 7
The next night, in the room with Julia, Winston tells her about his mother and sister. He confesses that sometimes he feels that he had symbolically if not physically murdered his mother. After his father had been vaporized, his mother had struggled to feed Winston and his sister on her meager earnings. With the selfishness of childhood, Winston had tried to grab whatever was available, often refusing to listen to his mother when she told him to share with his sister. He had justified this by telling himself that he was hungry and that gave him a right to be selfish. One evening when they got a small piece of chocolate, he snatched the whole thing and ran away. He remembered seeing his mother hug his sister to her as he ran. He had never seen either of them again, when he came back they were gone. He did not know if they had gone away or were taken away and vaporized. And he had lived with that guilt for years.
But as Winston tells Julia, what really stayed with him was his otherís instinctive gesture of clasping the child to her. A refugee woman in the war propaganda film had done the same with her son when their boat was bombed. It would not save the children, but it was a gesture which asserted maternal love.
Winston tells Julia that he does not want to be responsible for her death as well. She had a good reputation, she could probably survive if she stayed away from him. She refuses, saying that she wanted to be with him. And then she makes the crucial statement that while the thought police could make them confess by torturing them, they could not make them betray each other. One could be tortured into SAYING anything, but one could not be made to BELIEVE it. In other words, the thought police could not get inside you. Winston grabs on to this idea as a ray of hope."

The main theme in this chapter is guilt. Winston feels guilty about his newly-remembered memories of starving his mother and sister, and then abandoning them, never to see them again. He doesn't want to now be responsible for Julia's death, also. The only comfort he has is knowing that the Party can't make him believe anything, even if he can be made to say anything. But is this really true?

KevinBrowning
June 3rd, 2004, 07:29 PM
Neverending? Kneeless? Anyone? Let's not let this chapter's discussion go the way of that of part 2, chapter 5. I like to think I'm not book club leader by default, as its only member. ;)

Meng Bomin
June 4th, 2004, 09:55 PM
It is interesting to see how little Julia cares for those who have disappeared, be they strangers or Winston's family members. She seems to be centered on herself, not caring about anything else. Also, I agree with Winston when he says that the proles are humans but they are not. I think most party members probably have lost their humanity. That can be seen in Julia's indifference.

BTW, I think that this Book Club is falling apart. WatsonGlenn is gone (d*mn his temper), KneeLess has been replying less frequently as of late, sjjs and chadn737 have been gone for a while, and many of the others have note been around much. I would suggest that we speed up our pace with this book as to get it over and allow discussions to occur. Once we start a new book, I hope the interest in participating will increase.

KevinBrowning
June 5th, 2004, 09:19 AM
It is interesting to see how little Julia cares for those who have disappeared, be they strangers or Winston's family members. She seems to be centered on herself, not caring about anything else. Also, I agree with Winston when he says that the proles are humans but they are not. I think most party members probably have lost their humanity. That can be seen in Julia's indifference.

BTW, I think that this Book Club is falling apart. WatsonGlenn is gone (d*mn his temper), KneeLess has been replying less frequently as of late, sjjs and chadn737 have been gone for a while, and many of the others have note been around much. I would suggest that we speed up our pace with this book as to get it over and allow discussions to occur. Once we start a new book, I hope the interest in participating will increase.
I agree. The core participants have all left, except for you and I. What amount of time would you suggest giving to each chapter? I think two days would be fine.