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KneeLess
July 23rd, 2004, 07:39 PM
I know this is a bit late, but I must ask. In the end where is Winston when he dies?

KevinBrowning
July 23rd, 2004, 09:52 PM
I know this is a bit late, but I must ask. In the end where is Winston when he dies?
We haven't started discussing the next book yet, really, so no problem. Very good question, by the way. I wondered that as well. It seems like he's drinking and watching the telescreen at The Chestnut Tree. But when he finally realizes that he loves Big Brother, it says that he is hit by a bullet in the head from behind. I'm not sure if this was symbolic, or if he was hallucinating or dreaming the entire time after the rat experience, and actually still in prison. I'd probably have to re-read the last chapter or two to really decide. Does anyone else have any ideas?

Meng Bomin
July 24th, 2004, 09:41 AM
I'd say that he was probably released like the three that he saw in the cafe. It was supposed to be a reflection of that, with more knowledge of the situation. So he was probably killed in an alley where no one was looking.

KneeLess
July 24th, 2004, 09:15 PM
I'd say that he was probably released like the three that he saw in the cafe. It was supposed to be a reflection of that, with more knowledge of the situation. So he was probably killed in an alley where no one was looking. If so, then who killed him and why? I'm really thinking that he didn't die then at all, the bullet was merely symbolic of the realization of Big Brother.

FruitandNut
July 25th, 2004, 03:49 PM
I think the ending is deliberately obtuse. The author was pessimistic about the 'real' political scene and the human condition, but he could not bring himself to allow a total pessimism, so he leaves it to the reader to decide an ending that suits them. 'The Pork Butcher' by David Hughes and 'Great Expectations'(ending Mk.2) by Charles Dickens, are endings that allow the reader to be pessimistic or hopeful, there are many more examples of this type of ending.

KevinBrowning
July 26th, 2004, 04:12 PM
I think the ending is deliberately obtuse. The author was pessimistic about the 'real' political scene and the human condition, but he could not bring himself to allow a total pessimism, so he leaves it to the reader to decide an ending that suits them. 'The Pork Butcher' by David Hughes and 'Great Expectations'(ending Mk.2) by Charles Dickens, are endings that allow the reader to be pessimistic or hopeful, there are many more examples of this type of ending.

I agree that the ending is deliberately vague, but I don't think it's so vague that it can be considered as either optimistic or pessimistic. It's definitely a sad, negative defeat for Winston in the end. Whether the bullet is symbolic or physical, Winston's spirit of curiosity and search for truth have been conquered and replaced with an unseeing, instinctive love for Big Brother.

FruitandNut
July 27th, 2004, 07:51 AM
It does beg the question, is Winston's sacrifice in vain, or does it have an impact on others - even Big Bro ? They do say love conquers all and man's sprit of curiousity will always seek to question, there will always be minds that don't march to the same tune.

KevinBrowning
July 27th, 2004, 12:10 PM
It does beg the question, is Winston's sacrifice in vain, or does it have an impact on others - even Big Bro ? They do say love conquers all and man's sprit of curiousity will always seek to question, there will always be minds that don't march to the same tune.

It's my opinion that Big Brother isn't actually a real person, but a controlling symbolic entity created by the Inner Party. Although love conquers all, Winston's love is for a false god set forth by the ruling class to control the populace. Men will always have curiosity, but in a place such as Oceania, it seems hope can't live for long, before being extinguished in Room 101. 1984 doesn't have a happy ending, any way one looks at it. Orwell's intention was to give a warning of possible evils to come, not to write a futuristic drama that ends satisfyingly. Whether the bullet is symbolic or actual, the protagonist Winston loses to the antagonist Big Brother, unquestionably. And that's something people aren't used to in a book.