1984 by George Orwell

Section One, Part III Analysis (pp. 29-37)

Winston doesn't yet remember what happened in his youth. Later in the novel, he will remember being a hungry, selfish child and demanding his mother feed him instead of his sister or herself. His recognition of his family's death as tragic is the catalyst for him to realize humanity is disappearing because of the practices of the Party. This is a motif in the novel, as later Winston will cling to the idea of "the spirit of Man" in the face of torture.

Another motif is the continuation of Winston's prophetic dreams. He dreams of Julia naked, which he will actually see in the same setting in which he dreamt her. Also important is the connection of her naked gesture to abolishing Big Brother: it is through sex Julia choses to rebel later in the work. His utterance of the word "Shakespeare" upon waking most likely alludes to the past, when deep, complex human emotion existed. Particularly interesting, especially due to the discussion of "Reality control" in the following pages, is a line from Shakespeare's play Hamlet to which Orwell may be alluding: "Why, then 'tis none to you, for there is nothing / either good or bad but thinking makes it so" (2.2.253–254).

Winston's difficulty recalling the past demonstrates to the reader how "doublethink" and the Party's control of the past (by constantly changing the written record) work in a person's mind. The Party's propaganda is evident in the mind of Winston when he tries to remember which nation Oceania is really at war with: "But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control" (34). This line also foreshadows what O'Brien will later demand of Winston, that he gain control of his mind. Also, the woman yelling directly at Winston from the telescreen serves to remind the reader Winston is truly under constant surveillance.