1984 Section Three, Part I Analysis (pp. 225-239)
by George Orwell

This section deals mainly with Winston in the Ministry of Love before he undergoes torture. The various characters he encounters serve different purposes to the story. He first encounters Ampleforth, who Winston knew would be captured someday. Ampleforth serves to further the motif of Winston's premonitions/dreams coming true. The poet underscores the intolerance of the Party toward those who manifest the human spirit through art. Parsons, however, surprises Winston when he arrives. Parsons's capture illustrates how dangerous the children in the world of the novel are: they are so brainwashed they will betray even their own parents. His capture also shows how truly oppressed the populace is. Parsons seems to enjoy himself before he's captured and whole-heartedly supports the Party, but he reveals his hidden despair when he repeatedly cries out in his sleep, "Down with Big Brother" (233), which is the same phrase Winston wrote in his journal.

Parsons, along with other prisoners, are taken to Room 101. Orwell mentions Room 101 at the beginning of the section and continues to build suspense about it through the characters' responses before they are taken there. This suspense culminates (in this section anyway) with the starving man denouncing the very man who offered him food. The buildup of suspense is important because Winston will eventually be taken to Room 101, which is where he will finally betray Julia. The starving man's actions foreshadow Winston's actions in Room 101 (for they are essentially the same), just as the starving man's appearance foreshadows what will happen to Winston (he'll end up looking like the staving man.) Winston is already tormented by hunger when he first sees the starving prisoner.

O'Brien reveals himself to Winston in this section. The dialogue he exchanges with Winston is interesting and may point to O'Brien having once been a revolutionary (see Section Two Analysis IX). O'Brien will torture Winston until Winston believes the Party can alter the facts of mathematics. This is a fairly important aspect, one tied into the betrayal of Julia. Orwell's story is tightly woven throughout, and a good example occurs on p. 228 when Winston is pondering how he will stand up to torture and if he will betray Julia: "He loved her and would not betray her; but that was only a fact, known as he knew the rules of arithmetic."

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