Study Guide

1984 Book 1, Chapter 3

By George Orwell

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Book 1, Chapter 3

  • Since thinking about the future is really just depressing, Winston dreams about the past. More specifically, he dreams about his mother's disappearance when he was age 10 or 11, the alluring brunette at his workplace, and Shakespeare. What do these possibly have in common? Winston doesn't know, either.
  • A whistle from the telescreen wakes Winston up at 7:30 a.m. Rise and shine, dear dystopian citizen.
  • He goes into a coughing fit, his ulcer swells and itches, and he has to complete the routine morning exercises the telescreen orders him to do.
  • While Winston exercises, and again because the future sucks, he tries very hard to remember as much as he can about the past. His reflections lead him to doubt the Party's authority on certain matters. You know, trivial aspects of history like with whom they were at war at any given time. Or when, exactly, the Party actually came to power.
  • Although Winston's memory of the past is blurry at best, he concludes that he had never heard the word "Ingsoc" before 1960. Therefore, the Party could not have been omnipresent back then as it claims.
  • Uh oh. Winston thinks, "I can't prove any of this."

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