Readers are introduced to Winston Smith, his living situation which although called Victory Mansion is not lavish; it is a run-down apartment complex. Readers are also introduced to Big Brother, the government’s authority figure and figurehead for the Party. The telescreen always watches its Party Members, looking for traitors among them. Winston brings out a journal, out of view of the telescreen, because it is considered an act of rebellion against the Party.
He writes about the films the Party makes, the dark-haired girl from work and O’Brien, someone he believes is against the Party.
Winston believes the Thought Police will knock at his door, but it turns out to be Mrs. Parsons, his neighbor. Winston helps her with the Parsons’ plumbing and her children accuse him of thoughtcrime. Her children are upset that they couldn’t go see the public hanging. He goes back to his apartment and hides the journal. Winston then dreams of his mother and a sinking ship that he feels responsible for.
He then dreams of a Utopia free from the Party where he is with the dark-haired girl from work. He wakes up to a whistle for the “Physical Jerks”, the Party’s regulated physical exercise. Winston is yelled at from the telescreen by the exercise manager.
After the “Physical Jerks” Winston goes to work at the Ministry of Truth where he updates Big Brother’s orders and Party Records so what Big Brother says is always true. He makes up a story about a fictional person, Comrade Ogilvy, as a ideal Party Man who died. Winston then meets up with Syme, another Party member who revises the Newspeak dictionary. Syme talks about the aime of Newspeak is to erase words.
Winston knows the Syme will be vaporized because he is too intelligent. Parsons, Winston’s neighbor, visits Winston to get their apartment’s dues. Parsons laughs about how his children treated Winston the previous day. The Ministry of Plenty announces an increase in production but Winston knows the increase is actually a lie. Winston believes he is being watched by the dark-haired girl, who he thinks is a Party agent.
Chapter 1-5 Responses
1. I like Winston so far even though he seems very weak, which is just a result of the Party’s oppression. The Party seems to be everywhere, impacting everyone. 3. The movie, The Truman Show, is based off of the movie 1984 in the way that someone is controlling and watching over the protagonists lives. They have no privacy or choices. 6. I was very surprised that the exercise manager called out to Winston. Up until that point I believed the Party always watching was a scam to making people follow the Party. 7. I would like the next chapter to develop into Winston investigating the Party and trying to rebel more against them.