1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four: Novel Summary: Part 1 Chapter 7-Part 1 Chapter 8

Part 1 Chapter 7: Winston writes in his diary, “If there is hope it lies in the proles” (p.69). He believes that the proles, who make up 85% of Oceanias population, could overthrow the Party if they had proper leadership. However, this is unlikely to happen. Winston describes the proles as “unconscious.” Orwell illustrates Winstons perspective using a scene in which the proles begin to riot. Excited, Winston thinks that the proles are finally revolting. As he approaches the riot, Winston finds that the proles are fighting over flimsy pots and pans. Again, Winston returns to his diary: “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot be conscious” (p. 70). Winston thinks of Goldstein and the Brotherhood. He remembers major revolts and mass executions. In particular, he recalls the arrest and trials of three traitors: Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford. Wiston remembers seeing the three men in at the Chestnut Tree Café several years after the men were released by the Thought Police. The men sat motionless in the café as if they were corpses. Winston wondered what torture could have caused the men to lose their souls.
Part 1 Chapter 8: Winston ventures into a prole neighborhood in an effort to find someone old enough to tell him about history before the Party. After dodging a rocket bomb landing in the prole quarter, Winston finds an old man in a local pub and tries to engage him in conversation. The old man is drunk and feisty. He has little recollection of his past and the memories he does share reveal nothing about Oceanias history. Disappointed, Winston strolls away from the pub and finds himself at the small shop where he bought his diary. The proprietor of the shop, Mr. Charrington, strikes Winston as a kind and honest man. They chat amicably as Winston browses through the antiques in the shop, looking for anything that existed before the Party. Winston finds a glass paperweight that contains a colorful piece of corral. Winston buys the object and leaves the store. Walking back to his own neighborhood, Winston encounters the girl from his office who Winston thought was a spy. Terrified, he imagines killing the girl but instead he rushes back to his apartment.