1984 Book 1 Chapter 7 Summary

Instructor: Wendy A. Garland

Wendy has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has 10 years experience working in higher education.

This lesson will include a brief recap of Book 1, Chapter 6 of 1984. It will then include a summary of the main points of Book 1, Chapter 7. There, Winston considers sources of a possible revolution, remembers when he found out a lie The Party told, and finds the meaning of true freedom.


In Book 1, Chapter 6 of 1984, Winston wrote about his last sexual encounter with a prostitute in his diary. He did it to rebel against The Party's policy of sex being only for reproduction and not pleasure. The prostitute was old and ugly and he didn't enjoy it. It just made Winston angry.

Winston's Hopes for a Revolution

As Chapter 7, Book 1 of 1984 begins, Winston is writing in his diary. He writes that any hope for an overthrow of Big Brother and The Party is with the proles. They make up 85% of the population and can easily overpower the police. They would just need to organize around a central cause.

Because The Party considers the proles as worthless as humans, it does not believe they are capable of thoughtcrime. Because of this, the part of London where they live does not even have any telescreens . The proles do not even realize they are being oppressed.

The proles live their miserable lives and do not care enough about Big Brother or The Party to organize a revolt, to rise up all together against a common oppressor. In this case, the oppressor is The Party.

Winston Doubts Reality

In order to understand the past better, Winston reads a children's history book. Published by The Party, it says that ideal cities have been built, and everyone is happy and healthy. However, Winston takes a look around London and sees a crumbling, decaying city. Everyone lives in misery and fear.

At that point, Winston believes he may be fantasizing, believing and seeing things that are not really there, because the only official record is from The Party. Winston suspects that history to be false, but then begins to doubt himself. He realizes that if The Party said 2 plus 2 equals 5, everyone will have no choice but to believe it to be true.

Winston Recalls Proof of The Party's Lie

Winston remembers that in what must have been the mid-60s, the original leaders of the revolution were arrested in a purge by The Party. They then confessed to many crimes, including treason with Eurasia. Most of the leaders were executed, except three. Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were imprisoned and tortured before being released.

Winston then remembers that one day he had come across a newspaper photo at work which stuck inside a roll of other newspapers. The photo had the date of publication and showed that Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were in New York City on the day they were supposed to have been committing treason with Eurasia.

Terrified, Winston throws the photo in the memory hole. But he holds on to the memory as evidence of The Party and Big Brother's dishonesty. Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were arrested again and vaporized after confessing to treason and other new crimes.

If Winston found the photography today, he probably would keep it as evidence of the real memory.

Winston Defines Freedom

Winston considers his diary a letter to O'Brien, even though he only knows him by name. Winston sees the same streak of rebellion and consciousness in O'Brien as himself.

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