1984 Book 2 Chapter 8 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 begin with a brief recap of Chapter 7 of Book 2 of 1984, and will then include a summary of Chapter 8. In that chapter, Winston and Julia go to O'Brien's house, where O'Brien asks them some tough questions before he allows them to join the Brotherhood.


In Chapter 7, Book 2, of 1984, Winston woke up crying because he had a dream about his last interaction with his mother and sister before they disappeared. This made him feel guilty, and he hates the Party for eliminating feelings. He then realized that the proles, the working class of Oceania, are true humans because they had held on to their feelings.

Winston and Julia go to O'Brien's House

As Chapter 8 of Book 2 of 1984 begins, Winston and Julia take a tremendous risk and arrive at O'Brien's house together. This was very dangerous. A servant then takes them into the luxurious house, which is very large with servants and elevators.

Winston and Julia find O'Brien sitting and working. He finishes his work by dictating into his speakwrite and then turns off the telescreen, much to Winston's surprise. He explains that only Inner Party members can do that. O'Brien then assures Winston and Julia that they are completely alone. Winston then boldly declares that he and Julia hate the Party and are there to join the Brotherhood, a mysterious organization working to bring down the Party, if it actually exists.

O'Brien Confirms the Brotherhood's Existence

O'Brien tells Winston and Julia that the Brotherhood is indeed real, and its leader, Emmanuel Goldstein, is alive and well. They drink real wine and make a toast.

As they drink wine, O'Brien informs Winston and Julia about what it will be like to fight the Party. He tells them that they will have to work alone, without knowing anything other than their orders, and they'll, almost certainly, be killed by the Party at some point.

O'Brien then asks Winston and Julia a series of horrid and unpleasant questions about what they are willing to do if ordered to by the Brotherhood. They agree to even the most terrible question, which was about burning a child's face with acid if necessary. However, when asked whether they would never see each other again, Julia interrupts and says no.

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