1984 Book 2 Quotes: Examples & Analysis

Instructor: Margaret Stone

Margaret has taught both college and high school English and has a master's degree in English.

This lesson examines significant quotations from Book 2 of '1984' by George Orwell. Book 2 contains the nursery rhyme ''Oranges and Lemons,'' which Winston thinks about throughout the novel.

Book 2 Overview

Winston and Julia meet and develop a romantic relationship in Book 2 of 1984 by George Orwell. The lovers recognize in each other a desire to rebel again the Party, but their relationship represents a significant risk for Winston and Julia.

In 1984, Big Brother is always watching people, a fact that later haunts Winston and Julia.
Big Brother


After Winston visits the pub and Mr. Charrington's place in Book 1, he encounters Julia, the dark-haired girl who has stared at him in the canteen. That she should suddenly appear in such an out-of-the-way locale sends Winston into a panic. Julia eventually makes contact with Winston by slipping him a note that says, ''I love you.'' In spite of the danger, Winston desperately wants to speak with Julia, and they are finally able to have a covert conversation in which they arrange to meet.

When they are finally alone together at the hideout, Winston tells Julia, ''Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought Police.'' Winston is describing the terrible reality in which they live. Anyone considering rebellion must question every word or act that is out of the ordinary.

Julia understands his statement completely, for she recognizes that a healthy dose of paranoia could be a lifesaver. Ironically, though, Winston is not sufficiently mistrustful of Charrington or O'Brien.

Optimism and Pessimism

Two passages in Book 2 reveal that Winston and Julia, despite their shared hatred of the Party, are actually opposites. Winston is pessimistic; he believes that the individual will be crushed in the end. ''In this game that we're playing, we can't win. Some kinds of failure are better than other kinds, that's all,'' Winston says.

As the two continue to discuss the consequences of ''declaring war on the Party,'' Winston concludes, ''We are dead.''

''We're not dead yet,'' Julia says optimistically, perhaps indicating that she will be slower to concede to the will of the party. Their attitudes, however, have little bearing on the final outcome that awaits Winston and Julia.

'Oranges and Lemons'

The nursery rhyme ''Oranges and Lemons,'' which Winston first discusses with Charrington, serves two distinct purposes in the novel. First, like the antique paperweight Winston buys, it is a remnant of the past that the Party is trying to eradicate. The rhyme alludes to several churches that no longer exist by the time Julia and Winston meet:

''You owe me three farthings,' say the bells of St. Martins,

'When will you pay me?' say the bells of Old Bailey.''

The church buildings still exist, but because religion has been outlawed, the churches have been transformed into museums that house Party artifacts.

After Julia and Wilson discuss the churches, Julia remembers the next line of the nursery rhyme: ''Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head!'' A candle that lights a person's way to bed would seem to be a good thing, but this line is immediately followed by a horrific image of decapitation.

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