Book One: Chapter I

Winston Smith lives in the totalitarian state of Oceania where he works at the Ministry of Truth and alters historical records. Winston pulls out a diary and writes about a film, his lust and hatred for a girl who works at the Ministry of Truth, and an important Party member named O’Brien whom Winston suspects is an enemy of the Party. As Winston realizes that he has committed a thoughtcrime and the Thought Police will soon come after him, he hears a knock. 

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book One: Chapter I

Book One: Chapter II

Winston answers the door to find his neighbor Mrs. Parsons asking for help with the plumbing. While in her apartment, Winston is harassed by her children, members of the Junior Spies for the Party, who accuse him of thoughtcrime. Back in his apartment, Winston writes in his diary that he is a dead man.

Book One: Chapter III

The telescreen wakes Winston up in time for the Physical Jerks. While exercising, Winston thinks about his childhood, which he has little memory of, as well as how the history of the world has been altered. The telescreen reprimands Winston for not working hard enough at the Physical Jerks.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book One: Chapters II & III

Book One: Chapter IV

Winston goes to his job in the Records section of the Ministry of Truth where he ensures that Big Brother’s orders and Party records match new developments. Winston is tasked with fabricating an ideal Party man to take the place of a former Big Brother official who was executed for being an enemy of the Party.

Book One: Chapter V

Winston has lunch with Syme, who says he aims to create a revised dictionary of Newspeak, Oceania’s national language, to render thoughtcrimes impossible. Mrs. Parsons’ husband asks Winston for a contribution to Hate Week and apologizes for his children’s behavior, while simultaneously commending their dedication to the Party. After an announcement is made by the Ministry of Plenty, Winston notices a dark-haired girl staring.

Book One: Chapter VI

Winston writes in his diary about his last sexual encounter with a prole prostitute, the Party’s disdain for sex, and his ex-wife who hated sex. Winston views an enjoyable sexual affair as the ultimate act of rebellion.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book One: Chapters IV–VI

Book One: Chapter VII

Winston writes in his diary that a revolution must come from the proles, who make up most of the population but are too disorganized and uninterested to revolt. Winston flips through a children’s history book and becomes uneasy. He recalls an occasion that provided him with a concrete example of the Party’s dishonesty.

Book One: Chapter VIII

In the prole district, Winston asks an old man about the past, but the man is unable to provide Winston with any information. Winston purchases a paperweight. While walking home, Winston is startled when he notices the dark-haired girl following him. He decides that he should commit suicide before the Thought Police capture him. Winston calms himself by thinking about O’Brien.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book One: Chapters VII & VIII

Book Two: Chapter I

Winston and the dark-haired girl finally have an encounter at work, where she gives him a note saying she loves him, confusing Winston who initially believed that she was a spy. During their planned meeting, Winston and the girl witness prisoners being tormented. Winston is instructed to take a train to the countryside so he and the girl can meet.

Book Two: Chapter II

The girl tells Winston that her name is Julia and the two of them have sex. Winston becomes further excited when he learns that this is not Julia’s first time having sex, and in fact that she has had sex with many men, which suggests to Winston that more Party members have committed crimes.

Book Two: Chapter III

Winston and Julia continue to meet with one another. Winston learns that Julia is less interested in rebellion than in enjoying herself and outwitting the party. Julia explains to Winston why the Party prohibits sex. 

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Two: Chapters I–III

Book Two: Chapter IV

Winston and Julia spend time together in a room above Mr. Charrington’s shop that Winston rented for their affair. 

Book Two: Chapter V

During the preparations for Hate Week the city comes alive and rowdy. Winston imagines a life with Julia but becomes upset after her apparent lack of interest in rebellion.

Book Two: Chapter VI

Winston finally meets O’Brien and is overjoyed when O’Brien offers to have Winston over to his home to show him a Newspeak dictionary. Winston believes that his meeting with O’Brien is fate, even if it will lead to his eventual death.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Two: Chapters IV–VI

Book Two: Chapter VII

Winston wakes up crying in the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop and tells Julia that he was dreaming of his mother and childhood, concluding that he hates the Party for making them feel inhuman. Even though Winston and Julia decide to leave to reduce the possibility of getting caught, they cannot, instead agreeing that they will continue to love each other even if they are tortured and forced to confess their crimes.

Book Two: Chapter VIII

Winston and Julia visit O’Brien, where Winston proclaims his desire to join the Brotherhood. Winston and Julia learn that Emmanuel Goldstein is alive and they are initiated into the rebellion through a ritual song. O’Brien and Winston agree to meet again, and Winston is given a copy of Goldstein’s book.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Two: Chapters VII & VIII

Book Two: Chapter IX

Winston reads through Goldstein’s book and learns about the history of the social classes and how war is a means of keeping the masses ignorant of life in other places. Winston reads Julia a section that explains how the control of history is a central tool for the Party.

Book Two: Chapter X

Winston and Julia listen to the red-armed woman singing and think that she might hold the key to the future, as well as the possibility of the proles gaining a level of consciousness that will usurp the Party. A voice comes from the telescreen and a group of troops burst into the room and restrain Winston. Winston recognizes that the voice was Mr. Charrington’s and realizes that he is a member of the Thought Police.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Two: Chapters IX & X

Book Three: Chapter I

Winston finds himself in a cell. Witnessing the violence committed to prisoners, Winston hopes that the Brotherhood will send him a blade with which to commit suicide, but when O’Brien is thrown into the cell, these hopes are shattered. Winston learns that O’Brien was an operative of the Ministry of Love.

Book Three: Chapter II

O’Brien oversees Winston’s torture and he convinces Winston to believe O’Brien’s versions of events. O’Brien answers several questions Winston poses, revealing that Julia betrayed Winston immediately.

Book Three: Chapter III

After weeks of torture, Winston learns about the Party’s motives. Winston looks in the mirror and sees how much his body has deteriorated. O’Brien explains that Winston did this to himself the moment he started writing in his diary. O’Brien commends Winston for not betraying Julia, but Winston will still be killed.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Three: Chapters I–III

Book Three: Chapter IV

Winston is moved to a comfier room where he tries to convince himself to accept the Party. One day, he is overcome with passion and begins screaming Julia’s name, knowing that this will alert O’Brien and lead to more torture. When O’Brien arrives, Winston says he hates Big Brother, forcing O’Brien to send Winston to Room 101.

Book Three: Chapter V

In Room 101, Winston, strapped to a chair, is told by O’Brien that a cage full of rats will be released onto Winston’s face. Winston breaks, screaming to O’Brien that Julia should be tortured instead of him. Satisfied by Winston’s betrayal, O’Brien removes the cage.

Book Three: Chapter VI

Winston, now free, enjoys gin at a café while watching the telescreen. Winston recalls being repulsed by the thought of sex with Julia, and the two acknowledge that they betrayed one another. When he sees a picture of Big Brother on the telescreen, Winston congratulates himself on his newfound love for Big Brother.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book Three: Chapters IV–VI