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Part One, Chapter Eight

Winston ditches spending an evening at the Community Center and decides instead to walk through a prole neighborhood. The Newspeak word "ownlife" referred to something which Party members were assumed not to have, that is, a life outside the Party. Winston knows that there is likely to be suspicion on him. Nonetheless, he continues his walk, repeating to himself, "If there is hope it lies in the proles." Suddenly, he is warned that a "steamer" (bomb) is about to be dropped, not an uncommon occurrence in this area of town. Winston emerges unharmed after the explosion, although he sees a severed prole hand, which he kicks into the gutter.

He enters a little pub, and though it is slightly odd for him to be there, especially in his Party uniform, he is accepted and sits down for a drink. He tries to engage an old man in a discussion about the old days of capitalism, but the man gives too incoherent answers to make any point to Winston. He tries to press the old man further, asking if life was better then or now, but the man sheds no light in his garbled responses. Winston gives up and leaves.

He stops by the same shop where he had purchased his diary, and the owner, Mr. Charrington, recognizes him. Though Winston does not have any object in mind, he spots a beautiful heavy lump of glass over coral which he immediately buys. Mr. Charrington shows him what is upstairs, a room with several antique objects and no telescreen, which Winston notices right away. He is attracted to a painting of St. Clement's Dane, an old church building, and Mr. Charrington teaches him a childhood rhyme about the church and its bells. Winston leaves the story, repeating the rhyme to himself, and resolves to return and buy the painting someday soon. However, he is jolted into reality when he sees the same dark-haired girl from the Fiction Department walking towards him! Winston is sure that he has been discovered by the Though Police and has rash thoughts of killing her first before she can report his disloyalty.

Winston finally makes his way home, fearing how the Thought Police might emerge at any time to whisk him away and destroy any evidence of his existence, as they often did during the night to suspected enemies of the Party. He sits still in his apartment, with the diary in front of him, and then slowly thinks about O'Brien and the "place of no darkness" which must be the future. He is immersed by the image of Big Brother, and staring at a coin with BB's face, Winston once again thinks about the three Party slogans.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Part One, Chapter One
Part One, Chapter Two
Part One, Chapter Three
Part One, Chapter Four
Part One, Chapter Five
Part One, Chapter Six
Part One, Chapter Seven
Part One, Chapter Eight
Part Two, Chapter One
Part Two, Chapter Two
Part Two, Chapter Three
Part Two, Chapter Four
Part Two, Chapter Five
Part Two, Chapter Six
Part Two, Chapter Seven
Part Two, Chapter Eight
Part Two, Chapter Nine
Part Two, Chapter Ten
Part Three, Chapter One
Part Three, Chapter Two
Part Three, Chapter Three
Part Three, Chapter Four
Part Three, Chapter Five
Part Three, Chapter Six


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