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Part One, Chapter Five

At lunchtime, Winston heads to the canteen and meets a fellow comrade, Syme, who asks Winston if he has any spare razor blades. Winston lies and says no, even though he has a couple more, since he knows that razor blades have been, of late, very hard to find. While they eat, Syme recounts his current assignment of writing a Newspeak dictionary, a language which fascinates Syme for its incessant desire to simplify the English language. Why have various synonyms for words, when all is needed is one defined word, like "good" whose opposite is simply "ungood"? As Syme talks, Winston thinks to himself how Syme will probably be vaporized by the Party, despite his apparent loyalty. There are rumors that Syme frequents the Chestnut Tree Café, a local haunt of past traitors of the Party. Just then, Parsons joins them and begins to boast about his children discovering a foreigner and turning him over to the Party patrols. Parsons also mentions the upcoming Hate Week celebration, for which he is collecting a quarter's share of each person's salary for the entire block.

A voice over the loudspeaker announces that the Party has had a productive cycle, and that the chocolate ration will be increased. Winston is amused at how quickly everyone accepts the news, especially since he had just altered the history which misquoted Big Brother's prediction about productivity, meaning that the "increase" was in fact a decrease from the original "unaltered" amounts.

Winston is pulled out of his reverie when he realizes that a dark-haired girl from the Fiction Department, whom he hates for her pure Party loyalty, is staring at him. He is flushed by the possibility that she is an agent of the Thought Police and that he has just committed facecrime, by showing unorthodox emotions on his face. Just then, there is a loud whistle, signaling the time to return to work.

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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