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Part Three, Chapter Three

O'Brien explains the three stages of Winston's reintegration with society: learning, understanding, and acceptance. Winston now enters the second stage. O'Brien again refers to Winston's diary and asks Winston about his desire to know why, and not just how, the Party functions. O'Brien tells Winston that he helped to write the Emmanuel Goldstein book, and Winston questions him about it. O'Brien tells him that the overthrow of the Party is not possible, that the rule of the Party is forever, and he warns Winston never to forget that fact. O'Brien wants Winston to explain why he thinks the Party rules, and Winston responds with the answer that he thinks O'Brien wants to hear: that the Party rules for the good of the people. O'Brien bellows that he is wrong, that the Party rules entirely for its own sake, to keep and hold power forever. The Party is not a means to a great end, as many would believe, but rather it is the end itself - the Party will never relinquish control! O'Brien appears to read Winston's every thought, so when Winston thinks about O'Brien's old face and why it should look that way if he holds so much power, but O'Brien scoffs and says that the individual is not important, only the collective matters. The Party controls language and thought, and therefore controls everything. Winston says the Party cannot control the stars, but O'Brien brings up doublethink, saying that the Party can say the stars are near and far as it pleases - no one can contradict the Party if it says that the earth is the center of the universe and the stars are unimportant.

O'Brien goes on to explain the bigger picture - the ultimate goal of the Party. There will be no laughter, no literature, no art, no science, nothing that will compete with the Party. Children will be removed from their parents once they are born, and the sex instinct will be entirely without emotion. All heretics will be stamped out of existence forever. Winston cannot believe this, saying that it is impossible to build a society on hate and feat, but O'Brien counters that it is no more difficult than building one on love. The spirit of man will prevail, says Winston, and the Party will fall someday. O'Brien challenges Winston to see his own human spirit, and when Winston sees himself naked in a mirror, he is horrified with his disgusting appearance. Winston sobs with the realization of his own ugliness, but says that he has not betrayed Julia which is the truth since he did not stop loving her even though he confessed their crimes together, though O'Brien tells him that Julia has betrayed him. Winston yearns to know when he will be shot, but O'Brien tells him that he is a difficult case so it will be a long time.

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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