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Part Two, Chapter Eight

Julia and Winston take the risk and meet O'Brien together. They are let in by O'Brien's servant, and Winston is slightly disappointed to see that O'Brien is not really happy that they have come. Winston even believes that he might have made a mistake since all he had to go on was a look in O'Brien's eyes from so long ago, and he feels a momentary twinge of embarrassment that he could have been wrong. However, O'Brien gets up and makes his way across to them, and to Winston and Julia's surprise, he turns off the telescreen! O'Brien tells them that only Inner Party members have this privilege but even so, anything longer than thirty minutes arouses suspicion.

Julia and Winston confess to being enemies of the Party and ask what they can do to assist the cause, and O'Brien begins to tell them the information they have waited so long for after offering them some wine, which is also a privilege of the Inner Party. The Brotherhood actually exists, as an organization working against the Party, but the structure is so invisible that at any one time, the two of them will only know a handful of people in cahoots with them. This is a protective measure as well, since they will inevitably be caught by the Party, and if they do not know anything, they cannot reveal anything. The Brotherhood therefore cannot ever be destroyed, since the idea on which it is founded is indestructible and since there is no structure to destroy. O'Brien asks how far Winston and Julia are willing to go, and they assent to many acts except parting from each other - they would commit any other acts of atrocity on behalf of the Brotherhood, but they are unwilling to part and never see each other again. O'Brien is glad to know this information, since he needs to know their limitations.

O'Brien further warns them that they will be operating with no sense of reward. They will receive orders and will have to carry them out without knowing why; everything will be in the dark. Any change in the world, if it does happen, will not happen in their lifetime. They make a toast to the past before they leave. Julia leaves first, with a tablet to mask the smell of the wine, and O'Brien makes specific arrangements with Winston to deliver to him a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein's infamous book. When Winston rises to leave, O'Brien repeats the line that Winston hears in his dream, "[We shall meet again] in the place where there is no darkness." Winston then asks O'Brien if he knows the end of the nursery rhyme which Mr. Charrington started him out on, and to his surprise, O'Brien finishes it for him! Winston then leaves, with O'Brien returning to his work, as if everything is normal.

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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