1984 is a powerful work of George Orwell, but one of the key components to the book is the dream of Winston and how that dream relates to the book overall. Winston dreams of the deaths of his mother and sister. They were sinking in water, sacrificing their lives in some tragic, loving way to keep Winston alive. The dream then changes to the “Golden Country,” an idyllic setting. A girl runs towards him, carelessly tearing off her clothes in defiance of the Party. Winston wakens with “Shakespeare” upon his lips. Apart from numerous abstract details, Orwell uses concrete details.
First, the appearance of Winston’s parents is described. Winston’s mother was a “tall, statuesque, rather silent woman” and Winston’s father was “dark and thin, dressed always in neat dark clothes. ” By describing the parents, the reader can better make a mental picture of the parents as they were “swallowed up in one of the great purges of the Fifties. ” The next paragraph describes the deaths of Winston’s mother and sister. Winston’s sister is described as a “tiny, feeble baby, always silent, with large, watchful eyes. ” I believe that Orwell uses the description of the baby as a depiction of the corrupt power of the Party.
Furthermore, the young sister was “in her [the mother’s] arms. ” The embracing of a child was a forgotten act in 1984, but when the mother and child died, the embrace was a common sign of family love. This type of family love that was connected to the past brings Winston closer to his love of the better past. Although reading into faces could approach the abstract nature of ideas, Winston could see “knowledge” in the faces of his mother and sister. The mother and sister knew that they were dying in order for Winston to live. Furthermore, “there was no reproach either in their faces or their hearts.
The mother and sister simply knew that their inevitable death was “part of the unavoidable order of things. ” In 1984, devotion to the Party and devotion to Big Brother left little to no room for others. In 1984, no normal person had the level of love to die for a family member. However, in the dream of the better past, love was evident. The cruel knife of the Party had not yet cut the cord of family love. The death of the mother and sister was tragic. The death was described as being in a “deep grave. ” Next, they seemed to be in a “saloon of a sinking ship. The green water separated Winston from his family more and more.
Though the concrete visual seems to merge on abstract ideas, the dream is definitely presented in a way to show the harsh nature of the death. The death was “tragic. ” To Winston, tragedy belonged to an “ancient time,” a time when “privacy, love, and friendship” were common. In 1984, these positive attributes were replaced by “fear, hatred, and pain. ” The change makes evident the backward ideology that continues to grow and grow, becoming crueler with time. Later in the book, O’Brien describes the future with the image of a face being stomped on forever.
However, in Winston’s dream, the past is characterized by the embracing of a helpless child. Winston longs for a different, better life. The dream describes the nature of family loyalty. In 1984, the family structure seems to flip inside out. The children are largely in control of the family. As with the Parsons, the Junior spy children torment their parents and visitors with accusations of thoughtcrime, and the adults can do nothing about these fervent outbursts because the children can easily bring punishment with a delivered accusation to the thought police.
The first part of the dream describes the course of history up to the present. The Party increases their control upon the people. The second half of the dream has more to do with the future. The second part of the dream starts with a description of an idyllic setting, “the Golden Country. ” The scene is that of an “old, rabbit-bitten pasture,” complete with a “foot track,” “elm trees,” and a “slow-moving stream” under the “willow trees. ” The scene is in a place in the country. What draws Winston to the landscape is the most is the fact that the land is away from the cities.
The land makes him think of a time and place where one could escape from the constant supervision of the Party. In an isolated place, one could act more freely. The party members could do only what they could have done before the Party took power. Next, “the girl with dark hair [Julia]” is coming to Winston across the field. She then “tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. ” Winston wasn’t absorbed with the “white and smooth” body of Julia. What Winston really appreciated was the gesture with which Julia threw her clothes aside.
The grace and carelessness displayed by the act “seemed to annihilate a whole culture, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm. ” The gesture of Julia is a gesture from another time. Only in the past would one have the courage or the freedom to do such an act. Little does Winston know that his dream is a foreshadowing of the true future. One day, Winston will meet Julia in that “rabbit-bitten pasture,” the very same pasture of the dream. One day, Julia will tear her clothes off in defiance of the Party.
One day, Winston will be at peace in a place away from the Party, and Winston will not have to constantly dodge the Party and its tactics. Much of the dream is about Winston’s longing for the past and how he desires to be connected to the past as much as possible while remaining in the confined present. As Winston awakes from his dream, the word “Shakespeare” is on his lips. Shakespeare is deeply rooted in the past. The Ministry of Truth has undoubtedly erased or reformed much of Shakespeare’s writings, and Winston’s thought of Shakespeare represents his subconscious desire and love for the better past.