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1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four: Novel Summary: Part 1 Chapter 5-Part 1 Chapter 6

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Part 1 Chapter 5: Winston joins his friend, Syme, for lunch in the Ministry of Truth's cafeteria. Syme and Winston discuss Syme's progress writing the latest definitive Newspeak dictionary. Excited by his project, Syme exclaims, "We're getting the language into its final shape-the shape it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words-scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050" (p. 51). Syme scolds Winston for clinging to Oldspeak: "You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston.Even when you write it you're still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that you write in the Times occasionally. They're good enough but they're translations. In your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of words" (p. 52). Syme elaborates on the benefits of Newspeak and the destruction of old language. 

 
Part 1 Chapter 6: This chapter opens with Winston writing in his diary about an encounter with a prostitute. Orwell devotes this chapter to describing the Party's rules on sex and marriage. Winston remembers his wife, Katherine, and wonders if she is still alive. Katherine was loyal to the Party and was not interested in sex with her husband unless they intended to make a baby because she believed that procreation was their "duty to the Party." To the Party, Katherine would have been a model wife because they did not want men and women to form bonds with each other that the Party could not control. In fact, the Party considers desire alone (even for one's spouse) a thoughtcrime punishable by death.



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