In the middle of the morning, Winston takes a break from working to go to the bathroom. He notices the dark-haired girl walking towards him. The two are alone in the hallway. The girl falls, and Winston rushes to help her up. While assisting her, she discreetly hands him a small piece of paper. To avoid detection, he waits five minutes at his desk before allowing himself to read it, all the time imagining that perhaps it is a warning or a summons from the Thought Police. Finally he looks at it. It reads, "I love you." Winston is stunned.
At home in bed, Winston is able to think about the paper and work through his feelings. He tries to determine how to get in touch with the girl to arrange a rendezvous. Because she works in the Fiction Department, it would be too obvious if they ran into each other again in the hallway. For the next week, they keep missing each other in the canteen. Finally, he manages to sit an otherwise vacant table, only a few seats away from her. Speaking in near whispers, and not looking at each other, they quickly agree to meet at Victory Square.
In Victory Square, the excitement of a convoy of Eurasian prisoners causes a crowd, and they are able to stand side to side. The girl takes charge of the conversation immediately, outlining a plan to meet in a specific and distant point in the country that Sunday afternoon. Winston agrees. Just before the crowd parts the girls squeezes his hand, and upon touching it Winston feels he has learned every part of it by heart.
On Sunday, Winston travels into the country, following the girl's directions. While he is picking her some wildflowers, she finds him and they head to the secluded spot she has in mind. Before anything happens, Winston tells the girl that he is thirty-nine, and has varicose veins, a wife, and five false teeth. The girl replies that she does not care. They begin talking, and Winston learns that the girl's name is Julia. She has known for some time that he is Winston Smith. Winston reveals that he believed Julia to be part of the Thought Police. Julia finds such a notion quite funny, but appears to take some pleasure in being that believable as a Party devotee.
Julia and Winston stroll through the little enclave. Winston, standing at the edge of their small clearing, suddenly recognizes the scenery: it is the Golden Country from his dreams. A small thrush perched near them begins to sing passionately, and the sound strikes Winston as an example of simple, pure, unstoppable beauty. They head back to the clearing. Just as he saw in his dream, Julia tears off her clothes and they embrace. She reveals that she has done this with many Party members, and Winston explains that the more men she has been with, the more he will love her. He is inspired by her freedom and passionate rebellion, as corruption within the Party gives him hope for the future. After having sex, Winston likens their affair to a political act; a blow against the Party.
When Julia wakes from her short slumber, she immediately becomes businesslike: she dresses herself, and discusses where they should next meet, as it is dangerous to return to the same place more than a couple of times. They are able to meet up again privately once in the month of May, in a ruined church belfry, but otherwise they must be satiated with minor, seemingly accidental and unnoticed encounters in public streets, during which they pretend not to know each other. At the church tower, Winston learns more about Julia's life. She is twenty-six, lives in a hostel with other girls, and works on the novel-writing machine in the Fiction Department. She has no memories of life before the Revolution, and knows barely anyone who does. Throughout her life she has been an ideal Party member, often singled out for leadership roles in youth organizations. She also reveals that she has worked in Pornosec, the pornography section of the Fiction Department, devoted to creating pornographic stories for the proles. Apparently the Party believes women are better suited for Pornosec, because their morals won't be as tempted by the material as their male counterparts'. She had her first love affair at sixteen, and does not believe in the underground anti-Party Brotherhood movement.
Winston discusses his own life, and talks about his wife, Katharine, calling her "goodthinkful," meaning entirely and completely loyal to the Party, even in her most private thoughts. Winston hated her, and her cold, businesslike approach to their sex life. Julia predicts that Katharine called sex her "duty to the Party," and Winston is surprised to learn that this is a phrase women are taught to use. With this realization, he begins to understand the depths of the Party's sexual Puritanism. Removing sex allows one's energy to be otherwise focused, into violent loyalty to the Party and hatred of its enemies. Moreover, removing the parent instinct removes any loyalty other than that to the Party. Next, Winston reveals that once, while separated from a larger group on a walk in the country, he considered murdering his wife, but did not. Julia states that he should have done it to free himself. Winston agrees.
After a moment, Winston begins to understand that Julia believes it might be possible to continue living a secret life, while Winston knows the Thought Police will find them eventually. Stating his belief, Winston says, "We are the dead." Julia argues that they are not dead yet and begins to describe her next plan for them to meet.
In these chapters, Winston takes a significant step in his rebellion against the Party. He begins a love affair, blatantly rejecting the Party's hatred of sexual attraction and enjoyment. In Julia, Winston finally finds a compatriot in his quest against the Party. He is no longer alone. Julia's presence supports Winston's anti-Party thoughts and feelings, but their affair also highlights the differences in their attitudes toward the Party. Julie despises the Party, but accepts it as a permanent ruling government. She has no illusions of bringing the Party down or of a successful rebellion against it. Rather, she enjoys finding her own ways to rebel against the Party, such as efficiently planning her and Winston's encounters. Julia wants to live as long as possible without being caught in her small rebellions, and within the bounds of the Party. In contrast, Winston is sure that he will be arrested and will die. Rather than working to protect his own life, Winston embraces fatalism while holding out hope for a rebellion against the Party and dreams of a Party-free future.
Julia and Winston meet in the square and observe a procession of prisoners of war. Here, we see the brutality of the totalitarian regime. The Party purposely parades these prisoners through a public square to use them as sources of propaganda and to rally the crowd against them. The parade of prisoners suggests that the Party is succeeding in battle and rallies the crowd's support for the Party's war efforts. Here again, the Party is masterfully manipulating the minds of its subjects through carefully planned propaganda efforts. Moreover, these prisoners and others already in Oceania are the only foreigners in the nation. Oceanian citizens never interact with foreigners - yet another method of control that prevents Oceanian citizens from understanding what life would be like outside of Oceania or beyond the reach of the Party. With no basis for comparison, Oceanian citizens have no choice but to be content with their lives.
Winston and Julia's encounter in the Golden Country is an important moment in the novel. Here, Winston sees the vision from his dream - Julia ripping her clothes of in the middle of the Golden Country - transformed into reality. In addition, he is inspired by a thrush's passionate song, which is, in Winston's eyes, a wonderful expression of freedom and beauty. Throughout the novel, Winston finds great inspiration in music. Here, it is through the thrush, and in much of the rest of the novel, it is through the red-armed, large prole woman who sings passionately while doing laundry in her yard.
Winston talks about his wife with Julia, revealing her sexual frigidity, and Julia is not surprised. Again, the Party's puritanical views on sexuality become apparent. Winston is encouraged to learn that Julia has had many affairs, her first at age sixteen. In his eyes, this behavior is a great act of political rebellion against the Party, and he is eager to take part in it. On a more personal level, Winston is elated to finally be in a sexual relationship where both parties are eager for personal pleasure, and in which the Party plays no role.