Part One Study guide Question 7

What does Winston remember about his mother's character? What has replaced such qualities in Winstons present world? How do you think these vague childhood memories influence Winston as an adult?

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Winston dreams of his mother, who disappeared in one of the great purges of the 1950s, when Winston was ten or eleven years old. In his dream his mother is sitting below him with his baby sister in her arms, in some sort of underground room. In this memory, he feels sad because he knows that somehow she has given up her life and that of his sisters for him. He thinks of her death as a tragedy - impossible in current times, because she died loving him and giving herself up to a personal loyalty that current Party rule would never allow.

Motherhood and affection has been replaced by the state. Detachment and fear has replaced these feelings. Vague childhood memories of his mother leave Winston dissatisfied in the modern world. He looks love and connection.