Timeline to “Nineteen Eighty-Four”


One of my favorite things to do is to write up a timeline of various books that I read, if it’s possible and not too large. Last spring, I did so with “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell. George Orwell loved timelines. You can find in a variety of his books detailed passings of time. After all, just look at the opening of the book and how the clocks were striking thirteen.

So here is the timeline I wrote up. It’s small and I have some trouble with Part III of the book. Winston is a prisoner in the Ministry of Love, a huge skyscraper with no windows. Winston has no idea how much time has passed. I’ve only managed to find hints here and there during Winton’s interrogation.


* Mr. Charrington is born.

* Winston Smith is born. (May)

* Parsons is born.

* Winston steals food from his sister and mother and runs off. It is the last time he sees them again.

* Julia is born.

* Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford are arrested.

* Julia’s grandfather is vaporized.

* Winston sees Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford in the Chestnut Tree Cafe.

* Winston and Katherine marry.

* Winston and Katherine break up because of lack of children, although their marriage is never officially ended.
* During work Winston comes upon information about Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, which prove that their confessions are a lie. He puts it in the memory hole.

* Julia has her first love affair with a Party Member.

* Parson’s son is born.

* O’Brien and the Thought Police first begin watching Winston, which is when he has his dream about O’Brien.
* Parson’s daughter, the one who ends up turning him in, is born.

* Oceania begins it’s war with Eurasia. But then, it’s ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia.

* Winston sleeps with a prostitute.


April 3
* Winston goes to the “flicks” to watch a propaganda film.
April 4
* The Two Minute Hate starts. Winston notices O’Brien and thinks he is on his side. (11:00-11:02 AM)
* Start of the book. Winston starts his diary during his lunch break. (1:00 PM)
* Winston helps Mrs. Parson with her sink and gets attacked by her son with a slingshot.
* Winston goes back to work. (2:30 PM)
April 5
* Winston dreams of Julia in the Golden Country. (7:15 AM)
* Winston has lunch with Parsons and Syme. (1:00 PM)
April 14
* Winston goes into the pub to try and talk to a prole about the old days. (8:00 PM)
* Winston goes into the junk shop and meets Mr. Charrington.
April 18
* Julia slips Winston the note that says “I Love You”.
April 25
* Winston and Julia finally get to talk in the canteen.
* Winston and Julia meet up in Victory Square. (7:00 PM)
May 2
* Winston and Julia meet in the Golden Country. (3 PM)
* Winston buys the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop so that he and Julia will have a place to conduct their love affair.
* Syme disapears.
July / late July
* Winston meets with O’Brien about the Brotherhood.
* During Hate Week Oceania’s enemy changes from Eurasia to Eastasia. But then, Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.
* Winston and Julia are captured to the Thought Police and taken to the Ministry of Love.
* Winston begins to be interrogated by O’Brien.

* Winston goes into Room 101 and betrays Julia.
* Winston and Julia talk in the park, seeing each other for the last time.
* Winston loves Big Brother!



4 thoughts on “Timeline to “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

  1. Pingback: The Geography of 1984 « Writing As I Please

  2. Mr Charrington isn’t so old. As revealed at the end of Part Two, he’s about 35, and uses a lot of make-up to impersonate an old shopkeeper, which he removes so Winston can see the truth revealed. In the film version this is simplified by making the character an old man.

    Earlier in the book, it is mentioned that some Thought Police agents are at large in the proles, so we could have guessed. In any case Winston ought to wonder how an antique dealer can be in business in a world where essential goods are scarce and the well-off are officially banned from wondering about the past.

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