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Heartwarming / Nineteen Eighty-Four

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Despite the overall bleakness of the novel, there are a few heartwarming moments.

  • Winston contemplates his mother holding his starving baby sister and a woman he saw in a newsreel who threw herself over a child to protect him from the fire of a helicopter gunship even though she knew it wouldn't help. He comes to the realization that "If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give you still gave him love."
  • A man dying of starvation is brought to the cell in the Ministry of Love that Winston is sharing with several other prisoners. One man offers him a piece of bread. And then a bunch of guards storm in and beat him with clubs.
  • The love song outlasts the hate song in popularity. Also, the fact that the prole woman was able to talk the generic love song and turn it into something genuinely meaningful. Shows that even in Oceania, human creativity can't be completely destroyed.
  • The Appendix. Whether it's In-Universe or not, its existence, which is written in the past tense, is one of the only shreds of hope in this book. Bear in mind that this particular world is considered to be the Crapsack World of all crap worlds in Fictional History. Some critics have claimed that for the essay's author, both Newspeak and the totalitarian government are in the past. To quote Cracked, "It [the appendix] demonstrates how state control of information is only as strong as its citizens' belief in freedom and dissent and rebellion and human rights, and asserts that as long as these ideals are promoted and refuse to die, authoritarianism can never work." And the author himself refused to remove it from the book...
  • Winston's affair with Julia in Part II are mostly this.
    • Their interaction and their first time in the forest.
    • To begin with, Winston hated Julia so much that he would have killed her or even raped her, but then Julia gave Winston a small note saying "I love you." That one act makes Winston's aggression and hatred melt away within moments. Soon after, Winston loves Julia in return, and they become a strongly-bonded couple. All it took was a bit of truth.
    • Julia comforting Winston when she sees how terrified he is by the rat they find in their secret room.
    • Chapter IV of Part II is full of this. There is virtually nothing threatening in this chapter. Just the two of them enjoying their happiness and love in privacy.
    • In the 1984 adaptation, her theme, which is also a recurring piece in the soundtrack counts as this. While the ethereal tune is purely heartbreaking, the poetic lyrics are beautifully heartwarming, and hopeful.
  • The proles' brainwashed life is actually made sweet by how utterly carefree they are, and how they don't have to worry as much as Winston does. Except for the National Lottery, which is really, really Serious Business. Winston eventually comes to the conclusion that the proles are morally better than Party members:
    They were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another. For the first time in his life he did not despise the proles or think of them merely as an inert force which would one day spring to life and regenerate the world. The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside.
  • The prole who saves Winston from getting hit by an unexpected rocket bombing, showing that their type may be almost mindless, but they're not heartless.
    "Steamer!" he yelled. "Look out, guv'nor! Bang over 'ead! Lay down quick!"
  • Even though Winston ultimately does betray Julia after Room 101, there's something heartwarming about the fact that even after heavy torture, even after being made to accept the Party's distorted reality, Winston is able to hold onto his love for Julia. Even O'Brien seems a little impressed that Winston managed to hold onto that, noting it as the one humiliation Winston has avoided.