Winston Smith has lived his life alone and in secret. O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party invites him to visit to see a copy of the latest dictionary of Newspeak.
The meeting could be innocent, but Smith elevates it to a recruitment into the rebellion against Big Brother and visits with Julia.
Once there, almost oblivious to the magnificent living arrangements O’Brien enjoys, without much prompting, instantly and completely dedicates his existence to this ‘Brotherhood’ to overthrow ‘The Party’.
O’Brien made no laudatory speech, extended no invitation, and says everything possible to discourage. Yet Winston is rabid to join this rebellion.
Rereading this chapter one can easily see that far from trying to recruit, O’Brien is making it clear that there will be no winning for Winston, only death.
If Winston would have simply looked around, noted the luxurious surroundings, he would appreciate that O’Brien has too much to lose by bucking the system. Yet he doesn’t.
It is tragic to watch Winston betray himself and Julia for nothing.