This fragment of the chapter is the first and only time Winston’s past is revealed. The kind of child he was.
He grew in hunger in a small room with his sibling and mother. We hear nothing of his father.
Winston is hungry, he whine and made futile demands for food. As a spoiled brat he went about the room pulling everything out of place and kicking the wainscoting until the neighbours banged on the wall, while the younger child wailed intermittently. We don’t know if the younger child is male or female.
To stop Winston’s behaviour his says, ‘Now be good, and I’Il buy you a toy. A lovely toy — you’ll love it’. Then, she goes out in the pouring rain to some little general shop came back with a cardboard box containing an outfit of Snakes and Ladders.
He could still remember the smell of the damp cardboard.
As everything in Winston’s world, in the 1984 world it was shoddy. The board was cracked and the tiny wooden dice were so ill-cut that they would hardly lie on their sides.
Winston had looked at the game without interest. But then his mother lit a piece of candle and they sat down on the floor to play.
It is odd that we do not know the name of his mother, the name or age or sex of Winston’s sibling. He never much considered his past even before the torture and mind destruction.
What is odd is that his mother can buy him a toy instead of food.