The book starts with Winston entering his apartment in noon, leaving work at noon by choice since we are given the information that
By leaving the Ministry at this time of day he had sacrificed his lunch in the canteen, and he was aware that there was no food in the kitchen except the bread that must be saved for morning.
Winston takes a sip of VICTORY GIN after entering his apartment and simply watches outside turning his back to the telescreen, which resides in an unusual position due to an alcove and the reader is led to..
It was partly the unusual geography of the room that had suggested to him the thing that he was about to do.
But it had also been suggested by the book that he had just taken out of the drawer. It was a beautiful book, smooth creamy paper..
where what he is about to do is to start a diary.. So it is almost immediately after he enters his apartment, he gets inspired by his surroundings, not after a while. And we also know that it is a 20 minute walk from Ministry of Truth to his apartment.
However, after writing for a while in his diary he stops and we learn that..
It was, he now realized, because of this other incident that he had suddenly decided to come home and begin the diary today.
Are we already warned that Winston has a terrible memory and conscious? Or is the narrator altering the past so quickly?
Who decides to start a diary and sacrifices his lunch in such a world where access to food is limited, forgets what he came home for, decides to start a diary due to a reason completely different than his original intent as he was leaving his work ~20 minutes ago?
Maybe there is a very simple explanation I am missing or I am not understanding the passage, or is there a different message here?
Here are some further hints I was able to find on Winstons memory from Chapter 1:
He tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that should tell him whether London had always been quite like this. But it was no use, he could not remember: Nothing remained of his childhood.
.. the book that he had just taken out of the drawer. He had seen it lying in the window of a frowsy little junk shop un a slummy quarter of the town (just what quarter he did not now remember)..
The thing he was about to do was to open a diary. It was curious that he seemed not merely to have lost the power of expressing himself, but even to have forgotten what it was that he had originally intended to say. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years. At this moment, however, even the monologue had dried up.
Seems like Winston has problems remembering things that are:
- very old (from his childhood)
- somewhat old (buying a diary from a shop)
- very recent(coming home with an intention that he forgot)
- active information (monologue he constantly has in his mind)..