Sexual Rebellion in 1984

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Jamie Aragon
English 12 B-2
17 March 2005
Sexual Rebellion
The First Lady, Abigail Adams, once stated, “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation” (BrainyQuote). This statement was intended for rebellion regarding the rights of women, however rebellion is rebellion. Due to this stand led by Adams and other women, the females in society today are fortunate enough to have received all of the rights possible. Rebellion is not only used when citizens’ rights are needed, but as Abigail said, it is used when people “have no voice or representation.” For example, many teenagers feel like they are never listened to or that even if they were heard, their comments would be irrelevant. What happens with these kids when this occurs? Many rebel to get their point across and their voices heard. While there are many forms of rebellion among high school and early college students, such as involving oneself in alcohol or drugs, the most common type could be agreed upon as involving oneself in sexual activity. Similarly, Winston and Julia also rebelled against a government in which they did not have a say. These are the two main characters from George Orwell’s dystopic novel, 1984, in which the protagonist, Winston Smith, is watched every second of every day by their government that is also known as Big Brother. Big Brother’s intense control is what led Winston to do what he felt needed to be done. Despite the government’s support for goodness and purity, Winston and Julia engaged in sexual activity to rebel against Big Brother.

When an authority figure has a strong stance on a certain rule or law, those are the situations that are more likely to be broken, simply due to the fact that they are rules that are set to not be rebelled against. Winston comments to Julia, “I hate purity, I hate goodness. I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones” (Orwell 137). These were two of the many things that Big Brother strongly supported. Therefore, when one wanted to rebel against this government and the rules that they stood for, purity and goodness were easy targets to act upon, as did Winston and Julia. After hearing this comment, Julia responds by telling Winston that she is the epitome of what corruption to the bones is. Smith is delighted to hear this from her, understanding that this is the woman whom he will rebel with. In fact, “That was above all what he wanted to hear. Not merely the love of one person, but the animal instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear the Party to pieces” (137). What is stated implies that Winston is not looking for a lifetime partner, rather more of just a partner in crime; someone that will join him in the rebellion. Their dialogue that was proceeding consisted of Winston telling Julia that the more partners she had been with, the more he loved her. However, the love that he uses with her, is it real love or is it more along the lines of lust; a lust for someone to just accompany his side?

Throughout the novel, it is easy for the reader to understand that one of the main themes is purity, or the lack of. While it can be looked upon in more depth, it is stated clearly that the lovemaking that the characters share is not actually love, rather just an impure “political act” to rebel against the Party. For example, Orwell writes, “No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act” (138). There are many examples in this novel that clearly portray this relationship as just a simple act of rebellion, this being one palpable example. The author describes their embrace as a battle, implying a battle against the...
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