Ms. Jody Herndon
English IV Honors
14 October 2013
Julia vs. Winston in 1984 by George Orwell
The Modern Period of British literature was often written about one person trying to find comfort and satisfaction in a world that has lost its values and traditions. Writers of this time would often show the characters dealing with societal struggles and their ways of overcoming them. George Orwell is one author of this era who shows characters facing and dealing with a society that no longer has values. Orwell’s 1984 is set in a totalitarian society where everyone and everything is watched by Big Brother. People work to cover up the lies of the Party to make Big Brother look better even though they secretly hate it. The two lovers, Winston and Julia, represent the two contrasting ways to resent the oppressing society they live in, but still have a common goal. Winston acts and thinks rebelliously in a much more ideological manner while Julia enjoys personal rebellious acts to keep her satisfied. Winston Smith, acting in rebellion, begins to write in a diary he bought from a poor village where the proles live. Orwell writes, “The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-ﬁve years in a forced-labour camp” (6). Winston does not mind taking risks to show his hatred toward the Party, even though he works for the Party. As Winston begins to write (after a hand cramp, that is), his brain gets to reeling and not after too long, the paper is halfway filled up with “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” (18). Without even thinking, Winston naturally writes this. His diary entries show that naturally his brain goes to how much he hates the Party and that he does not care what he has to do—Winston is filled with rebellion and has had enough of the Party’s nonsense. To illustrate his direct defiance to the Party, Winston wrote in his journal “theyll shoot me i don’t care theyll shoot me in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother they always shoot you in the back of the neck i dont care down with big brother” (Orwell 19). In addition to writing about how much he hates the Party, Winston includes the proles and the possibility of rebellion in some of his entries. In his diary, Winston records his thought that if there is hope, it lies in the proles (Orwell 69). Because of the large number of people that are a part of the proles, Winston believes that they are the only chance of a successful rebellion-- if only they knew their strength. Winston explains this in his diary, “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” (Orwell 70). Pen agrees with the fictional character Winston when he states, “Because the masses are relatively free, whereas his own life is rigourously controlled, they could seize the opportunity to rise up and overthrow the oppressive state. The 'swarming disregarded masses' could overwhelm the ruling minority if they acted consciously” (Pen). Winston wants to revolt and is somewhat frustrated by the fact that people underestimate the proles and, therefore the proles underestimate themselves. The proles, in turn, will not be able to “achieve the kid of goals Winston has in mind” (Pen). Pen makes a point that Winston wants to rebel even though thinking of it is Thoughtcrime. The character knows he cannot accomplish anything by himself but does have faith in “large masses” to be successful in an overthrow if they were to try. All of his ideas of the proles gathering to take part in a counterrevolution shows his desire for an across-the-board change where as Julia does not care how Big Brother affects other people.
Winston is also very intrigued in the idea of an anti-Party group and the ability to disobey the Party with people of common interests....
Cited: Bloom, Harold. George Orwell’s 1984. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Print.
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