Winston and Julia

Essay by chronosUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2004

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Winston Smith and Julia, the protagonists from George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, were brought together by their hate of the society in which they lived. Their relationship, which budded throughout the middle third of the novel, brought to light many interesting contrasts between the rebels. They were equal opposites, with different skills, priorities and tactics. Because of this, they complemented each other and learned from each other, which served to strengthen and prolong their relationship. Unfortunately, they also had tragic flaws which shortened their lives and prolonged their pain.

First of all, the characters were from two separate generations, which forged their unique personalities. Winston had been raised in an age before the Party seized power, and knew vaguely what life was like before its dominion. For example, he knew that airplanes were around long before Big Brother. What he seemed to recall with the greatest detail were childhood memories of his baby sister and mother in the clutches of starvation.

He remembered that although the child was certainly going to die, his mother still clutched her lovingly. These memories of private love and loyalty are what helped Winston to identify with the proles, to conclude that "the proles had stayed human" (136). Julia, on the other hand, was born under the dominion of the party, much later than Winston. Knowing nothing but their doctrines, she could not conceive of a world different from Oceania. For example, in her impressionable childhood, she had been taught crimestop, which, as Goldstein's book explained, included the power to become "bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction" (175). Certainly this had happened to Julia, since Winston's talk of politics repelled her and sometimes literally put her to sleep.

Furthermore, the couple differed in their...