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Winston's Relationship with Julia in 1984

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  • 0:03 Love & Hate
  • 1:05 Living for the Moment
  • 1:58 Expected Betrayal
  • 2:40 You've Lost That…
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and experience teaching.

This lesson details the relationship between Winston and Julia, two of the main characters of George Orwell's dystopian novel '1984'. After being caught together by the Thought Police, Winston and Julia's love is put to the test.

Love & Hate

Two of the most basic human desires, love and sex, are utterly suppressed in the totalitarian society of George Orwell's 1984. Nothing matters for Party Members, especially Outer Party members like Winston and Julia, other than love for the state and for Big Brother, the larger-than-life dictator of the Party and Oceania. Outer Party members exist to support the Party apparatus, and think only about their labor; at least, that's the way it's supposed to be. However, as we learn in the novel, Winston can't take his eyes off of Julia. She's stunning, but he hates her at the same time. She wears emblems that scream that she buys the beliefs of the state, and Winston fantasizes about killing her. In fact, he's convinced that she's an agent seeking to see if his thoughts really are pure. However, one little note changes everything. In a fashion typically reserved for third-graders, Julia slips a scrap of paper to Winston with three words: 'I love you.'

Living for the Moment

Winston learns that Julia had supported Big Brother most fiercely because she herself didn't trust him. The only thing she has in life is Winston, and the two seek to make the most of it. They rent a room in the countryside where they think they can escape the eyes and ears of the Party, and enjoy each other's company to the fullest extent possible. All along, they know that they will eventually be captured, but decide to make the most of the moment.

Along with their romance comes a heavy dose of dissent towards Big Brother. In addition to the very act of loving one another, which is considered putting someone ahead of Big Brother and therefore banned, Julia and Winston also begin to plot against the government. Little do they know that the ones spreading the dissent are, in fact, members of the Thought Police, a secret police group dedicated to making sure that people follow the will of Big Brother not only in action and words, but also in their very minds.

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