1984

by: George Orwell

Resistance and revolution

1

“The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime.”

Reflecting on his failed marriage to Katharine, Winston realizes that sex and sexuality must have revolutionary potential and that this is why the Party spends so much time and energy training people to repress their sexual instincts. Later, Julia will express a similar theory—that the Party is anti-sex because suppressed sexual energy can be transferred into marches and rallies.

2

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

Winston writes this in his diary after remembering the photograph he found at work, which depicted Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford and proved that the Party was lying about their whereabouts on a certain date and therefore must be lying about their involvement in treason. Orwell establishes objectivity, logic, and access to historical facts as the antidote to the Party’s psychological control.

3

“Any kind of organized revolt against the Party, which was bound to be a failure, struck her as stupid. The clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive all the same.”

Winston reflects on his and Julia’s different attitudes toward the Party and attributes their different attitudes to generational differences. Having seen a successful revolution once in his lifetime, the Revolution that installed the Party, Winston believes a successful organized revolt can happen again. Julia, who was born after the Revolution, has internalized the Party’s propaganda that its authority is permanent. In her view, revolt is individual and covert.

4

“[E]verywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands or millions of people just like this . . . people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, it lay in the proles!”

Watching the red-armed woman, Winston comes to realize that although he’d written off the proles as too unintelligent to organize and overthrow the Party, the proles have kept their humanity and empathy in a way that Party members like himself and Julia have lost, or have traded away.