1984 Discussion (Chapter 1, Part VI)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 1, Part VI)
Full Episode: Chapter 1, Part VI
  • Winston is disgusted when writing down his memory of the prostitute, why do you think that is? Why does he keep writing?

Earlier in the book, Winston uses his diary in a fashion that is to hide his true thoughts about Big Brother. "Down with Big Brother", he writes in part one. He uses it as an outlet for his emotions because there is nobody else he can really go to for fear of them turning him in to the thought police or some other Party organization. In part six, we see him continue this trend but for a different reason. Winston actually states that his documentation of his sexual encounter is a form of therapy. Clearly, he is not happy with his decision as it is almost painful for him to be reminded of the act. I believe he keeps writing for two possible reasons. One of them is therapy related, he wants to come to terms with his deed and stop hiding from it. He wants to analyze why he feels the way he feels in order to be ok with it, and then just move on from it. Shades of Viktor Frankl and Logotherapy? I think another reason he keeps writing is to, in a way, denounce the Party. We learned that the Party frowns upon consorting with prostitutes, and this diary entry could be another way to stick it to Big Brother. It sort of says "Hey! Look what I did, and you couldn't stop me". There might be a sense of freedom in it for Winston, and exhilaration for going against the principles of the Party.

This reason may be less likely because of the disgust he feels when remembering that fateful night. The disgust could come from the fact that Winston thought the prostitute was much younger. She basically was nothing what he originally thought she would be, even her teeth were falling out. He almost can't believe he had anything to do with a woman like that. Winston's feelings about the situation may also be tied to the fact that the Party's goal was to make sex look disgusting to the people of Oceania. It wanted to remove the pleasure from sex so people would not want to partake in it. Winston's feelings could be a response from this propaganda.

  • Why do you think the Party has a goal of getting people to revile sex?

I think one of the reasons for the Party having this goal is for population control. They do not want the population of Oceania getting too large to a point where they are uncontrollable. Perhaps there would be a threshold where once crossed, the proles would feel empowered by their sheer number to overthrow the Party. Another reason could be to distance people from one another, that is, keep people from having an emotional connection. Sex is definitely a part of a relationship between the genders. When that is taken out, there is not much there to fill that void. The energy spent on relations with a husband or wife should really be energy that is spent towards furthering the Party.

  • Compare and contrast the women of the Party with the women in the red light district(Prostitution) of Oceania?

Winston mentions a couple differences between these two types of women. One is that women of the Party never used scents/fragrances. Another is that Party women never painted there faces. What might be able to be extrapolated from this is that the women of the Party do not use external means to further their attractiveness or beauty. They might be naturally better looking than the proles just by maybe genetics. Meanwhile the proles use any means necessary to hide what they actually look like and attract mates. It might be that the competition for the women of the Party is so high, that the proles have to resort to these means

Another side to this could be that maybe the Party secretly WANTS proles to partake in sex. We discussed this in the full episode for part 6. Maybe they want the proles to continue to procreate in order to increase that working bee population. This way, they will have even more people to control. Like we stated earlier though, there would be a fine line where the population is too big. This might be why it is technically forbidden to have sex with prostitutes, but there are means to achieve it if you wanted. Also, the Party might want any sort of sexual energy going towards the act itself and not to lets say...a revolution. This could be why the proles received various forms of entertainment that were produced by one of the ministries. Things like sports, movies, and even porn. It is all meant to take your mind off of what goes on under the radar in Oceania, like you not getting your chocolate ration...