1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part II)

1984 Discussion (Chapter 2, Part II)
Full Episode: Chapter 2, Part II
  • Why do you think Winston gets apprehensive with Julia when they first embrace?

Think about how long Winston has been without a Woman. True, he was once married to Katharine, but this was like 10 years ago. In the timespan from then until now, we don't get any sort of hint that Winston has been dating. It is mentioned back in Chapter 1 that the Party essentially tries to control the relationships amongst its members. Any sort of intimacy is being stamped out of existence and made to feel repulsive. There is no real emotional connection. Even when Winston has sex with his wife, they are only doing it to produce a baby for the Party, and not because they really love each other.

When Julia and Winston embrace, those emotions on love and intimacy that the Party has drilled down might still be with Winston. This feels weird for him after being with Katharine and then 10 plus years without a partner. It basically to him feels like he is going from 0 to 100...real quick. He doesn't really know what to do with himself, and is probably also a little bit nervous. Add to this the fact that he could easily get in a lot of trouble for being in this isolated part of London, he is already on high alert as it is.

  • Explain how Winston and Julia having sex is a political act.

As stated above, the party has a goal to have every member of the Party detest sex and intimacy. They have things like the anti-sex league, and girls wear the red sashes to show off their chastity. When Winston and Julia knock boots, they are deliberately going against the mandates of the Party. They are in direct opposition to it. This is what probably ultimately gets Winston aroused. The fact that Julia has had relations with multiple Party members. He finally sees the sham for what it is, a lot of talk about purity and goodness, but deep down, the Party members know what they want and they will go against the Party to get it. It is really a form of saying "Down with Big Brother", only this time instead of writing it in his diary, he manifests it in the form of sexual intercourse.

  • Do you think the sounding of the thrush symbolizes anything?

While Julia and Winston are in the woods and come out to what Winston calls the "Golden Country", they see this thrush that starts singing very close by them. Winston notes how the bird is deliberately showing off for them. There were no potential mates in the area, and there was not a rival in sight. Winston wonders why then would it sing? After hearing this sound of music is when Julia and Winston get hot and heavy. Winston is paranoid of the fact that there still could be a microphone listening to them, but after hearing the thrush, his problems seemingly melt away. This is what I think the bird symbolizes, the freedom to sound the alarms to its hearts content. It is basically what Winston and Julia are doing out here in the first place, to have the conversations and do the things that are not permitted back within the reaches of the Party.