Characters of “1984”: Julia

julia

Julia (last name never known) was born in the year 1958. She grew up after the Revolution, so she had always known a world with Big Brother, unlike Winston. She grew up probably much the same way the Parson’s children did, totally engrossed in the Party way with instructions to spy on adults.

Her life is not without pain. When she was eight years old her grandfather was vaporized for unknown reasons. Not too soon after that, when she was sixteen, she started her sexual career by having her first love affair with a Party Member. It is unclear how many Party Members she ends up having sex with, but we are led to believe a lot. Because sex is what Julia uses to rebel against the Party. One area the Party has not been able to conquer is sex; it’s main goal is to get rid of the orgasm i.e. sex for pleasure.

This is all we know of Julia’s life up until right before she formally meets Winston. We are first introduced to her early in the book. Winston sees her during the Two Minute Hate on April 4, 1984. He had noticed her off and on by sight around the building, but when Winston sees her at the Two Minute Hate he transfer’s his hate of Big Brother onto her, wanting to rape and humiliate her thinking she is just one of the many spies who seems to know what Winston is thinking. We next see her in the canteen during Winston’s lunch the next day. His feelings for her haven’t changed yet he dreams about her that night.

One day the two meet in the corridor, where Julia falls as a pretext to give Winston a note saying, “I Love You”. Thus begins a whirlwind romance, yet another Party Member Julia can add to her list. One gets the feeling though that Julia ends up actually loving Winston instead of using him. We are never sure of her true intentions.

The two meet in the country at first and then in a room above a junk shop that Winston rents. We learn more about Julia: she works as a mechanist at the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department. She has no interest in bringing the party down, only in having fun and doing acts of rebellion. And, because of her Party connections, she is able to get luxury items like chocolate bars, coffee, and soap.

Julia and Winston’s affair lasts a few months until it is revealed that the kindly junk shop owner Mr. Charrington is actually a higher class member of the Party and has been snitching on the couple. The Thought Police and O’Brien arrest them and send them to the Ministry of Love.

At this point we lose track of Julia for almost six months. We see her again in the spring of 1985, as Winston remembers visiting with her briefly in the park. We see that Julia has been tortured as well, with a scar across her forehead indicating a lobotomy. They speak in monotone voices with each other and Julia admits wishing for Winston to be tortured instead of her. Instead of being pleased by Winston’s hands around her waist, she stiffens like a corpse. Her interest in sex is gone. They agree to not see each other again and go their own ways.

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