Rereading Nineteen Eighty Four – Part III Chap.6 (13)

Winston and Julia sit on iron chairs, and talk.

‘Sometimes,’ she said, ‘they threaten you with something — something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about.”

Julia is describing exactly what happened to her, what happened to Winston.

“And then you say, “Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so.”

That is what Winston did.

Julia continues:

“And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.’

‘All you care about is yourself,’ he echoed.

‘And after that, you don’t feel the same towards the other person any longer.’

‘No,’ he said, ‘you don’t feel the same.’


The clarity in this portion, the  immediate admission of Julia  of how, when tortured, told her captors to do it to Winston, (Just as he had told his torturer to do it to Julia) is remarkable.  

Unlike Winston, Julia grasps the purpose and success of the torture,  and that all sexual desire within her, the ability to love, is gone.  That she can be honest seems to suggest that unlike Winston who doesn’t appreciate the purpose and result of the torture, Julia does.



What do you think?

Written by jaylar

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