What is the role of gender in George Orwell's 1984?

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Party attempts to make gender irrelevant.  The whole purpose of gender is to procreate and to have the family unit.  The Party has successfully obliterated the need for both of these by implanting in the girls' heads that sex is wrong and shameful, the Party ensures that none of them will be having sex.  The Party also successfully degrades the family unit and bonds between spouses, children, neighbors and friends by creating spy networks of people to report the anti-Party speech and behavior of those closest around them.  Much like the Nazi-Youth, the children have been encouraged to watch and report on their parents and those who live nearby.  The entire community operates solely on fear--regardless of gender.

clane's profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Gender plays a big role in the success of the Party. Relationships between men and women are vastly different than what we know them to be. Women are taught from an early age that sex is wrong, dirty, and unnecessary. The Party has used the sexual impulses of the members and harnessed it into the Two Minutes Hate so that they can expel any urges. Marriage is not between a man and woman in love, it is between a man and woman who are absolutely not in love or attracted to one another sexually. It is a means of procreation. The Party does not promote any love except for the Love of Big Brother so that members' loyalty remains intact at all times. Women are completely equal in this society. The Party attempts to make gender a non-issue. There are even experimental plants where they are producing babies without the use of the mother and the womb so that sex will never be necessary again.


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