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In "1984", Winston asks the girl what attracted her to him. What was her answer?

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barbara807 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 25, 2009 at 11:33 AM via web

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In "1984", Winston asks the girl what attracted her to him. What was her answer?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 25, 2009 at 1:03 PM (Answer #1)

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In Part II Ch.2, Winston and the girl Julia meet clandestinely and make love. After they have made love they relax and enjoy eating a bar of chocolate. It is then that Winston asks Julia what attracted her to him:

'You are very young,' he said. 'You are ten or fifteen years younger than I am. What could you see to attract you in a man like me?'

'It was something in your face. I thought I'd take a chance. I'm good at spotting people who don't belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them.'


The real reason why Julia was attracted to Winston was that she had guessed intuitively and correctly that Winston like herself was a rebel against the establishment.

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boryung | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted May 25, 2009 at 1:45 PM (Answer #2)

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In the following passage, Winston and Julia have met alone for the first time. Julia is an attractive young girl, while Winston, in his own words, is thirty-nine years old, and has a wife he can't get rid of, varicose veins, and five false teeth. Winston is shocked with Julia confesses her love for him through a secret note. 

When they finally meet alone in a secret place, Winston asks Julia what he had probably been wondering the whole while:   

'You are very young,' he said. 'You are ten or fifteen years younger than I am. What could you see to attract you in a man like me?'

'It was something in your face. I thought I'd take a chance. I'm good at spotting people who don't belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them.'

Them, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all the Inner Party, about whom she talked with an open jeering hatred...

To Winston's shock, Julia is not, as he had imagined, a passionate party enthusiast. Julia yells the loudest during the 2 Minute Hate, participates enthusiastically in processions and community hikes, and always wears the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League. Julia's behavior, however, is not a product of her sincere convictions, but a survival stragey. She states: 

I'm good at games. I was a troop-leader in the Spies. I do voluntary work three evenings a week for the Junior Anti-Sex League. Hours and hours I've spent pasting their bloody rot all over London. I always carry one end of a banner in the processions. I always Iook cheerful and I never shirk anything. Always yell with the crowd, that's what I say. It's the only way to be safe.'

Julia secretly hates the Party, and she is very good at hiding it. She does not hate the Party because she disagrees with its doctrines, however. She hates the Party for a selfish reason: it restrains her from doing what she wants to and getting pleasure out of life. 

Julia was attracted to Winston because she could sense that he, too, hated the Party. Somehow, "something" in Winston's face made her sense that he was also an enemy of the Party who would be more than willing to throw aside the Party's absurdly strict regulations against sex. Of course, Julia could not be certain about Winston's disloyalty; she was taking a "chance" when she approached Winston and arranged a meeting. As it turned out, of course, Winston felt the same way about the Party that she did and they got along superbly.

To Julia, Winston's physical unattractiveness is not relevant. She desires someone who, though a Party member, doesn't "belong" to the Party. Such a person would derive as much satisfaction from a defiant sexual act as she. She desires someone to whom she can tell the truth wihout being betrayed to the Thought Police. She desires someone who is not so stupid and weak as to be convinced by Party doctrine or brainwashed into loyalty. A vapid, loyal Party follower could only ever receive Julia's utter contempt. Only someone like Winston, who has seen the terrible, sordid truth behind the Party's appearances and lies, could receive her love and respect.

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