How does Orwell represent female characters? How does he represent males characters? Why is there an imbalance and why is this significant?

Expert Answers
clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orwell depicts the female characters in this book as being almost asexual. The Party had attempted quite successfully to eradicate the sex drive and the need for close meaningful relationships like marriages. While there are husbands and wives, they are unions purely created for procreation. In fact, the Party will not even allow unions of love. People who wish to marry must have approval from the Party to do so and they examine the match to make sure there is no attraction there. Men are actually not treated very differently from the women in this novel. Their sex drives are stifled as well and relationships are nearly non-existent. Men are given a few sexual outlets like sex in marriage, prostitution which is illegal, but not entirely enforced, or pornosec which is forbidden to Party members, but not really enforced either. Men are conditioned to look upon women with such distaste. When Winston first sees Julia he hates her and even thinks about murdering her.

I think it is their balance rather than imbalance that is significant, that the Party strives to makes the distinction between the two sexes almost non-existent. If Party members are homogeneous then they are easier to control. They are already close to eradicating marriage with the use of modern science so that they can do all reproduction in laboratories. The Party attempts to equalize all its members and focus all energy on its key goals, the advancement of the Party and the love of Big Brother.