In "1984," is Julia a spy? Please provide specific examples from the book.My teacher says that he knows of 17 pieces of evidence which proves that Julia is in fact a spy.

Expert Answers
clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That's a lot of evidence. I never read the book as if she were a spy, but from that point of view I can give you some help.

1. Julia was outwardly an active member of the Party. She was in the Junior Anti Sex League, she spent countless hours in the Community Center.

2. In Part One when he sees her outside Charrington's shop, she might have followed him there as part of her spying.

3. She knew how to "travel" so they wouldn't get caught, for example coming two separate ways and going home two entirely different ways- not common knowledge to Party members and Winston is impressed by her knowledge and planning.

4. She already knew his name before she met him, even though they had never really crossed paths or spoken before.

5. At their first meeting she gave him a piece of authentic chocolate, not Victory chocolate, which she says she got on the "black market".

6. She gets several items from the "black market" for almost all of their meetings, coffee, chocolate, jam, sugar.

7. When she was young she was a Troop leader in the Spies.

8. She admits to total promiscuity with Party members, although no Inner Party members she does confess to having hundreds of sexual partners (possibly people she has turned in before if she's a spy).

9. He talks to her about his memories of changing records and she asks him questions, particularly if he was friends with Rutherford, Jones, and Aaronson.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Winston first encounters Julia, he suspects her of being a spy. However, as the book unfolds, it becomes clear that Julia is not a spy and is not working on behalf of the Party. This is shown clearly through Julia's character. Note that she is not at all interested in politics and seems to know very little about how the Party maintains power. Her sole interest lies in self-gratification, not in serving the Party. In addition, the fact that she falls asleep when Winston is reading Goldstein's book shows that her rebellion is genuine. Otherwise, she would have some interest in reading the book and encouraging Winston to further be absorbed by its message.

Secondly, the fact that Julia knows how to get around the telescreens and hidden microphones is not evidence of her being a spy. As we see in chapter one, even Winston knows how to avoid the telescreen when he is writing in his diary. In fact, all this shows is that she has experience in conducting illicit affairs with Party members.

Finally, from Julia's description in the final chapter, it is clear that she suffered the same treatment as Winston in the Ministry of Love. Winston finds her looking sallow, for example, and there is a scar on her face. If she were a spy, she would not have been tortured and would have, in fact, moved on to find a new rebel among Party members.

boredinstudyhall | Student

Julia knows the "Oranges and Lemons" rhyme, which is not common. In fact, if you consider where Winston got the other pieces of the rhyme from, it would make sense that she is acually a spy. Also, as Winston begins to test his boundries and strays farther and farther from the party, and starts to become reckless, he learns the rhyme. He bought the dictionary and paperwight from Mr. Charrington (a member of the thought police)- It was a small rebellion, and started the series of events. Mr. Charrington tells him the first part of the rhyme. Then, when Winston sneaks away with Julia, he is further pushing the boundries. After he rents the room from Mr. Charrington, Julia shares a different piece of the rhyme. He larns the last bit from O' Brien, in his boldest move- revealing to an inner party member that he was a thought criminal. Finally, it all comes full circle when he is arrested, and hears the last line, "Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head." Julia knew one of the parts of the rhyme, which could be used as evidence that she was a pawn in the party's game.