Explain why a person is no safer in the countryside than in London in 1984.

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Douglas Horley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During Winston's first meeting with Julia we gain further insight into the Party's all-pervading intrusiveness in to the lives of its citizenry. Even in remote countryside there may be electronic devices planted to monitor peoples' activities; "In general you could not assume that you were much safer in the country than in London. There were no telescreens of course, but there was always the danger of concealed microphones by which your voice might be picked up and recognised..." (p. 123).

However, we can assume that the microphones are randomly placed, and with no telescreens and no crowds of people it must surely be relatively less intrusive than the city. It is just the psychological effect of knowing that you are never completely free of surveillance; that is what the Party would want to keep in the forefront of the minds of its citizenry.

Winston and Julia are able to enjoy complete privacy because Julia had discovered by accident a small clearing some time before. With trees too thin to conceal microphones it becomes a perfect meeting place to speak and act freely. This again gives the reader insight into the nature of the society of Oceania. Julia and Winston have gone to great lengths to simply meet, finding just a tiny pocket of space to allow them some treasured time together; again, a very disturbing feature of life in this totalitarian society.