In 1984, what is the emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League?    

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is in Chapter One of 1984 that Winston reveals the emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League: a "narrow scarlet sash" which is worn around the waists of its members. The purpose of this League is to discourage sexual desire among the youth of Oceania and to encourage the belief that sexual intercourse is only about procreation and not about desire. After all, the Party does not want people to create personal loyalties; it demands loyalty to Big Brother and to the state more generally.

This emblem is perhaps ironic: after all, scarlet is a shade of red which is associated with love and desire. Moreover, the positioning of the sash, wrapped tightly around the waist and just enough to accentuate the female form, is also suggestive of sexual desire. Certainly, for Winston, the positioning of the sash is enough to encourage his physical interest in Julia, the "dark-haired girl," which also foreshadows their forthcoming relationship.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In 1984, a narrow scarlet sash is the emblem of the junior anti-sex league. Because the anti-sex league campaigns for celibacy (it wants children produced through artificial insemination) and attracts particularly gung-ho Party members, when Winston sees Julia with the scarlet sash wrapped around her overalls, he feels a distaste for her. He even suspects she might be a spy. He perceives the sash as forbidding, and it signals to him that Julia is a devoted Party member, living in a de-sexualized arena of "hockey fields and cold baths and community hikes" that Winston hates. 

The sash and Julia's membership in the anti-sex league provide a convincing cover for Julia, who likes to have a good time, including affairs with men. She throws herself into the anti-sex league with gusto, marching in parades and handing out leaflets, as this allows her the freedom to engage in sexual escapades unsuspected.

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1984

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