1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What is the juxtaposition at the end of Book 2, Chapter 1 of 1984 by George Orwell?

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In this section, Winston and Julia meet anonymously in Victory Square, which is jammed full of people watching a convoy of war prisoners pass by. Orwell juxtaposes the prisoners, a symbol of war, dehumanization and domination, a potent, naked display of the state's power over human life, with the opposite: the nascent, very human and mutually supportive love relationship just barely beginning between Winston and Julia. The contrast could hardly be more jarring. At the same time, the juxtaposition unequivocally contextualizes the affair. Julia and Winston, in reality, will end up no more free than the prisoners they watch pass. They too are hemmed in by a repressive, dehumanizing culture that means to destroy them just as it means to destroy the prisoners filing by in army vehicles. 

Winston holds Julia's hand but doesn't dare turn his head to look into her eyes. Juxtaposed against this are the eyes of the prisoner he stares into instead, foreshadowing his own future as a helpless prisoner of...

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