What is the meaning of the quote "Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. . .If they could make me stop loving you - that would be the real...

What is the meaning of the quote "Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. . .

If they could make me stop loving you - that would be the real betrayal." I don't really understand what is being said by this quote can you please help me to understand it?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To understand this quote, let's first put it into context. The quote comes from Part Two, Chapter Seven when Julia and Winston are discussing the probability that their relationship will be discovered by the Party. When this happens, they know that they will be tortured and forced to confess to their crime of being in love.

For Winston, confessing is not really a problem. He knows that when someone is being tortured, they will say anything to make the pain stop. So he knows that if Julia confessed under torture and said that she doesn't love Winston, it's not a big deal because she doesn't really mean it. She just wants the pain to end.

The real problem, according to Winston, is if Julia really stops loving him. If this happens, it is because the Party has been able to get inside Julia's head and manipulate her thoughts, molding her into the perfect Party member. If this happens, it will be a real betrayal because Julia could not withstand the Party's manipulation tactics. In other words, she could not stay strong for Winston.

clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What is meant by the quote is that in this society, like everything else what you say and do is not enough, it is what you think that really counts. That is why this society is policed by the Thought Police and not by typical law enforcement because the only thing that matters to the Party and Big Brother is absolute loyalty within which can only be monitored through the thoughts. The quote is quite literal in its meaning, confessing with your tongue is not betrayal, you can say anything they want to hear and it is not true betrayal. The same goes for ones actions, you can act as though you betray someone, but in this society even that is not proof enough of betrayal. You have to think it and feel it with your entire being to make it so. When Winston finally betrays Julia he wishes the worst thing in the world for him upon her and in that wish, with his entire being, he finally betrayed her.

slayona | Student

finding out the meaning of an  individual person opinion through thought or  action that is niether  wrong or right until it is labled  by an individual(s)  emotions or consequence.