In George Orwell's novel 1984, what are some thoughts Julia might be having as she travels from Airstrip One to the 'Golden Country' to meet Winston at the start of their affair?
I am writing a creative piece from the POV of Julia, and I'm trying to flesh out what her motives and desires were and explore her character more deeply.
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George Orwell’s novel 1984 describes a trip into the countryside by Julia and Winston, where they have their first fully sexual encounter. As Julia heads toward this meeting, she might be having various thoughts and feelings, including the following:
- at least a bit of fear, since she knows that the Party tries to monitor both thoughts and activities; disobedient behavior can be severely punished
- a sense of triumph, since Julia has succeeded in the past in deceiving the Party and must assume that she will be able to succeed again
- contempt for the Party, since such contempt must be one reason that she is willing to take such risks
- strong sexual desire, since such desire must be another reason that she is willing to take such risks
- a strong desire for autonomy and freedom, since such desire is yet another reason that she is willing to take such risks
- curiosity about what kind of man Winston will prove to be
- calculation, since Julia knows that she must pre-plan the important details of this meeting if it is to come off safely
- a satisfied sense of hypocrisy since, on the way to the meeting, Julia must pretend to be what she is not; she must be a consummate actress, and she in fact takes pride and pleasure in her acting skills and in her ability to deceive the people she regards with contempt
- confidence in her ability to improvise and deal with unexpected, unanticipated challenges. At one point, for instance, the narrator notes that
sometimes there were patrols hanging about the railway stations, who examined the papers of any Party member they found there and asked awkward questions.
Presumably Julia feels confident in her ability to improvise answers to such questions, and she may even take some pleasure in deceiving the Party’s minions.
- a feeling of power, since she has done this sort of thing before, whereas Winston has not. She is experienced; he is a novice. When she first meets him in the countryside, she comes up behind him without him even noticing her presence. She puts her hand on his shoulder as if she is in control, and she immediately signals to him silently about how he should and should not behave. Julia is obviously a strong, self-confident, adventurous woman; in some respects she is the true “hero” of the novel. She knows how to move, both figuratively and literally (“she dodged the boggy pits as if by habit” – surely a phrase with some symbolic significance).
- consciousness of her sexual appeal. Although she is not an exceptionally beautiful woman, she knows that Winston is likely to desire passionate sex with any woman, since such sex is frowned upon by the Party. Julia, then, is powerful in many different ways, and she knows it.
Good luck with your project! It sounds fascinating!
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