Why aren't Windston and Julia simply vaporized?Why does the Party spend time reprogramming Winston and Julia? Their thoughtcrimes are as substantial, if not more so, than others we hear about...

Why aren't Windston and Julia simply vaporized?

Why does the Party spend time reprogramming Winston and Julia? Their thoughtcrimes are as substantial, if not more so, than others we hear about through the novel. Why aren't the two immediately vaporized? It doesn't appear to make sense that the Party would take time to reprogram such inconsequential people.

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I have to agree with #2 - simply to kill or dispose of Julia and Winston would be a big loss for Big Brother and will run the risk of them becoming martyrs or symbols of opposition. To be able to win them to the cause as it were and force them to love Big Brother and be thankful for what he has done for their world means that they are ensuring their future existence and encouraging others with the temptation to rebel to not.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

First, you're contradicting yourself here -- are their crimes substantial or are they inconsequential people?  They can't really be both.

Second, if the Party kills people without "curing" them, it loses.  A totalitarian government wants people to think that it is always right.  That way, people don't even WANT to rebel.  So if all the people who rebel end up learning that they were wrong and the end up loving Big Brother, it shows that the Party is always right and it will make other people just trust the Party and not want to rebel.

ericna14's profile pic

ericna14 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I agree with #2. People are always unhappy about something in a government, but not everybody revolts. This is because there needs to be some sort of catalytic factor to focus on and use. The death of certain people, for example, would allowe them to serve as beacons for other revolutionaries as martyrs. It's better to retrain them because they can't defeat people are already dead. However, seeig someone who has completely switched sides is incredibly demoralizing, which is good for the Party and bad for rebels. Another example of a catalytic party would be religion, for example.
grayline88s's profile pic

grayline88s | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

First, you're contradicting yourself here -- are their crimes substantial or are they inconsequential people?  They can't really be both.

Second, if the Party kills people without "curing" them, it loses.  A totalitarian government wants people to think that it is always right.  That way, people don't even WANT to rebel.  So if all the people who rebel end up learning that they were wrong and the end up loving Big Brother, it shows that the Party is always right and it will make other people just trust the Party and not want to rebel.

I agree that INGSOC wants to train certain members, which, as you suggest, would serve as examples to others who might be contemplating rebellion of one sort or another. But, as presented in the novel, these two are indeed insconsequential people who, according to Orwell's world, would simply be vaporized for their thoughtcrimes. Indeed, Winston contemplates real rebellion, a crime with far more consequence than everday thoughtcrimes. But since his plan to rebel never gets off the ground, I wonder why Orwell never seems to have explained why the Party takes the trouble to "reform" him. Why make an example of Winston and Julia when their lives and plans, as presented, are prototypical?

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