Why do the thought police allow Julia and Winston to carry on their relationship as long as they do? Since the screen in their room was presumably there the whole time, and as Big Brother often silences people due to mere suspicion that they are free-thinking, it just doesn't make much sense to me why the thought police didn't detain Winston and Julia in the first place.

The thought police allow Winston and Julia to carry on their relationship as long as they do because the longer the affair and their subversive political activities are allowed to continue, the more hopeful they will become of achieving freedom from the ever-present gaze of Big Brother.

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It isn't enough for the totalitarian state of Oceania to crush dissent; it needs to break the individual's spirit and make him or her love Big Brother. That explains why Winston and Julia are allowed to continue their illicit affair for so long. For the longer their affair and their...

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It isn't enough for the totalitarian state of Oceania to crush dissent; it needs to break the individual's spirit and make him or her love Big Brother. That explains why Winston and Julia are allowed to continue their illicit affair for so long. For the longer their affair and their subversive political activities are allowed to continue, the more hopeful they will become of achieving freedom. The authorities have deliberately lulled Winston and Julia into a false sense of security, making them think that they could lead a life free from the ever-present gaze of Big Brother and the Party.

Yet they've been taught a valuable lesson: that nothing in Oceania is unbreakable—not love, not hope, not even the human spirit. Arresting Winston and Julia straight away and having them vaporized would simply have created martyrs. It's much more important for the regime's long-term stability that it allows dissenters to live on, but divested of all their hopes and dreams, broken in spirit, and so only able to turn to Big Brother for love and security.

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Sometimes, you have to give people enough rope in order that they will hang themselves with it.

In the instance of Winston and Julia, the affair was probably not a secret as they hoped, but the trap was set probably to catch Julia more than to catch Winston. He was just an innocent victim in the plot to entrap Julia.

From the beginning of the book, Winston appears to be compliant but somewhat dissatisfied with the whole social order. It is not until he meets Julia, falls in love with her and begins an affair that he realizes that he does not love Big Brother as a good party member ought to.

 

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