“Very early in their married life he had decided- though perhaps it was only that he knew her more intimately than he knew most people- that she had without exception the most stupid, empty, vulgar mind that he had ever encountered.”
She really was a Party zealot; he refers to her as “the human soundtrack” because she could only express an idea verbally by repeating what she had been told by the Party.
What he detested was having sex with Katharine.
“When he touched her, she seemed to wince and stiffen. Embracing her was like embracing a jointed wooden image. She was simultaneously clasping him against her and pushing him away with all her strength at the same time. It was extraordinarily embarrassing.”
Whereas Winston wanted to have sex with her purely for the pleasure of it, Katharine had sex to “make babies” and said that it was “their duty to the Party”.
There were many differences between the two relationships. One of the main ones was the sexual aspects in the relationships.
In Winston's relationship with Julia, sex was a pivotal aspect, if not the only aspect, of the relationship so it had to be first-rate. Julia claims to have had trysts with hundreds of arty members. This only made Winston feel more attracted to her because he knows that she has sex for pleasure and pure animal instinct; that emotional force could tear the Party to pieces. Julia had sex because it was her way to rebel against the party. Each embrace was a battle, a climax, a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.
Julia is the dominant member of the relationship. She made the first move on Winston by giving him the letter which contained the words, I love you. She then told Winston where to go and at what time almost teasingly. Even in their first sexual encounter, she made the first move by ripping off her clothes.
“She tore her clothes off, and when she flung them aside it was with that same magnificent gesture by which a whole civilisation seemed to be annihilated.”
Another reason for her dominance was that she had more experience in these affairs. Winston had never done this with a party member and clearly did not know where was safe and where was not.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Katharine: she has sex as her way of supporting the Party. She calls sex “her duty to the Party”. It seemed as though, when having sex with her, there was no spontaneity: it mentions in the book that there was an appointed day.
During Winston’s marriage he was dominant but at the same time he seemed retreated from the relationship. Orwell makes out Katharine as being much like a robot. She was reduced by the Party so much that she had lost the ability to feel. She must have been extremely suggestible and this made her more vulnerable to the ideals of the party. During intercourse, she would embrace Winston because she thought it was her duty to the Party to have a baby but at the same time she would push Winston away because it had been suggested to her that sex was wrong. She wasn’t resisting or co-operating, but submitting. Winston just wanted to have sex because of pure animal instinct.
Winston’s relationship with Julia was deeper than his relationship with Katharine.
The main reason why Winston’s relationship with Julia lasted as long as it did was that they were both completely dissimilar to each other in some ways and were alike in other ways.
Julia is the only person that Winston trusts and can be sure that she hates the Party just as much as he does. Winston longs to join the Brotherhood and read Emmanuel Goldstein’s manifesto. He suspects that the Party changes peoples’ perceptions of the past and persistently tries to prove to himself that his is true. He is very concerned about large-scale social issues.
Julia on the other hand lives for the moment. She does not concern herself with things that have happened in the past and she does not have moral or intellectual principles. If the party says that white is black, she would believe it and simultaneously ignore it. She tries to make the best of her life by fulfilling her need for unbridled sexual pleasure. She sees the Party as an obstruction to this need for fulfilment and feels that each assignation is a rebellion against the Party.
What fuelled their relationship from the first instance was their mutual desire for the actual sexual process as opposed to the person involved. Sex was an important part of their lives. They needed it. For Winston it had to be decent.
“It was horrible. But even then he could have borne living with her if it had been agreed that they should remain celibate” (Winston on having sex with Katharine)
Winston’s relationship with Katharine lacked any basic structure. Sex which was a prime part of Winston’s ideal relationship was extremely poor. He was willing to become celibate after having had sex with Katharine. In his desperation for any form of sex, he was driven to scrounge for prostitutes. He writes in his diary about one prostitute which he had encountered.
“When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman, fifty years old at least. But I went ahead and did it all the same.”
This is further evidence of the fact that Winton adores the sexual process and would go to extraordinary lengths to sense that pleasure. Winston was bound to Katharine because he wanted someone to belong to him and him only. He wanted someone that he could know intimately and who could know him intimately as well. Even though he is married to Katharine he feels as though he has to seduce her in order to extract her deepest sexual desires.
Both relationships ultimately failed. Winston’s relationship with Katharine was broken up by the Party because they had not produced a child. This was a reason given by the Party for the separation. Katharine was taken by the Party and Winston has not seen or heard from her ever since. Winston did not care much for this relationship and it had played no major part in his life. At one point in the play he mentions that he often forgets that he had been married. His relationship lacked any basic structure and both husband and wife had nothing in common. Their political views got in the way of their marriage; Winston was for the Brotherhood and against the Party whereas Katharine was a supporter of the Party. She was so supportive of the Party that Winston thinks that she could have told the Thought Police of Winston’s thoughtcrimes.
Winston’s relationship with Julia was far stronger than this relationship. Although they were completely different in some ways, their hatred for the Party binds them together in a tie which they think nothing can break.
In the end, of course, Julia is arrested and removed to the Ministry of Love, where she too suffers the horrors of Room 101 and is forced to betray Winston. They were more easily broken than most other couples would have been because their relationship lacked any sort of depth and was based on their mutual sexual desire.
. When they meet again after their respective releases, Julia is much changed, spiritless, physically broken, holding a vague dislike for Winston. The comparison he notes between her waist (which seems no longer supple) and the body of a corpse suggests that Julia is dead, that her personality has been beaten down and extinguished so that she, like Winston, is nothing but a shell.
If you love something, set it free; if it comes backs it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was
Oedipus complex- In psychoanalysis, a subconscious sexual desire in a child, especially a male child, for the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
This is a very strong analytical essay and the only thing that needs improving is the way the essay is structured; this includes the way that quotes are used and the way points are linked to one another. 4 Stars