JULIA & WINSTON COINCIDENCES
To Orwell Today:
The question I'm wondering is: "Is Julia a member of the thought police?"
I believe she wasn't directly; however, I do think she was being used by them. I'm not sure how aware she was of this though.
First, let us consider the members of the Inner Party who, being extreme cases of dangerous narcissism, have taken it upon themselves to play God. This is evident when O'Brien tells Winston, "This drama I have played out with you during seven years will be played out over and over again, generation after generation, always in subtler forms." This proves indisputably that certain members of the Inner Party are assigned to rehabilitation projects, which are, in a perverse sort of way, creative though diabolical. It would seem probable that Winston and Julia both belong to O'Brien as the object of a sadistic game similar to what cats do when they catch mice before they eat them.
When I think of the misdirection and deception they go through, I think of how COINTELPRO and the FBI treated their suspects.
So I am convinced Julia was being used by the thought Police. She may have thought she was outwitting the system by seducing someone of the outer party, but she was being used in the process.
What does make Julia suspicious is all the coincidences she brings into manifestation with regards to Winston's life.
The first and most obvious observation to make is how Julia is everywhere where Winston is, such as the Prole district and when she walks past him and hands him the note.
Next is when Julia and Winston meet in the countryside, and a peculiar incident takes place:
Winston asks Julia, "What is your name?" and Julia answers, "Julia, I know yours. It's Winston -- Winston Smith." Winston replies, "How did you find that out?"
He is totally baffled by Julia's foreknowledge of his name. After all, there is so much secrecy in his world that he doesn't even know the names of the people who work in adjacent cubicles in the Ministry of Truth.
Next, Julia produces a small slab of chocolate. In and of itself, it seems like an insignificant event, except that it triggers a nascent memory in Winston which Orwell describes in the following manner:
"The first fragment of chocolate had melted on Winston's tongue. The taste was delightful. But there was still that memory moving around the edges of his consciousness, something strongly felt but not reducible to definite shape, like an object seen out of the corner of one's eye. He pushed it away from him, aware only that it was the memory of some action which he would like to undo but could not."
Why Winston wants to push the memory out of consciousness is because it is has to do with his betrayal of his mother and sister. Later in the novel, we discover that Winston, as a boy, had run off with a piece of chocolate he had stolen out of his sister's hands. When he returns from his childish thievery, he finds that his mother and sister have vanished, never to return. Imagine the association of guilt he must have linked to the experience of chocolate.
A few minutes later something even stranger happens: "Winston looked out into the field beyond, and underwent a curious, slow shock of recognition." What he realizes is that the landscape before him is "The Golden Country" he keeps seeing in his dreams. By now, Winston should be suspicious, but he makes a dismissive reply after Julia asks him about the name he just muttered: "It's nothing really. A landscape I've seen sometimes in a dream."
Finally, when Julia throws her clothes off and flings her dress aside, Winston remembers it being exactly as in a dream he had. This would make one suspect that Winston was either suggested that image perhaps through the telescreen while he lay sleeping or somehow he conveyed the image to someone (or talked in in his sleep). But I favor the first option. Very early in the novel, when Winston has a dream of the Golden Country, he also encounters a girl with dark hair and smooth, white body who flings her clothes aside in symbolic annihilation of a whole culture. This woman is curiously close in description to Julia. So far there have been 4 coincidences within the space of a few minutes.
As the number of coincidences increase, the probability of there being some form of intelligence masterminding Winston's demise becomes a probability. We are left with the question, "Is this a setup or is Winston some sort of psychic who has premonitions about the future?" The last I believe would stray from any theme in 1984. The first would fit it quite nicely. I believe Orwell was presenting this scene to his readers to instruct us to be more aware of patterns. Often the truth is hidden in obvious manifestations that people pass off as mere coincidence.
A second round of coincidences happen when Winston and Julia are alone in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop. First off, Julia enters with her faced painted with makeup. Then Winston embraces Julia, and the moment he does he smells her perfume and suddenly has a memory of a night he spent with a prostitute: "It was the same scent that she had used..." And of course, Winston again dismisses the incident: "...but at that moment it did not seem to matter."
What Winston is failing to do is connect the dots. It is the same failure so many people are making today. They hear the individual news stories, the scandals and abuses of power, but often tend to regard them as separate incidents, never piecing together the big picture.
Next Julia chases out a rat that enters the apartment. Well, a shabby room in a seedy part of town could have rats. The thing that gives each of these "coincidences" away is that they cause Winston to have evocations of his past. In this case, Winston is in a state of shock as he confronts the object of his worst fear.
Another thing to note is that Julia knows all about the church in the picture, and is able to complete at least one stanza of the rhyme that Mr. Charrington had taught him.
The fact that Winston gets healthier and happier in Julia's company makes me suspect that Julia and Winston are in some sort of legitimate relationship -- as legitimate as two emotionally scarred people can be. It is entirely possible that Winston's need for companionship and having an accomplice and Julia's need to express rebellion through sex and the expression of her own femininity were sincere and, in that context, they were therefore being sincere with each other.
What I understand about the workings of the Inner Party is it would be more in line with their sadistic inclinations to allow people to experience happiness for a period of time with the intent to thoroughly destroy it with absolute pleasure. This seems to be the tack they are taking in setting up both Winston's and Julia's demise.
How Julia can be associated with the proliferation of so many coincidences is not clear to me. Orwell seems to withhold clues. It leaves one to wonder who Julia is anyways. A member of the thought police? A dissident being used by the thought police? Or maybe a double agent? Each one of these implies a different amount of consciousness on her part.
I do believe she gets caught and tortured. No matter what role she plays, even if she were truly an agent of the thought police, eventually she would have to be rehabilitated because the very doctrine of the Inner Party would not let someone exist who entertains thoughts contrary to the principles of doublethink. If they could vaporize Syme for knowing too much of the right thing, they would certainly arrest her for being too individualistic -- of course, after they used her for their own ends. Julia was obviously as much of a marked person as was Winston.
And being masters of strategy and chess, the Inner Party could easily engineer the mutual betrayal and humiliation of two people who once cared for each other .... and enjoy witnessing it.
This is in consonance with the type of tribal in-fighting and religious warfare that imperialist nations provoke as a means of dividing and conquering their subjects.
One thing I've always wondered is what Julia's greatest fear might be? Anyone interested in answering that?
Nursery rhymes were something Winston remembered from his childhood and he's always looking for other people who remember what life was like before Big Brother took control of the world. That's one of the things he and Julia had in common. She remembered some nursery rhymes her grandfather had taught her. And of course, Mr Charington plays on this desire of Winston's and feeds it with his intellectual air. Naturally Charington and other members of the Inner Party know about the past and enjoy that knowledge. They just don't share it with the "dumb masses". That's what falsification of the past and reality control are all about.
Remember Winston's conversation in the pub with the old guy and how he tried to get him to think back to the time before the revolution but how the old guy's brain was just a jumble of disconnected facts? That was very frustrating for Winston. I don't include the dialogue in any of my themes but you can look it up in Book One, Chapter 8.
Now getting back to the coincidences, I'll ask you to think about this on a personal level. Haven't you ever noticed how you can be thinking of something and it will happen? Or you can be thinking of someone and they will phone? Or how about when you meet someone and fall in love and you feel like you're soul mates because they bring out the best in you or open your mind up to areas of yourself that you haven't shared before. That's what happens with Winston and Julia.
If Winston hadn't met Julia he would never have gone to the Golden Country because he was stuck in the city, friendless and alone. But Julia had been a member of all the Youth Groups and the Anti-Sex League etc and so she'd been on field trips and knew about such places. She had no idea it would have such a powerful affect on Winston but it did, and that's part of how she brought out these innermost feelings in Winston.
And the same is true with the chocolate. If it hadn't been for Julia, Winston wouldn't have experienced tasting the chocolate, which then triggered the memory of his mother and his little sister. And remember, it was through that memory that Winston is finally able to come to terms with his guilt and sadness over losing his mother.
What you refer to as "coincidences" and ascribe to the Inner Party's control over Winston, are in fact not due to them at all. Those wonderful little memories and experiences that Winston and Julia share could be more realistically ascribed to God. Actually a coincidence is really a GODincident - or Providence. These little signs from God are what keep all of us going. They are like little rewards and encouragements to assure us we're on the right track.
All the best,
JULIA'S FATE (reader asks about Party doctrine on Julia's kind of thinking). Mar 17, 2004. Go to 27.Goodthink & 26.Rebellion & 37.We Are The Dead
WHO CONTROLS WINSTON'S MIND? by Jackie Jura
WINSTON DIES INSIDE, by Jackie Jura
WINSTON & JULIA (engaging in illegal love affair), by Jackie Jura
26.Julia & Rebellion and 29.Risking Renting Room and 31.Love Nest and 32.Enemies Of The State and 37.We Are The Dead and 45.Chestnut Tree Cafe
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