Literature Study Guides1984Book 2 Chapter 3 Summary

1984 | Study Guide

George Orwell

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Book 2 | Chapter 3

Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Book 2 | Chapter 3 of George Orwell's novel 1984.

1984 | Book 2, Chapter 3 | Summary

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Summary

"Never go home the same way as you went out," Julia says as they part. The next time they make love, it is in the belfry of a ruined church. Usually, however, they only get to talk in what they call "installments." If, as they talk, the Thought Police draw near, Winston and Julia separate and pick up with the same sentence the next day.

Being only 26 Julia has no memories of anything prior to the 1960s. As a young girl she'd been a member of Spies, the Youth League, and the Junior Anti-Sex League. She still wears the garb of the Anti-Sex League, but now it's a ruse.

Analysis

In this chapter the reader learns how Winston and Julia are different. Julia is willing to break rules and enjoy what pleasures she can but feels that staging any kind of overt rebellion is stupid. She sees her relationship with the Party in simplistic terms. She wants to do things the Party doesn't want her to do. While readers can imagine Winston rebelling outwardly, it doesn't seem likely that Julia will. Winston is a pessimist, believing everyone is already "dead," but Julia won't have any of it. In comparison with him, she is an optimist and something of a hedonist. She wants to enjoy being alive.

The reader also learns more about the literature created by the Party. While some workers in the Ministry's Fiction Department at least revise what is spun out of the kaleidoscopes, Julia describes herself as "not clever" and simply runs and services the machines. Orwell (an avid reader and a lifelong writer of fiction) may have felt that the novel-writing business was in danger of becoming like a machine.

Halfway through the chapter, the reader learns that Julia believes that the Party's purpose for undermining the sexual instinct is to induce "hysteria." Hysteria was a real diagnosis in the late 1800s, and it had a real treatment involving massage. In Julia's mind, by encouraging sexual privation, the Party hopes to induce hysteria and, instead of curing it, transform it into war fever. Julia's sexual freedom is a political act.

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