Ques.1 Why are close personal relationships— family, spouses, friends—dangerous to a totalitarian government? Use examples from the novel as well discuss the issue more broadly. Why does Winston think women are less trustworthy than men?
Ans1. Totalitarian government is that form of government in which a strict control is exercised on the public. Even the people’s history and language is controlled. Winston Smith is a low ranking officer of the ruling party in London. Omniscient leader of the party, “Big Brother” is everywhere and watches everything through telescreen on roads, house, and restaurants. In short there is no room left where Winston cannot be located; even having criminal thoughts is also illegal on Oceania. Domination and Interference has frustrated Winston, and he is feeling oppressed and suffocated as party is controlling even the private aspects of one’s life as free thoughts, sex and any expression of individuality. The ruling party owns everything in Oceania, and there is no private or personal possession of anything not even your own brain. Three slogans those party embraces are: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is strength. Party has encouraged only one form of love and that is only love for party and eliminated all other forms of love i.e. love for family, spouse, one night stands or friends. It even encouraged children to monitor on their parents and a father kissing his daughter on forehead is also considered offensive. Close relationships are dangerous for a totalitarian government as it reduces the love and loyalty of an individual towards the party. A man in love with his family or spouse will do anything to make them happy, and this will arouse the needs and desires of man and that is not beneficial for totalitarian government. A man with the family will focus more on his self interest than in the interest of the party. His aim in life will be fulfillment of dreams and ambitions of his family and will spend little time for the government. A totalitarian government wants one point worship, loyalty and love, and that is just for the party and no one else.
In the novel, Winston is against the party as he is controlled by the party and even free thinking or having sex that is the most basic instinct is considered illegal. When Winston gets into a secret relationship with Julia, they share everything and are happy. Winston feels like he is living again, and he openly expresses his feelings against the party and that he wants to rebel against party and join brotherhood. But, unfortunately, when they are trapped by O’ Brien, and tortured. Winston being extremely loyal admits that he murdered his wife and hates Big Brother but does not reveal about his relation with Julia. As a final punishment, he is sent to room 101 which is considered deadliest of all the punishments. There he is forced to face his fear of rats and is threatened to be eaten by rats and then he breaks down and says,” do it to Julia!" He understood that Julia broke down and spilled the beans. To save herself from the torture Julia left surrendered and told O’Brien everything and left Winston. That’s the reason Winston feels that women are less trustworthy than man and are a cause of misery and pain.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "1984 Summary." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 15 May 2014