To Orwell Today
Hope this note finds you well.
You have probably heard this before, but i couldn't find anything similar on your site, so i thought i might ask you directly.
In the Novel, women are trained to dislike sexual activity, and only to do it as ones "duty", artsem being intended to replace it altogether eventually, for better Big Brother control.
Julia, and probably many other girls like her, find a certain liberation in the rebellious act of illicit sexual encounters.
Is it the case that the Inner Party desire both of these behaviours, for one of them keeps male and female apart in marriage, while the other devalues what sexual contact can be in its proper form, by making it merely a political protest against perceived Party indoctrination?
There are also interesting parellels to our society, in that the idea of sexual "freedom" being a liberating activity is widely held by many, especially the young, and yet perhaps this goes too far, and reaches the point where, as in the book, it becomes just another activity - one that may seem liberating, but in reality does nothing to actually challenge the control structures around us - just another trick by the Inner Party to keep the outer members under their control.
Really like your site and the work you put in to it - almost certainly the best collected source of Orwell related comment and information on the net.
Best wishes and regards
james mannell (sheffield, UK)
PS. I'm not sure if you get much of our news in the US, but i was wondering what you thoughts are on the UK ID card plans, for they are often spoken about in Orwellian terms. Indeed, a member of Parliament was seen to hold a copy of 1984 for a point he was making in a debate on the scheme!
But then again, i hear that there are rumblings of ID cards in the USA also, in regards to the federalisation of driving licenses, if reports are to be believed.
I look forward to your reply.
Eliminating the need for sex (artsem) or treating it as a recreational sport devoid of trust and love, is, as you say, just another trick by Big Brother to get control and keep the male and female apart. Or as Orwell said:
"The aim of the Party was to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control...The Party was trying to kill sexual attraction, or, if it could not be killed, then to distort it and dirty it."
You can find articles and commentary about sexuality at the bottom of the Orwell theme 30.Love Instinct & Family.
Actually, I started noticing repercussions of the so-called "sexual liberation movement" a long time ago. Here's a letter-to-the-editor I wrote to the newspaper back in the late 80s:
BABY BOOMERS KNOCKING SOCIETY
All the best,
PS - Yes, I did notice that UK ID card story. I posted it on the website as the symbolic last entry for 2004:
Copy of 1984 waved in House of Commons (after MPs pass ID card for UK saying "don't fear Big Brother"). BBC, Dec 21, 2004. Go to 3.Surveillance & 20.Police & 7.Systems ('May I see your papers, comrade?') & TERROR BILL IS TERROR
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