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Misogyny in 1984

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George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) is a novel set in a theoretical future in which London is currently arranged in ‘Oceania’, a state led by a totalitarian regime which seems to be led by the elusive figure of Big Brother. The general public is variously leveled (much like the Indian caste system), with the ‘proles’ at the bottom, above them the Party individuals, and then the members of the Inner Party. The proles are considered useless to the point where they’re allowed to experience their lives as they wish, however, Party individuals are constantly checked up on by the Inner Party and the Thought Police. Any deviation from Party rules — or from the social standard, since there are no laws (Orwell 8) — is severely punished. ‘Big Brother’, as everybody knows, ‘Is Watching’.

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It is for the most part believed that by portraying this horrific dystopian world Orwell intended to scrutinize totalitarian administrations, and that he succeeded at this. The storyteller, simultaneously demonstrates a misogynistic world view regularly shown in dystopian books, in which ladies are irrelevant and substandard, ‘either sexless automatons or rebels who’ve defied the sex rules of the regime’ (Atwood 516). This is very two-faced: Orwell assails Big Brother’s domination [of the state] but never notices that he is ‘the perfect embodiment of hypertrophied masculinity’ (Despair 88) the narrator never focuses on male power over females even though it is present in the most subtle of ways.

1984 begins with a third person narrator presenting the main character, Winston Smith, and his reality. From the plain first page, this storyteller is continually exchanging between what appear to be facts ; the writing on the divider says BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the elevator that only occasionally works, Winston is thirty-nine and has a varicose ulcer over his right ankle — and Winston’s sentiments. It’s hard to tell whether the corridor really ‘smelt like boiled cabbage and old rag mats’, and if Big Brother did have ‘ruggedly handsome features’ (3) because these are all subjective. The utilization of free indirect discourse (FID) (‘It was no use trying the lift’) guarantees, as in numerous different books, that the fundamental character’s focalizationl is not entirely obvious and taken as reality.

It isn’t the situation that Winston’s feelings are constantly introduced as goal, however the storyteller frequently interchanges between the use of FID and saying that it is Winston who thinks something. Give us a chance to consider for instance the first run through Julia (by then still anonymous) is said:

“He did not know her name, but he knew that she worked in the Fiction Department. Presumably — since he had sometimes seen her with oily hands and carrying a spanner — she had some mechanical job on one of the novel-writing machines. She was a bold-looking girl, of about twenty-seven, with thick hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips…He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy”. (11-2)

The storyteller flawlessly switches between a third person portrayal and the thoughts and opinions of Winston. Yet, in truth the storyteller utilizes a printed style that just recommends factuality. The sentence Patai alludes to (‘It was always … unorthodoxy’) is encompassed by Winston’s subjectivity: ‘He disliked’, it says in the sentence previously, followed by ‘gave him the impression’. Yet at the same time, the storyteller establish it appear as though Winston’s views of ladies are the reality. What’s more, these impressions are sexist and two dimensional.

The ladies that Winston-storyteller depicts are generally void disapproved and loaded with party mottos like his better half ‘The Human Soundtrack’ (Orwell 69), or proles, whom he sooner or later watches ‘disgustedly’ (73), whores, or self-destroying maternal figures: notwithstanding when seen emphatically ladies are generalizations (Patai, Despair 88). ‘Women are at the margins’, and ‘exist mainly as a source of frustration, irritation, or temptation’ (Bail 215). Also, this view is never tested by the main lady who doesn’t fit very into this account: Julia may be unique, she is still first and foremost characterized as a female body.

Winston begins needing to rape and murder Julia. It is consequently unquestionable that Winston began loathing Julia on the grounds that he needed to have intercourse with her. In knowing, or expecting, that that could never happen, Winston winds up feeling tricked out of something that he believes he should have. Potentially even cheated out of a feeling of manliness that may accompany having intercourse with a young lady like Julia.

It is by all accounts the main reason Winston needed ‘a lady of his own’ (71): for her body, and the politics that accompany it. When he stops ‘simply’ loathing Julia’s body, Winston begins to consider it to be a means to an end: he supposes Julia can oppose the Party with it. When he longs for her stripping, what overpowers him is profound respect for the motion with which she ‘… throw[s] her garments aside … as if Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm’ (33). Afterward, he calls a similar activity however, all things considered, a ‘gesture with which a whole civilisation seem[s] to be annihilated’(131). Moreover, he feels like his first time sex with Julia isn’t a demonstration of affection, or even want for woman ‘you could not call … beautiful’(132), yet it is a political demonstration.

The significance of political issues changes all through the novel, and it appears that the more extended their relationship endures, the more centered Winston is around simply Julia’s body. When he gets Julia’s ‘I love you’- note, he is exclusively worried about losing her ‘white youthful body’ on the off chance that he doesn’t answer (115), yet later on he gets extremely angry when Julia is menstruating on the grounds that he feels like she is duping him out of something he doesn’t simply need frantically, yet really has a right to. (It has been noted by both Patai and Tirohl that Julia and Winston obviously just get together to have sex.)

What’s more, despite the fact that Winston eventually begins saying he “loves” Julia, he never fully comes around to valuing her as a person. Furthermore, toward the end of the novel, when he meets Julia for the last time and his “love” for her has been lost, she is still just depicted regarding her body parts: what has changed after the torment is that her abdomen is thicker, her body feels like stone, and her feet have become larger. (304– 5).

For example: Winston gains from Julia that ‘[a]ll the workers in Pornosec’, where cheap pornography is made for the proles, ‘except for the head of department, were girls’ (137) .‘The theory was that men, whose sex instincts were less controllable than those of women, were in greater danger of being corrupted by the filth they handled’ (137). This clings to a view that ladies are simply normally less inspired by sex than men, additionally sustained when we are informed that ‘so far as the women were concerned, the Party’s efforts [to dirty and distort the sex instinct] were largely successful’ (69).

In the event that we consider that 1984 is told from the point of view of Winston, the book’s misogyny can be pardoned, or if nothing else clarified, by saying that it is just Winston’s misogyny. However, this doesn’t represent the way that the Appendix, written in past tense, was positively not composed by Winston, which would imply that the storyteller and Winston can be isolated. What’s more, the storyteller has settled on the choice to show Winston’s sexist perspectives as actualities, while never addressing them. Not notwithstanding when it’s the Party, which is always addressed, doing the persecuting.

This all prompts a book that criticizes, and cautions for, totalitarian administrations, while leaving the mistreatment of women out of each condition. 1984 is considered a work of art and for good reasons, however it should, as any book, dependably be read fundamentally rather than directly . It is easy to oblige the story and the facts exhibited, however in the event that we don’t investigate and examine Winston’s and the storyteller’s perspectives, as we are allowed to do so, when we simply underestimate the expert of this content, on the off chance that we go along with its perspective of what is ordinary, we have gained nothing from it.

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