Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four

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Many critics, especially feminist writers, have argued that George Orwell's 1984 portrays women as stereotypes. I do not fully agree with this perspective. This book was written in 1948, the stereotypical English woman in those times was very conservative, and sexually repressed.


"I'm not interested in the next generation, dear. I'm interested in us."
If you look closely, perhaps she is the true rebel. She is realist about the system and she believes that a true rebellion could only be carried out secretly and individually. In spite of being part of the Anti-Sex League, she chose to be free about her choices and to decide about her own body.
This argument has been used to claim the opposite, that Orwell's vision of women was limited, thinking of Julia as the forbidden, the fun and sexually active, pretty but not so smart girl; while only mothers were honorable and cause for admiration. Orwell's famous line: "You're Only a Rebel from the Waist Downwards" can be thoroughly discussed; it has even become the title of a feminist critic text by Anne Mellor.
This critic points that "the roles assigned to women in Oceania and in Winston Smith's mind fall into very limited stereotypes: the pure self-sacrificing mother, the frigid wife, the sexually aggressive and emotionally supportive mate." (Mellor,1983 in Reed, 1984).
Is it possible that the same writer that talked about a totalitarian system in one of his most influential works ever, had an attitude as conservative and repressed as the Party in the book I hope not.
I don't believe that by making his female characters look somewhat stereotyped, Orwel ...
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