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In romantic literature and poetry the concept of love as the submission of oneself to another is well-known. Perhaps the greatest of all love poets wrote: "Such is my love, to thee I so belong,/ That for thy right myself will bear all wrong." Shakespeare's feelings in Sonnet 88 have been echoed by countless authors when they wrote about love.
Human beings as individuals have no validity. Feelings and emotions are forbidden. The notion of 'love' is laughable: it undermines the State's power.
Winston Smith and Julia know this. They do not accept it, however, but pursue a forbidden relationship; they deny submitting to the State by submitting to each other. In doing so they create a form of love that is traditional. Paradoxically, Orwell then introduces a form of love that is "turned away from what is right, good and proper: wicked"1 in Winston's and Julia's ultimate submission to Big Brother and the State. These two events reveal that Orwell understands human behavior as well as he does totalitarian regimes and that, consequently, his love story is intentionally both traditional and perverse.
Subject to constant monitoring, Thought Police and spies observing one's every move and overhearing one's utterances, the possibility of a traditional love affair in Oceania seems unlikely or - more accurately - impossible. The image of couples strolling arm in arm through what was once Hyde Park cannot be imagined, and it is certainly not imagined by Winston Smith and Julia. But they try in their way and succeed - for a time.
Orwell's introduction of Julia is anything but traditional: "Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her." (p12 ...
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