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Betrayal Like Its 1984 Essay

1336 words - 5 pages

Not only does the novel use the Party’s intolerance of betrayal to its ideologies as a method to facilitate the feeling of alienation and loneliness, but also that of the individual characters’ betrayal of one another. There are several examples of this throughout the novel. Some of these examples are when Charrington betrays Winston and Julia, when Parsons is betrayed by his children, when Winston and Julia betray one another, and when Winston finally betrays himself. George Orwell used these examples to demonstrate how the party was able to sever any type of loyalties between people and even one’s self. This betrayal only perpetuates the fear of relationships causing people to welcome isolation.
One of the first examples of the characters in the book being disloyal to each other is found when Mr. Charrington betrays Winston and Julia. Mr. Charrington is an older secondhand shopkeeper in the district that is just outside of the Party’s walls. He sells a journal to Winston which would be considered as contraband and he rents out a room that is above his shop to Winston as well. Winston and Julia use this room above Mr. Charrington’s shop as a secret meeting place for their love affair. Winston feels that Mr. Charrington shares his interests in the past. Malcolm Pittock, an author for Cambridge Quarterly, wrote in an article that, “One of the touches of genius in Nineteen Eighty-Four is that this kind of rural nostalgia becomes a trap to be manipulated by the all-seeing regime …Mr Charrington [sic] is not a bumbling relic of a kinder past, but a secret policeman who has set the shop up to entrap Winston” (174). However, Winston and Julia are later arrested together in the rented room. The very last sentence in the second part of the book says, “It occurred to Winston that for the first time in his life he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police” (Orwell 224). This shows that Winston’s trust of Mr. Charrington and the belief that he was not a member of the Party had been false.
Another example of betrayal that is used to cause alienation between the characters is shown within the Parsons family. Mr. Parsons is betrayed by his daughter. Even with this type of betrayal, Mr. Parsons did not hold any type of grudge towards his child, but had felt almost a sense of pride. When Winston asked Mr. Parsons who denounced him, he replied, “It was my little daughter…She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, [‘Down with Big Brother!’ while sleeping] and nipped off to the patrols the very next day” (Orwell 233). This highlights the success that the Party had at turning individuals away from forming meaningful relationships.
The relationship that was formed between Winston and Julia is another example of betrayal between the characters. After their arrest, Winston and Julia were separated and forced to betray each other. When Winston asked O’Brien what happened to Julia, he replied, “She betrayed you, Winston....

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