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The Anti Feminist Message In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four

788 words - 3 pages

George Orwell displays a tendency to disregard women in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, showing none of his female characters to ever be equal to a male character, whether physically or intellectually. Orwell's portrayal of women shows them in a very unflattering light. Firstly, the female characters base the relationships they form solely on sex and are unwilling to form any other type of relationship. Furthermore, the women are all two dimensional characters, lacking the brains and personalities the male characters all posses. Finally, women are presented as having no interest in world issues and no differences of opinion with the Party on anything that truly matters. These presentation of women as inferior to men is obvious at all times; accordingly, the female characters in Nineteen Eighty-Four reveal an anti feminist bias on the part of the author.

To start off, Orwell's sole inclusion of women who base their relationships with men exclusively on sex demonstrates Orwell's negative beliefs about women. Despite Julia's claims to love Winston, their relationship is not about “the love of one person, but the animal instinct”(132). Julia has been in similar relationships to her and Winston's “hundreds of times”(131), relationships that look only at the sexual side and never at the emotional. She refuses all of Winston's attempts to expand their relationship, having “a disconcerting habit of falling asleep”(163) whenever he persists in talking. And although Winston cares for Julia more than he cares for Katharine, Katharine also bases her relationship with Winston completely on sex. When Winston reflects on their time together, he thinks, “he could have borne living with her if it had been agreed that they remain celibate... It was Katharine who refused this”(70). Unlike Julia, Katharine insists on sex because she sees it as her “duty to the Party”(70). Winston and Katharine stop having sex “and soon afterwards they parted”(70). There was nothing keeping their relationship together after the sex was over, showing that Katharine's only interest in their relationship was sex. Therefore, the presentation of women whose only interest is in sexual relationships show's Orwell's bias against women.

Similarly, the existence of only undeveloped women attests to Orwell's prejudice towards women. Katharine exhibits no personality, as shown by Winston's name for her: “'The human sound-track' he nicknamed her in his own mind”(69). She is described as having “the most stupid,...

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