The affair between Winston and Julia marks the stand that both of them are trying to take against Big Brother, however Julia is only really interested in the sexual aspect of their relationship, the downfall of Big Brother playing second fiddle. The very description of Julia by Orwell leads the reader to perceive that she is the model Oceanic citizen, ‘She was a bold looking girl, of about twenty-seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face and swift, athletic movements.
A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times around the waist of the overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips.’ This initial interpretation of Julia establishes her to be someone who is following the rules and regulations of the Oceanic society; however this could not be more far removed from the truth. As the novel progresses it becomes apparent that Julia is not fighting to bring down Big Brother to actually bring his society down, but only for the sake of fighting, she is portrayed as a silly young woman whose only interests were ‘…to break the rules and stay alive all the same’, as well as her sexual relationship with Winston, something which she ironically is meant to be opposing.
Although the only viewpoint we are given of Julia is through Winston it is clear through the progression of their relationship that her intentions are somewhat different from Winston’s, ‘She hated the party, and said so in the crudest words, but she made no general criticism of it.’ This is a source of great frustration for Winston who wants revolution and seems very intent that it will happen. The similarity between Julia and Lenina is that both female characters are portrayed by Orwell and Huxley are extremely promiscuous and seemingly only interested on one thing. Both authors show that women and their sexuality cause them to behave in erratic and uncalculated ways which causes them to aid the downfall of their male companions.
This on the part of the authors is an extremely misogynistic perspective; both Julia and Lenina are portrayed as beautiful young women who seem intent on bringing down the male characters through their obsessions with sex. For me personally the female sexuality is focused on in a negative sense, whereas the reader is more likely to feel some degree of sympathy towards such characters as Winston or John, towards Julia or Lenina there is very little direct sympathy perhaps more satisfaction that they get their ‘just desserts’, however it is still a good example that sexuality it a powerful tool.
Orwell and Huxley both present the reader with two very contrasting worlds yet both authors agree in their perspective of sex and sexuality-that ultimately sexuality leads to the corruption and demise of life. In Brave New World John the Savage is introduced into a world of complete sexual freedom, where lust reigns free, this is very alien to him and as much as he tries to fight his urges he is led by the promiscuous Lenina and is eventually swallowed up the World State’s conditioning, finding himself in the exact position he though intolerable. In 1984 Winston is led by his hunger to rebel against.
Big Brother into the arms of the equally sexually promiscuous Julia and their affair eventually leads him to embrace Big Brother with love, something he believed he would never do. Both novels are a demonstration of the extreme power that sexuality holds over human beings, and that ultimately we as a race cannot withstand sex. This very view is summed up in the final actions of John the Savage who realises he is just as sexually driven as people such as Lenina, he has given into the very thing he was fighting against and feels that there is no other way out but to kill himself, ‘Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south west…’