1984

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1984 Book 1, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Winston writes in his diary about an encounter he had with an aging prole prostitute in a basement kitchen, a minor crime. Disgusted, he considers the Party's attitude towards sex, which is that it should only occur between married people for the purpose of procreation, and should not be pleasurable. He remembers his politically orthodox wife, Katharine, who forced him to have sex with her once a week because it was their "duty to the Party," and then left him when they failed to produce a child.
It is not until Winston gets to know Julia that he learns how the Party has manipulated sexual instincts to serve its political purposes. Winston's own sexual fantasies are overwhelmingly sadistic, showing how repressed sexuality can take the form of violent wishes and taboo behaviors.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Because Party members are not allowed to feel or express desire for each other, encounters with prostitutes are Winston's only sexual outlet. Desire, too, is thoughtcrime. Winston confesses in the diary that the prostitute had been old and toothless, but that he had had sex with her anyway.
Tolerated in Oceania, sex with prostitutes encourages men to despise themselves for being unable to ignore their sexual needs, and to think of the sex act itself as unclean and even immoral.
Themes
Totalitarianism and Communism Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon