1984 And Beloved Essay

1403 Words6 Pages
Sex and love are furtively denied in George Orwell’s 1984 and Toni Morrison’s Beloved by an oppressive totalitarian regime and white slave owners respectively. Love is entirely eradicated to subdue and control the oppressed, but the manipulation of sexuality diverges in the two texts. In Beloved, sex is contorted into violence by the slave owners, whereas it is completely depersonalized in 1984 until repulsive and criminalized. It is therefore through the reclamation of the sexual act that personal liberation occurs. As such, Winston and Sethe do not truly, romantically love Julia and Paul D respectively, but rather use them as vehicles for emancipation from their oppressive realities. It does not matter that it was Julia and Paul D who…show more content…
Sex is universally used, then, to control the black characters and force them to submit. Although the sexual instinct is severely depersonalized in both texts, depersonalization to the point of repulsion via indoctrination is the primary mode d’emploi in 1984, whereas sex has been manipulated by the slave owner into a violent act in Beloved. Sex becomes for members of the Party a task to be completed and ultimately a symbol of loyalty. Katharine, Winston’s estranged wife, is described as being entirely disgusted by sex. Winston reflects that “to embrace her was like embracing a jointed wooden image… even when she was clasping him against her… she was simultaneously pushing him away with all her strength” (Orwell 66). Yet his wife had still furtively insisted that they must copulate, to the point that she “used to remind him of it in the morning, as something which had to be done that evening and which must not be forgotten” (66-7). It is their solemn duty to the Party to produce a child, ergo, more Party members. Similarly, all marriages in Oceania must be approved by a committee, who immediately denies the request if any real affection is suggested between the potential spouses. By repressing desire, the Party engineers sexuality into “hysteria… desirable because it could be transformed into war fever and leader worship” (Orwell 132-3). Julia similarly speculates that one reason
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