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Isolation is a massive factor in what makes 1984 such a memorable and frightening novel. Many forms of alienation present themselves in many forms throughout the book, and without them, 1984 would not be as frighteningly realistic. The kind of society and interaction, or lack of interaction between people is a extremely important factor in what makes 1984 such a unique novel. The citizens in 1984 face alienation from more people in their lives then not, including the opposite sex, their kids or parents, the proles, the inner party, and even themselves.
The isolation the citizens of 1984 have from the opposite sex is reinforced in many ways, including anti-sex leagues and the consuming thought that sex is just a duty for the party. Even Winston, who rebelled against the party still carried with him the hate for the opposite sex, seen in the novel when he explains his disgust with most women, and had no desire to have an relations with them. At one point it was said that he “he disliked nearly all woman”. The anti-sex league is just another reinforcement of the party’s stand on sex, and how it is just a duty done for the party, nothing more. Throughout the novel, women are seen wearing the sash of the anti-sex league and upholding the ideas of it almost everyday.
After Winston meets Julia, he soon realizes that almost everyday she has a commitment to the anti-sex league to further spread the message to the youth of the society and reinforce it in the elders. These values set down by the party are what Julia and Winston rebel against. They often have sex, much against the party’s wishes. The party imposes these values, which leads to isolation, because having sex leads to having feelings for another person, and will eventually create a bond with one another. The party wants to isolate people to keep them in control, and creating bonds with another person is the exact opposite of the party’s wishes. This is what Winston and Julia are doing by seeing each other very often, and having sex with each other.
Children and parents are isolated from each other on a mental level, but not on a physical level. The mother still cares for her children, nurturing them and giving them the basic needs for life, while the children plot against her after learning the values of the spies. While still being nurtured by the mother and provided for by the father, the children are taught to oppose nature, and break the bond between parents and children. The party encourages spying on parents by the ones who are closest to them – the children. The spies consist of children, who will most likely turn out to spy on their parents and eventually have them killed for a crime against the inner party. The parents knowledge of this creates separation between them and their kids. This form of isolation can be compared to the common family outside of 1984. The common family sticks together, and fights it’s battles alongside each other. The isolation in 1984 keeps families from forming strong bonds, and makes each of them more of an individual and isolated from the rest of their family.
The living conditions of the citizens in 1984 doesn’t seem like it could get any worse, but then the proles are introduced. The isolation of proles is the most obvious form of isolation in 1984. The proles all live in a different part of the city than the rest of the citizens and are separated in almost every other way as well. Winston knows that this separation is present, and he knows the separation that the proles have makes the proles actually have a chance of overthrowing the party. The proles are out of the mind control of the inner party, and therefore can rise against them without the constant reminder of doublethink or thoughtcrime. “If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.”
The inner party and the outer party are also separated from each other, especially by the quality of life they live. While Winston meets Julia, she brings with her information of the inner party and their way of life. Not only are they away from the propaganda and reminders of what not to do, but they’re away from the quality of life that the outer part suffers through. They get better, and greater qualities of food, while the outer party has its food rations lowered and lowered. The separation that the inner party has from the laws it lays down is shown when Julia says that half of all inner party members would sleep with a woman, out of pleasure, not out duty to the party if they were given the chance. This shows that the morals of the inner party are only rubbed off on the outer party and parts of the inner party. The inner party is isolated from the outer party because of the rules that the inner party enforces. The outer party outnumbers the inner party, and therefore the inner party must separate themselves, and appear to be better than the outer party to avoid any confrontations where they might be overthrown.
Isolation from yourself is what is caused by the thought police. No longer can a citizen truly be free, not even in his or her mind. Winston proves this by saying, “Thought crime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.” The constant searching through the minds of citizens has weeded out those who think freely and have their own opinions. Left are those who conform to the inner party and everything they stand for.
The isolation in 1984 is just a reminder of how free our current world is when compared to how bad things can get. Freedom in 1984 is scarce, and with the inner party’s slogans and mottos and rules in full effect, freedom doesn’t seem like a thing that can be achieved by the citizens in 1984. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” With the isolation and alienation in 1984, saying two plus two is four is not granted, and it looks as if nothing else from the free mind will follow.