Julia is a central character in Nineteen Eighty-Four. She is Winston’s secret lover in the middle section of the story.

Her outer characterisation is revealed long before we learn her name. She is described as “[...] a bold-looking girl, of about twenty-seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face and swift, athletic movements” (p. 11). We later learn in Part II of the novel that Julia is actually 26 years old and lives in a hostel with other women, whom she professes to hate (p. 136).

She is a member of the Outer Party and works in the Ministry of Truth in the Fiction Department, which mostly means that she produces an endless stream of trivial entertainment products that are meant to keep the ‘proles’ satisfied and stop them from questioning their situation. Her job does not involve actual writing - instead she operates some kind of machine used as part of the printing process. Winston “had sometimes seen her with oily hands and carrying a spanner” (p. 11), suggesting that she is a mechanic. We also learn that: “A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times around the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips” (p. 12).

Initially, this makes Winston believe that Julia’s inner characterisation must be that of...

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