Friday, February 8, 2013

1984: Do it to Julia!

1984:  "Do it to Julia!...."



This weekend's Trifextra challenge is not a writing challenge per se. It is about a piece of writing from a work of literature that has touched us, inspired us, infuriated us and/or enlightened us or, a dozen other equally valid responses and reactions.  The big trick, it seems, is to find an important, fully-realized snippet that comprises 33 words exactly.  Not so easy.   


“Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!”

Excerpt From: Orwell, George. “Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)."


Like many of you, I read this book in my early 20s.  I was certainly a much more idealistic person in those days.  1984  was the first book that I had read in my life that I had a violent, visceral reaction to.  When Winston Smith felt the breath of the rats upon his face and betrayed his heart by giving up Julia, I remember being angry, throwing the book down and, quite literally, pacing my dorm room in quite an agitated state.  I still believe that nothing is stronger or more important than Love. Hopefully, if the rat's breath ever touches my face, I won't yell out the names of my wife or children. I'd like to think I am stronger than Winston.   I really would like to think that.

26 comments:

  1. I love this part of the book. As great of a novel as 1984 is, there so few parts where passion and real raw emotion take over. This is one.

    great 33

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    1. This has nothing to do with my quote. But, with all of the Jane Austens popping up all over, it brings to mind the "Chicks dig the long ball" ad. Doesn't seem right to write that on anyone's post but, I'm confident that you will understand completely. :)

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  2. Great choice Tom! I had the same reaction to that scene as you. I think the character in Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We" was more believable (or perhaps simply more likeable) than Winston.

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    1. Thanks. I agree that it was hard to like anyone in 1984. Bleak book, for sure!

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  3. oh, my goodness . . . would you believe I read this in high school? Required reading in the 60s . . . erm, yes, I said 60s. We read the book beFORE it happened. :)

    shiver - I haven't thought of this book in years. We also read Animal Farm . . . really interesting discussions in those interesting times.

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    1. This is one of the few university books I kept. There was just something about it that compels me to keep a place for it on my book shelf to this day.

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  4. So passionate - it made my blood run cold.

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    1. Yes, indeed! Thanks for your comment, Corinne. :)

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  6. I've never read 1984 all the way through myself, only pieces of it. Animal Farm was bleak enough. I honestly don't know if I could take 1984. The ending's just all kinds of sad.

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    1. I trudged through because I was anticipating the triumph of freedom over oppression.........it never came. That was, in large part I suppose, why I reacted as I did when Winston betrayed Julia. Good did not win out in the end of this story. For that reason, this book holds a memorable place in the long list of books I've read in my life so far.

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  7. This is one of those books that I should have read but didn't. (Fahrenheit 451 is another...and a few more...My schools picked weird summer reading books lol) I definitely need to pick it up sometime now that I'm in my 20's (:

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    1. Nothing uplifting in this read. But, it is an important read if, for no other reason, than to see how influential it has become on our vocabulary and our politics today. Big Brother isn't just a "reality" show.

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  8. 1984 and Animal Farm were high school reading requirements. Strong reactions to 1984. Loved your choice and your explanation after particularly throwing the book and "nothing is stronger or more important than Love". You know how much I would believe this!

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    1. What can I tell ya? Thanks for believing in the power of Love.

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  9. My turn to sit one out. Jammed up this weekend. Great quote but I like yours better: "Nothing is stronger or more important than love." I couldn't agree more.

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    1. Sorry to not have you aboard this weekend. Hope that being "jammed up" is not a literal affliction! :) Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your presence on this blog.

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  10. A book I did not like very much, but it was still quite powerful.

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    1. Not my favourite book, either, because of the unrelenting bleakness of it all. But, it is certainly a memorable book for me and. luckily for the purposes of this challenge, the quote measured exactly 33 words. So there you have it! :)

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  11. The people who yell out the names of their wives and kids do not have blogs with pictures of their gorgeous children on them. I am almost 100% sure of that.

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    1. What can I say to this???????? I may actually be blushing....certainly, smiling. Thank you very much. If this was Twitter, I would "favourite" this comment. :)

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  12. I very nearly chose this book, too. Great choice for your quote.

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  13. 33 words! It was tricky to find a quote that fit that criteria that also fit my expectations.

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  14. How horrifying-knowing the context & had I been in your place,I too would have been agitated for I agree with you-giving up someone you profess to love,for your own life-don't know if it will ever make sense but I guess self preservation is more important?:-)

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  15. I hope I never have to find out how secure my morals really are. Thanks for your great comments, Atreyee! :)

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  16. I think almost all people, if threatened with what they fear the most, will betray anyone and everyone. Fortunately, the situation doesn't arise often.

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