Summary Pt. 1 Chp. 6
Winston makes his next entry in his diary. He writes about a horrible encounter he had three years ago with a prostitute. Remembering the incident leads him to reflect that the sex instinct was another area of human life, which the Party sought to kill or at least distort. Only the “proles” the so-called lower class people who did not actually qualify to belong to the Party were acknowledged to have sexual instincts. Among Party members all love and eroticism was removed from the sex act. Marriages were permitted, but they had to be officially approved and were to be undertaken for the sole purpose of begetting children who would grow up to be responsible Party members. Permission would be denied if the couple showed any signs of being physically attracted to each other. Ideally the Party would prefer complete celibacy, which would mean that men and women would forge fewer bonds of individual loyalties and children could be produced artificially. Failing this, it tried to present the sex act as a rather disgusting preliminary necessity.
Winston had been married once, to a woman named Katherine. It had been a party approved marriage but he had soon found life with her impossible. The fact that she did not have a single original thought and simply functioned as a party mouthpiece was bad enough. But what had been truly unbearable was the sex. Winston would not have minded remaining celibate, but Katherine insisted they go through the process at fixed intervals to “fulfill their duty to the Party” by producing a child. And each time, it was clear to Winston that she hated the act and was merely submitting passively. When no children appeared they parted with Party approval and mutual relief.
His encounter with the prostitute also had been a farce as he realized when he saw the woman in the light she was aged and wrinkled and he did not feel the slightest attraction for her. But he had sex with her anyway as if it was the inevitable thing to do. In fact all his relationships had left him revolted and disgusted and he longed for one proper relation with some personal warmth of feeling involved. But that seemed an impossible dream in the circumstances.
Writing about his experience with the prostitute and with his wife had been extremely difficult, but he had undertaken it hoping that it would serve a therapeutic purpose. But when he had finished entering it in his diary, he found that the therapy had not worked, he felt as sick and full of self-loathing as before.
He realized that the sexual act in a fulfilling sense would be an act of rebellion. The Party tried to make its women asexual and desire was ranked high among the list of thoughtcrimes. If he could break that barrier of indoctrination in at least one relationship, he felt he would be seriously challenging the Party. But he had no hope that such a relationship was possible.