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Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four

11. Feminism and Female Characters

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the presentation of female characters and feminist approaches to the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the association of Julia with nature, and her ‘natural’ sexuality; (ii) Winston’s violent misogyny (“He disliked nearly all women, and especially young and pretty ones”); (iii) the extent to which Julia is ‘domesticated’ in her relationship with Winston; (iv) the view of feminist critic Daphne Patai in her book ‘The Orwell Mystique’; (v) the impression given by the other women in the book – the drunk woman in the cell, the woman in the cinema, and the woman who is hanging the laundry out; and (vi) the extent to which we should see Nineteen Eighty-Four as a ‘classics’.


In this course, Dr Adam Stock (York St John University) explores George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The first four modules cover historical and literary context, including the genre of the novel, the life and career of George Orwell himself, and the political ideologies that were swirling round Europe in thirties and forties and which left their mark on the novel. The following four modules focus on the text itself, thinking about its structure, and how it engages with the concepts of time and space, history and memory, epistemology and ontology and power and language. In the final three modules, we think about some critical approaches to the novel, focusing in particular on Orwell’s presentation of nature and the natural world, and of female characters in the novel.


Dr Adam Stock is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at York St John University. As a researcher, he specialises in the interdisciplinary areas of utopian studies, science fiction and modernisms. His book Dystopian Fiction and Political Thought: Narratives of World Politics (2019) examined dystopian fiction from the first half of the twentieth century, while he is currently interested in questions about boundaries and borderlands, spatialisation, and the temporalities of speculative fiction in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

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APA style

Stock, A. (2021, February 16). Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four - Feminism and Female Characters [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Stock, A. "Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four – Feminism and Female Characters." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 Feb 2021,