How far can fear drag you down?
Humans are loyal to a fault; selfishness overrides loyalty.
In 1984, Julia and Winston prove that when pushed to certain limits, loyalty becomes obsolete. The fight for survival then becomes the most important thing to a person. One becomes selfish without the faintest feeling of guilt during that given time of panic.
"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!"
This quote directly supports the idea of how selfishness overrides loyalty. Up until this point Winston had been loyal to Julia, in the sense of their relationship. However, when faced with his worst fear and pushed to his limits, Winston finds his fault and his loyalty towards their relationship is no longer existent. His "self" becomes more important to him than his "love".
"sometimes, they threaten you with something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else'...And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."
This quote, by Julia, explains the thought process which takes place when choosing "self" over the loyalty to your partner or whomever. She explains how you can pretend it's just a way to get out of the situation, but in reality, you really mean what you said. You would do anything to save yourself, even if it meant putting your love into harms way. Once you have the need to survive, you have tunnel vision. Everything on the outside no longer matters, all that matters is life at the end of the tunnel, and you will do anything or betray anyone to get there. Hence, being loyal to a fault.