Orwell's lesson on loyalty as expressed throughout 1984

The Message

One must be loyal to oneself before they are loyal to anybody else.

The Explination

Throughout 1984 Winston finds himself being loyal more to himself than to any other character or cause. In the beginning of the story Winston is seen writing in a diary as a method to release his personal aggravation towards the party, his own personal rebellion. When first he bumps into Julia he is extremely cautious and truly hates her. He refuses to see any possibility other than that she is an agent of the thought police. He remains loyal only to himself as an attempt at self preservation. When he and Julia are found out and the thought police come to arrest them Winston stands motionlessly as Julia is beaten and battered on by the police. He stands there as a way to keep the police from beating him just as Julia was beaten. Finally when Winston visits room 101 he is loyal only to himself. As the rats are about to be placed onto him he once again only attempts to protect himself and manages to reflect the torture towards Julia. In 1984, Winston remains loyal to himself throughout everything but, his loyalties to others changes and flip flops dependent on what is best for his personal well being.

Winston's Diary

Quote- "The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years." (Orwell, 1984, 10)

Meaning- The fact that this monologue about how terrible the party is has been running through his head for years shows that he has no loyalty to the party but rather, loyalty to himself.

Hatred of Julia

Quote- "A figure in blue overalls was coming down the pavement, not ten meters away. It was the girl from the Fiction department, the girl with dark hair. ... He could keep on her track till they were in some quiet place, and then smash her skull in with a cobblestone. The piece of glass in his pocket would be heavy enough for the job." (Orwell, 85)

Meaning- Winston both hates and distrusts this girl so much he wants to meet her in a back alley and kill her. He is not even loyal to his own humanity but rather, is far more loyal to himself and his own survival.

Betrayal of Julia

Quote: "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!" (Orwell, 236)

Meaning- Finally, after all of the torture and pain that Winston has had to endure, he has reverted back to self preservation and self loyalty. His loyalty to Julia has melted away to only loyalty to himself.