This essay discusses that in the love Winston admits for O’Brien and Big Brother during as well as following his ‘reorientation,’ Orwell once again stands assumptions on their head by describing the love that is perverse in the above-mentioned sense that it is “turned away from what is right.” It is not surprising that he does so. the world of Oceania, however logical in its self-justification, is itself perverse.
That accepted, the perverse love that Orwell introduces is insidious – “wicked” – and explores Julia’s and Winston’s more optimistic notion that “the inner heart . . . remained impregnable.” While in prison, Winston admits of Julia that “He loved her and would not betray her,” (189) but realizes this conviction is merely a fact. “He felt no love for her and hardly even wondered what was happening to her.” (Ibid) But the blow that is crushing in its perversity is delivered later when Winston realizes of his chief tormentor, O’Brien, that “He had never loved him so deeply as at this moment, and not merely because he [O’Brien] had stopped the pain.”(208) Why does he love him? Because, like Julia, “O’Brien was a person who could be talked to.”(Ibid).
Of course, it is at the end of the novel in Winston’s realization that “He loved Big Brother” that Orwell exposes the greatest perversity: Winston loves not just a thing but a thing that does not exist. In this moment we cannot escape the harshness of Orwell’s creation, his almost diabolical examination of submission in the juxtaposition of traditional love and perverse love.