Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rosie's Riveters: Sassy Brit & Julia

Rosie the Riveter
Rosie's Riveters is a weekly posting written by Booklust readers about riveting females in literature. Many readers have strong reactions to the women in the books they read- either very positive or very negative. These are the characters we find riveting, for good reasons or bad ones, and they form the population of Rosie's Riveters. Through this weekly post, we can discuss females we love to hate, or love to love. And maybe, just maybe- we can determine why we react so strongly to them.

If you are interested in participating, please comment on this post, e-mail me, or just fill out the template below and send it to me. I am always looking for more participants!

This week's post is by Sassy Brit, from Alternative Reads.  I don't remember when I first came across Sassy's blog, but she quickly won me over with her funny writing style (as you'll witness below!).  She reads a lot of fantasy and speculative fiction and always seems to know about the next hit book before it's released.  If you're into fantasy, paranormal or speculative fiction- I recommend checking her out!

Who is your Riveter?

What book does she feature in?
19841984, by George Orwell, in which a pair of lovers, Winston and Julia fail to defeat the system of a utopian society. Poor Winston was doomed the day he met her.

Do you love her or hate her?
I hate her with a passion! More than spiders, and squeaky cotton wool, and that's pure satanical hatred for you!

Describe her personality- how would you describe her to a friend?
She sits in the Chestnut Tree Cafe all day long, planning her class notes for the Junior Anti-Sex league, with a head full of secrets, and smokes like a trooper. Yet, she obviously didn't listen to her mother when told how a woman should conduct herself in the presence of men. Talk about sexually promiscuous! Couldn't she just admire Winston from afar? It would have saved them both a lot of trouble in the long run.

Hey, did you know she rents a room she uses as her love nest (for a bit of hanky-panky) above Mr, Charrington's antique shop? Oh, yes, she does! Tsk! Tsk!

Can you compare her to a celebrity?
Yes. Any one of the famous liars. Remember Janet Cooke a Washington Post journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize  for a book called Jimmy's World that she fabricated completely? And don't get me started on Bill Clinton and  Monika Lewinsky or Baron M√ľnchhausen!

What makes her riveting?
I see her as a love-to-hate character. On one hand she's a rebel, with a cause, she knows what she wants and will  step over her dying grandma to get it. On the other hand, this does make her interesting and ultimately proves what a selfish bint she is. 

What do you most admire/despise about her?
Well, where shall I start?  Julia doesn't even know Winston, (okay she's been spying on him just to see he would  be gullible enough to fall for a dumb arse trick that she pulls off later), yet, she slips him a note which says  "I LOVE YOU" practically upon their first meeting!  Now, if that's not the sign of a floozy, I don't know what is!  You wouldn't have Cherie Blair behave that way, would you?  So, why should she get away with it?  Didn't the poor long-suffering soul, Winston, learn facecrime?  (An improper expression on one's face).  If he had, he would have spotted her underlying motives and lying expressions, before it was too late!  And maybe, just maybe, he would have had time to think it through and say "No!" to her advances.  I mean, if the party can  control history and everyone in it, surely Julia could control her animalistic urges for a couple of days?  Nuns manage okay.

Oh!  And another thing (as if that wasn't enough), if it wasn't for her bewitching him in the first place, Winston would be living a nice quiet life in his bachelor pad with lots of time to write his secret diary, and a huge wall-mounted plasma telly all to himself.

Would you recommend reading the book in which the Riveter features?
Absolutely!  It's my favourite most re-read book of all time.  I'm sure you and your readers have read it, too.  It's bleak, full of isolation, repression and loneliness.  It highlights horrific similarities to our world today, but more extreme, of course.  Sounds depressing, but it's because of this it really makes you think about what life could be like in the not so distant future if we are not careful, and it's hard to believe that this was written in 1949.

Yes, there are countries today committing atrocities against their own people, however, at the same time I believe a depressing story such as this brings forth the good things in our world today:  Kindness and humanity, for starters.  For those of of us that live in a country where we have got rights, and freedom of speech we should celebrate this and think ourselves lucky.  No matter what, there is always something to be grateful for.  But not for Winston once she gets her evil, unladylike clutches into him.  Poor devil!

Do you have a quote by your Riveter that you'd like to share?
In the book Julia tells Winston that, "...even though the Party can torture a person and make him say anything, they cannot make him believe it."

In my eyes, that makes her the world's worst hypocrite.  After all, she flaunts herself so he can't resist, tortures him with her body and makes him believe she loves him, and then after a teeny-weeny bit of torture, betrays him.  How easily the girl gives up!  How fickle!

There, that's better.  I got my Two Minutes of Hate off my chest.

Thank you very much for having me.  I rather enjoyed that. We must do it again sometime. :)  


  1. WOW! I totally had the exact opposite reaction to Julia. To me she was a strong, sneaky woman who knew what she wanted and knew how to buck the system. Winston was being taled by Big Brother for years, and it was his involvement with Julia that caused her downfall, as they had never caught on to her antics. Her relationship with sex was fascinating in a society where sex was not allowed for pleasure. I loved her so much.

  2. Interesting how people can have such different perspectives on the same character. I wish I had more time to read. I'm in a spot in my life where I don't read much unfortunately. But I will follow you and live vicariously :) Thanks!

  3. LMAO I certainly wouldn't have called Julia a floozy. So I loved seeing such a different view of her!

  4. ..where did my comment go...

    Anyway must read this book now, very ashamed I haven't already

  5. I'm with Amanda. My reading of this character was COMPLETELY different!

  6. I love how different the reactions to Julia are! I admit it's been a very long time since I've read 1984, so my memory is hazy, and I can't really make an educated comment at all. But it's FABULOUS when people have totally different opinions of the same person. Clearly, no two people read the same exact book :-)

    I would guess, based on my previous relationships with women in literature, that I wouldn't like Julia- I generally assume that I won't like most girls in books. But maybe Julia is worth looking at again. This Flashback challenge pile is getting massive!

  7. Hi, I'm just popping in before I go to bed, to say thank you for having me, Aarti. THANK YOU, it's been a laugh!

    I know my view is a little on the different side, and I may have made her sound more awful than she was... but...(thinking of excuses here!) Oh, I can't!

    It's just what I do.

    Night night, all. :)

  8. That's a great Riveter! I would have never thought of her. In fact, I haven't given her a thought in the years it's been since I last read 1984. Time to pull it out again and dust off my hate for Julia.....

  9. You know, I didn't like her either! I was supposed to read this back in high school and didn't. The first chapter was so boring! But I would have stuck with it had I known there was going to be a love story, and all that stuff. I finally read it and while I thought it was a good book, I didn't like her either.

  10. I had the total opposite reaction to Julia too; she knew how to beat the system while being a part of it. I never thought of her in this way; it's a totally new perspective!

  11. I did find her to be quite capable and very smart. She knew what had to be done and how. Though she did use him, I will always maintain my opinion of her as one of the strong headed and decisive heroines of all time.

  12. Yay! I loved this choice! I was beginning to think I was the only one who would pick a riveter I hated, so I'm glad not to be alone! I also think that she sounds like a character that I would not like very much either. I haven't read the book in many years, but now I'm inspired to pick it up again and check out Julia. Great post!

  13. Am I allowed to sit on the fence? I didn't have a strong reaction to Julia either way. I didn't think we ever really got to know her, so I didn't form any opinions about whether I like her. Sorry for not being more desisive!

  14. Hi!

    You know, it is great to see the different comments generated here!

    Glad I've inspired some of you to re-read it, or pick it up for the first time. Hope none of you are chucking it in the bin! :)

    It really is a good book in my opinion, if you haven't read it - you should. But like any book, we all know it's just a matter of opinion. If we liked all the same books we'd be little robots. Or should I say, under Big Brother's control? LOL

    I have to admit it is very easy to dislike some books we were "forced" to read at school; at that age before you leave to go to University or get a job. Luckily I didn't read this one at school. :)

    I can, however, name a few books I did, and still don't like as an adult. Some titles would make all you bibliophiles turn in your grave with shame! :)

    Oh, sorry for the essay.

    Thank you for your kind and thought provoking comments and thank you, Aarti, for having me.



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