Characterization of Winston Smith

Winston Smith lives in Airstrip One, a province in the state Oceania. He is the protagonist of the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell. Winston is 39 years old, thin and has blonde hair. His varicose ulcer above his right ankle, his red face, rough skin and skinny body effect a very unhealthy look, caused of his living conditions. He is a drinker and smoker (has regular coughing attacks) and is suppressed by the government like many other inhabitants. Winston has a wife, who is not in contact with him. He lives in a dilapidated building and is member of the Party, the controlling force in this dystopia.
Furthermore, Winston works as a clerk in the Record-Department of the Ministry of Truth. Its mission is to modify new reports and news, in order that these correspond with former statements from the Party. It is a despicable job, but Winston loves it because he can show his creativity. He is a simple, sensible and peace loving man. Winston is intelligent, but cautious and lives an easy life. He is unsatisfied with his current living situation and the whole societal relationships, but seems to look destiny straight in the eye, until he begins to write a diary and to read a book by Emmanuel Goldstein. The decision to write a diary results from his thoughtful nature. But the thought police controls the thoughts from the whole population and restrict Winston as well. The character changes his attitude towards everything in Oceania, after he meets Julia and O’brien. O’brien is a member of the Inner Party whom Winston believes is secretly a member of The Brotherhood, a resistance organisation dedicated to overthrowing the Party’s dictatorship. Julia is a member of the junior Anti Sex League. Winston feels both hate and desire towards her.
The narrator describes Winston as a very untypical hero, but the reader of the novel easily identify with the protagonist. The whole character of Winston fits perfectly in this story, because it can affect every reader deeply.

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4 thoughts on “Characterization of Winston Smith

  1. This is a good and very thorough characterization! Do you really think that meeting O’Brien and Julia suddenly changed Winston’s attitude towards the party? After all, he started writing his diary before that…

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  2. freddy230897

    Your characterization has been very successful, because you have described the living conditions of Winston Smith very extensively. However, I miss the verbosity of the description about the party a bit.

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  3. freddy230897

    Your characterization has been very successful, because you have described the living conditions of Winston Smith very extensively. In my opinion,the description of the government could be a little more detailed.

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  4. I like your characterization because it´s short and straightforward. Although you could have mentioned more explanations. As Example, why Winston feels both hate and desire towards Julia.

    Like

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