Characterization of Winston Smith

The dystopian novel „1984“ written by George Orwell, published in 1949 depicts a totalitarian world of government surveillance and public manipulation, in which the protagonist Winston Smith lives. The states are under the control of the privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which forms the government.

Winston Smith lives in Oceania, one of three inter-continental superstates that divided the world after a global war.

The following essay will describe the character of Winston Smith.

Will Smith is a thirty-nine year old man (p.3, l. 17) who has a meagre appearance, fair hair and a sanguine face (p. 4, l. 5-6) and suffers from a “varicose ulcer above his right ankle” (p.3, l. 17-18).

He is a member of the Outer Party and works for the Ministry of Truth (p. 5, l. 11-12), which handles “news, entertainment, education and the fine arts“ (p.6, l. 16-17) and lives in London, the chief city of Airstrip One, which belongs to the state Oceania (p. 5, l. 13-15). Although this is his home, he has an aversion against this city (p. 5, l. 13) and can`t remember his childhood (p. 5, l. 26-27).

He buys a book, which is actually not allowed for Party members (p. 8, l. 8-14) and starts to write a diary, an act punishable by death (p. 8, l. 22-25), to escape Big Brothers tyranny an mind control and to harbour his own inner thoughts, which questions the ruling Party.

This points out his tendency to be rebellious against the system, by writing “down with Big Brother” (p. 20, l. 24) in his diary.

The section p. 9, l.14-24 shows how thoughtful Winston is.

But he is also paranoia about the Party. As soon as he writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his diary, Winston is positive that the Thought Police will quickly capture him for committing a thoughtcrime (p. 21, 22, l. 29-36)


Winston Smith represents the average person, which is why the reader can easily identifies himself with him and see the world from his point of view and imagine themselves in his position.





One thought on “Characterization of Winston Smith

  1. A good use of references and showing the sources (pages). I also appreciate the detailed description of the body and the circumstances. Especially his inner conflict is really good shown. I would like to add, why he is beginning the diary.


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