Characterization of Winston Smith & Winstons memories of Oceania in contrast to the official past of the countrys history

Winston Smith Characterization

Winston Smith portrayed by John Hurt

This is a short essay about Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell´s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, released in 1949. Winston Smith is frail, thin and has ulcers on his legs. His appearance tells the reader, that he lives in bad circumstances. He has a wife, but they are probably estranged. His relationship is not further explained in the story. He is a smoker and a drinker. He is 39 years old and works as a records editor at the Ministry of Truth. Basically what Winston does is the falsification of history. That makes him doubt of the totalitarian system of Oceania. Even though he is working against himself by falsifying the truth, he likes doing his job. Overall, Winston Smith is a person most readers can identify with. He is not sticking out, he is just an ordinary, innocent kind of person. Although the world seems to be rough and not in his political favour, he begins to write a diary to be able to hold onto the truth. Winston also assumes like-minded people in O´Brien and later on in Julia. Because of the fact, that he is interested in items from the past, he buys a coral ornament and wants to know how the rhyme “Oranges and Lemons”, that was lost in the past, goes on.

Winstons memories of Oceania in contrast to the official past of the countrys history
Winston knows, the system of Oceania is changing documents of the past (as an example: News) to make people obey Oceania. In fact, he has proof of the falsification of history. He once had a document in his hands which was evidence of an obvious falsification of history. He doesn´t know for sure when this incident happened. As a result he buys an empty book to write his own point of view and he begins to search for hints, leading to the truth and away from the made-up world.


Checklist “character analysis”

Good job, everyone 🙂

Here is your checklist for a character analysis. Please print it out and use it to revise your own characterizations of Winston Smith. The second link is your worksheet with phrases and vocabulary (you should already have that one in your folders).