Winston Smith

Winston Smith is a complex and interesting character in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. He is the protagonist of the story.

The Definitive Glossary for 1984

Winston Smith’s understanding of Oceania, Big Brother, and the Party generally makes 1984 the incredibly influential book it is. Winston Smith is not a hero; he’s not particularly brave or interesting. But, he does think, something that can’t be said for most of the other characters. 

Who is Winston Smith? 

Winston Smith is the main character in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. He is a 39-year-old man who works at the Ministry of Truth, where he revises history and changes news articles to match the government’s version of the truth. 

He is quiet and reflective and generally follows the rules and regulations of Oceania’s oppressive regime. However, he secretly harbors rebellious thoughts against the Party. His job leaves him feeling desensitized, causing him to struggle with his own identity as a person. 

Winston is described as an intellectual who constantly questions and thinks about the world around him. He hates the Party and Big Brother as oppressive and intrusive. 

He has a strong sense of justice and believes in truth, making him a lone rebel against the system. Despite his sometimes passive nature, Winston is driven by a fierce desire to stand up for what he believes in, despite the consequences.

Winston Smith and Julia

Winston Smith and Julia are the two protagonists in George Orwell’s novel 1984. They meet when Winston rents a room in the home of Mr. Charrington, where they quickly become romantically involved. Winston and Julia symbolize hope and rebellion against the oppressive system of Big Brother. His relationship with her is ultimately what dooms them both.

The relationship between Winston and Julia is based on a mutual desire for freedom from the oppressive forces of Big Brother. Despite their differences, Winston and Julia understand and support each other’s beliefs. Together, they ally opposition to Big Brother, with Julia believing that it is only through Winston that she can truly be free. 

In many ways, Winston and Julia embody the idea of two people who are completely devoted to each other, even in the face of overwhelming odds. While their relationship is ultimately doomed due to their lack of power against Big Brother, their love for each other remains strong until the end. This is evidenced by the fact that despite being subjected to extreme torture and interrogation, neither gives up any information about the other. 

In the end, this shared commitment to freedom binds Winston and Julia together, despite the oppressive forces of Big Brother. Through their relationship, the two characters demonstrate that love can endure even in the most oppressive societies.

Famous Quotes

Here are a few famous quotes from Winston Smith in 1984. 

I am afraid of death. You are young, so presumably you’re more afraid of it than I am. Obviously we shall put it off as long as we can. But it makes very little difference. […]

In this quote, he’s speaking to his lover, Julia. They’re discussing that the path they’re on, one of fearful rebellion, will most certainly lead to their deaths at some point. 

I don’t imagine that we can alter anything in our own lifetime. But one can imagine little knots of resistance springing up here and there—small groups of people banding themselves together, and gradually growing, and even leaving a few records behind […]

Here, Winston Smith is speaking about the possibility of changing the world of 1984 during their lifetime. The world order is so deeply entrenched and seemingly impossible to escape that they have to face the fact that they won’t see any change in their lives. The only thing possible at this point is “groups of people banding themselves together” and growing stronger over time. 

If there is hope it lies in the proles.

This is a widely known quote from 1984. It concerns the proles or the lower classes in Oceania. They’re the normal people who don’t have Party status. Since the proles are offered slightly more freedom than Winston Smith and those he knows, he feels that if there is going to be rebellion, it’ll come from there. 


Why is Winston Smith important?

Winston Smith is the protagonist of George Orwell’s 1984 and symbolizes the individual in an oppressive society. His thoughts, feelings, and actions catalyze the story’s exploration of themes such as free will and repression. 

Who is the antagonist of 1984?

The antagonist of 1984 is Big Brother, the leader of the totalitarian government that controls the citizens of Oceania with fear and manipulation. O’Brien, one of Big Brother’s living, breathing faces, is another important protagonist. 

What does Winston Smith believe in 1984?

In 1984, Winston Smith believed that true freedom was possible despite the oppressive nature of his society. He values the idea of an independent self and opposes anyone should be subjected to absolute power or control.

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