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Characters of 1984

Winston Smith

We can consider Winston Smith both hero and antihero because:
-he’s a rebel and if we want a hero: he’s the only one who opposes BB and who still believes in his values (love and friendship);
-but Winston is also an antihero, a common man and a weak person. fails in his fight and he’s defeated.
We can say also that his name has a metaphorical meaning.
The two aspects of his personality (hero and antihero) are summarized in this man because Winston is a clear reference to Winston Churchill that was the English Prime Minister during World war II and he was a hero for the British at that time because he opposed against Nazism and he defeated it but above all because he managed to keep the country united and to give people a sense of community which knows the importance of sacrifice for the values they were fighting for (freedom, democracy). The character was also a mister Smith, he was one of the most common surname in England so he underlines that he’s a very common person and that he’s a weak person. His physical aspect is the opposite of the physical aspect of a hero who is physically strong. Winston is alienated by his awareness and he’s an intellectual.
This means that Winston is an outcast and does not belong to the society where he lives in because O’Brien says that is the last liberal ant the last humanist, the last man in this nightmarish world who still believes in values such as feelings, love, honesty, the importance of sharing our experiences with other people. So he’s alienated. “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loves BB” this statement belongs from the last pages of the book when Orwell had given up his attempt to resist torture and he was extremely sad to say that in the end Winston said that he loved BB.


Julia is a young and beautiful girl but she is also devious that means that she is ambiguous and different from Winston even if she is together with Winston fighting BB, she’s not really interested in ideological fight. She only questioned the teachings of the Party when they touched upon her life. It means that she is not like Winston fighting against BB and against the Party ideological reasons because she says that freedom is important, human rights are important but she’s annoyed of some of the rules fixed by the Party only if a rule touched upon her private life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, what the Party said. On the contrary Winston Smith was engaged in a more ideological fight against the Party.
Other important character is O’Brien who is the tormentor of Winston.

Big brother

BB is the mysterious character, the leader of this totalitarian regime and he is the incarnation of power. Nobody have seen or met him and this halo of mystery around him makes him even more threatening. He represents the sense of authoritarianism.
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