1984 Winston Smith Character Analysis

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The main character in George Orwell’s 1984, Winston Smith, can be mistaken as a hero in multiple ways. When put to thought, his actions are merely just a way of getting by and saving himself. One would assume that the main protagonist will always be a hero, but this is not the case. Winston acts very weak and subtly cowardly throughout the novel, contradictory to the actual definition of a hero, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (dictionary.com). To start, Winston cannot be contemplated as a hero because he does not show courage. For instance, Winston hides rather than openly revolts. He sneaks away with Julia and becomes part of the secret Brotherhood conspiracy. The Brotherhood’s intention is, as O’Brien tells Winston, to “betray your country for foreign powers” (Orwell 172) and other uncourageous acts such as murdering and sabotage, which he agrees to. Also, Winston shows that he is willing to ‘throw sulphuric acid in a child’s face” (Orwell 172) by agreeing with Julia to O’Brien without hesitation. Courage means helping others, and Winston did no such thing. Next, Winston is not a hero because he displayed no noble qualities. One example of this was when he told Julia the story of how he “snatched the piece of chocolate…show more content…
When he first met Julia, he admitted “I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards” (Orwell 120). He obviously is only concerned about whether or not she is a spying on him and is ready to defend himself, even if it meant killing her. Similarly, Winston shouts “Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her” (Orwell 286) just before he is about to be attacked by the rats. He would rather be saved and have Julia killed than be brave and sacrifice himself for her. Hence, Winston is not brave under any circumstances and puts himself before others, even if they mean a lot to
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