Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Characterization of 1984 by George Orwell

1. Two examples of indirect characterization are Winston's journal entries, where he writes his inner most thoughts. This is the beginning of his first entry:

April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank.

Another good example is Winston's reaction to the pictures of Big Brother. "Even from the coin the eyes pursued you." Winston feels hunted, he feels like he is being watched (which he is). From this it is assumed that he isn't a brave man nor is he sure of himself with his nervous manner.

Two examples of direct characterization come just after Winston's first journal entry. "He wondered again for whom he was writing the diary." and "He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that no one would ever hear." Winston is thinking about his future, with his normal bit of gloomy-ness I might add, and in this reflection he states quite clearly that his future is hopeless.

2. Orwell's syntax and diction do change when it comes to the characterization of Winston. The novel is partially written in a narration style that seems unbiased. The setting and other character seem quite normal and descriptive language is used to paint a fairly good picture of the world but when Winston is being described or Winston's point of view is being used as narration the writing style shifts. When Winston's point of view is assumed the world seem gloomy, hopeless, full of despair. The word choice of Orwell also changes from descriptive language to more philosophical and contemplative sort of language.

3. Winston Smith is a dynamic character as in his ideals change throughout the novel. When Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love he experiences a host of tortures designed to alter his thought process and to essentially brain-wash him. Besides this transformation, however, the changes in Winston as a character are quite subtle through out the novel. As Winston rebels against the Party his fear increases as does his carelessness. Winston feels that he is sure to be caught no matter what he does and that eventually leads to his downfall. The novel is essentially based around Winston's growth and change as a character.

4. After reading the book I feel like I have read about a character rather than have met a person. It could just be me personally but I feel like Winston's lack of optimism makes me feel like he is not truly a person. Ever since he writes "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" he maintains a level of fear while at the same time is careless when it comes to preventing his fear. This does not seem like human nature to me. When we fear something we do all we can to prevent it, Winston does not and that is why he seems more like a character to me.


  1. Blog could use a bit more character, such as a different background, but it's really up to you.

  2. Where are your Pre-Will Questions? Catch up!