Essay on 1984: Nineteen Eighty-four and Winston Smith

Submitted By mroos15
Words: 1066
Pages: 5

Roos 1
M.E. Roos
Mr. Barbin
English 10 Honors-4
June 12 2013

Growing up in a society that nurtures pessimism, it is not surprising that George Orwell reared a bleak view of the world. For Orwell, 1984 is the encompassment of his dismal vision he has for the future society. 1984 reveals that the future Orwell foresees is controlled by one group, The Party, that hovers over every aspect of life and thus has no tolerance for any diversion from their rigid set beliefs, nor any tolerance for humanity. Winston Smith, Orwell’s protagonist, not only is a radically humane character, but he is also portrayed to be quite a rebel as well. No one could have predicted Winston’s fate, however persevering his spirit could have been, when met with an abundance of brutal torture, even he succumbed to the greatest enemy, The Party. Being placed in mentally frustrating and physically torturing conditions could cause anyone to alter their beliefs just to be spared. When Winston is first taken to the Ministry of Love after being charged by the Thought Police with his Thought Crime, he is thrown in what most would say is quite like solitary confinement. He is flung into “a high-ceilinged windowless cell with walls of glittering white porcelain” (Orwell 225). As if being in a windowless cell that is always lit so you can not tell the time of day is not enough, there also happens to be a telescreen on each of the four walls. 225 He is kept in here with no sense of time, barely any food and all the while he is being watched from the telescreens like a goldfish in its tank. At first when Winston is taken out of his cell, he is brought to a room where there are “five or six men in black uniforms at him
Roos 2 simultaneously” (240). In these situations, Winston is left writhing on the ground “as shameless as an animal…in an endless, hopeless effort to dodge the kicks” (240) aimed only to dehumanize him. Though Winston is a persistent and strong willed man, when he is met with this torture Orwell begins to let his character accept the reintegration process for with each new suggestion he is offered, Winston begins to see it as “absolute truth…when two and two could be three as easily as five” (258). As rebellious as he may have seemed, Winston can not escape the party, however he has only begun his acceptance of Party beliefs thus his so has his torture. As a free man, one concept that Winston represented was humanity. This aspect of him is exactly what the Thought Police wish to drive right out of their prisoner. Throughout Winston’s imprisonment he has not once seen what he has become so when he is forced to actually look in a mirror he is not only shocked but he is frightened at what he sees. His body is utterly emaciated and “gray all over with ancient, ingrained dirt…here and there under the dirt…the red scars and…varicose ulcer” (271) are inflamed. He is disheveled and looks crazed. “ ‘That is humanity’ ” (272) or at least that is what humanity has become, or has Winston become too dehumanized? Winston used to have a rebellious lover, Julia, before he was taken into Mini Love. He swore he would never betray her and yet as he reflects now, he has completely broken his covenant with the one he supposedly loved. Winston has told the Though Police everything he knows about Julia, “her habits, her character, her past life” (274), anything that could convict her Winston has already told them. This is a major down-point in Winston’s descent because not only has he just utterly betrayed his former love but by doing so he has become so utterly dehumanized. If there is any trace of Winston’s former self still residing within him, it is well hidden, as now he will accept anything the Party tells him to; it is still not enough. Roos 3
At this point Winston firmly believes in the Party. He accepts everything. The past is alterable and yet