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Characterize Winston in chapters 1-3 of 1984.

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chippppp | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2011 at 4:39 AM via web

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Characterize Winston in chapters 1-3 of 1984.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM (Answer #1)

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From these chapters, Winston is revealed to be an incredibly frustrated, haunted, confused and miserable character.  He hates the government but knows he can't do anything about it, or that he is too afraid to do anything overt about it.  He hates the exercises, the telescreens, the clubs and patriotic groups that it runs, and he hates everyone that he perceives to be loyal to the government.  Yet, he works for the government and is, deep down, to afraid to do anything about it, even though he longs to.  So he has to live constantly with his hatred, which fights side-by-side with his fear.  It causes a lot of inner turmoil and misery for him.

Winston is also unsettled and confused, and haunted.  He has dreams about his mother and blames himself for her disappearance.  He is haunted by her memory and his potential role in her demise.  He also feesl that there has to be other people that hate the government, but is confused about how to contact them or know.  He is constantly second-guessing himself when it comes to figuring out who might be an ally or not, and also constantly paranoid about being caught for his unpatriotic thoughts.

It's not a pretty picture of a man that we get in the first three chapters of the book.  Winston is miserable, in many, many ways.  We understand that he is a smart person who longs to have more in life, but at this point, is totally unsure and baffled as to how to accomplish that dream. I hope that helped; good luck!

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