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Is the point of view in 1984 third person omniscient or third person limited through...

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bookworm793 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:09 AM via web

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Is the point of view in 1984 third person omniscient or third person limited through the consciousness of Winston?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:31 AM (Answer #1)

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1984 is told through the third person limited point of view through the consciousness of Winston. One quick way to check for a book's point of view (omniscient or limited) is to ask yourself as a reader if it feels like you are following a variety of people or just one.

1984 is of a unique dystopian genre. In this genre, a typical disenfranchised character is used to stand for the everyman literary archetype (Winston Smith). The third person limited point of view is generally used in this genre because it helps reveal both thoughts and events of the main character. In an omnicient point of view, readers know thoughts of all or several characters.

Chapter 2 begins:

As he put his hand to the door-knob Winston saw that he had left the diary open on the table. DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER was written all over it, in letters almost big enough to be legible across the room. It was an inconceivably stupid thing to have done. But, he realized, even in his panic he had not wanted to smudge the creamy paper by shutting the book while the ink was wet.

Here, readers receive the report of the event that Winston had left his diary open and readers see Winston's thoughts in the narration as noted by bold print.

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