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Where is there a physical despcription of Winston in "1984" by George Orwell?

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baybeh211 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM via web

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Where is there a physical despcription of Winston in "1984" by George Orwell?

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 7, 2009 at 5:14 AM (Answer #1)

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There is not much physical description of Winston in George Orwell's novel "1984". In the 1984 Signet Classic version of the book, the speaker uses the description, "His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended"(6). Many other physical descriptions of Winston are temporary. One example of this is after he drinks some "Victory Gin", "Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes"(8). Winston's actions and thoughts are far more important in this novel that his physical description.

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blacksheepunite | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 10, 2009 at 2:04 PM (Answer #2)

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We learn about Winston's appearance in the beginning of 1984. 

The physical description of Winston, like the description of the Victory Appartments, shows us how pathetic the average man is in 1984. Winston is scrawny, red-faced, out of shape and he has a varicose ulcer that makes it difficult for him to even climb a flight of stairs. He is unhealthy and run down. When compared to the rugged manly features of Big Brother, he seems even more pathetic.

Winston is an unlikely hero. Where most heros are above average, he is below. In fact, he is nothing like a classic hero. From his physical description, we understand we have a protagonist who is not fit for the role--he should be strong, but he is weak. This makes him more attractive on some levels, for he is very much an underdog. It is not likely that a man in his condition will succeed in changing the world. 

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