Orwell presents Winston Smith as a kind of everyman character, making it easier for the reader to identify with him. Because Winston's such a recognizably human character in the midst of this dehumanizing environment, we find ourselves empathizing with his predicament and ask ourselves what we would do in such an appalling situation.
At the same time, Winston displays a number of character traits that lift him above the common herd. Despite the constant efforts of the Party to brainwash the citizens of Oceania, he's still a thoughtful individual—an intellectual with an acute awareness of what's going on around him and what it means for himself and society as a whole.
Because he's such an intelligent individual, Winston realizes that the present political system is thoroughly rotten to the core and needs to be completely destroyed. He sees through the endless lies, propaganda, and crude sloganizing of the Party to behold the terrible truth of life in Oceania.
From this realization of the truth comes incredible bravery, which at times blurs into outright foolishness. For as the story unfolds, Winston comes to take on increasingly dangerous risks in defying the regime, such as conducting an illicit affair with Julia and getting himself involved with what he thinks is an elaborate, high-level plot to end the Party's rule.
Winston's risky behavior is an expression of another facet of his personality: a deep-seated romanticism that gives him the hope that, one day, the Party will be overthrown, and its hateful tyranny will be brought to an end once and for all.