Does Winston die in 1984?

It is unclear whether Winston dies at the end of 1984. The implication, however, is that he does. He has a daydream in which "the long-hoped-for bullet was entering his brain." This could also be reality. What we do know is that at the end of the novel he sincerely loves Big Brother, but also that he retains memories that the Party never accessed.

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Although it is never crystal clear whether or not Winston dies at the end of 1984, the implication is that he does. In the novel, he is drinking Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Café and sitting in what is called a "blissful dream." In this daydream,

The long-hoped-for...

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Although it is never crystal clear whether or not Winston dies at the end of 1984, the implication is that he does. In the novel, he is drinking Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Café and sitting in what is called a "blissful dream." In this daydream,

The long-hoped-for bullet was entering his brain.

The bullet entering his brain is part of his daydream but may also be real. The text is ambiguous at this point. What is clear is that as the novel ends, Winston's "struggle" is over. Whether this is only the struggle to love Big Brother or also the struggle that is life, we don't know. It would make poetic sense, however, that just at the moment that "he loved Big Brother," he would be shot. This sincere admission of love for his leader would be the complete victory over his soul that the Party craved, and there would be no reason for him to stay alive any longer. As Winston is now metaphorically completely dead inside, it would be fitting that his physical death would very soon follow.

However, if he dies at the end, the victory is not wholly the Party's. As we witness when he has a happy memory of playing a game of Snakes and Ladders with his mother and sister shortly before the end, there are parts of his mind the Party has not been able to access and destroy. Winston retains some shreds of humanity. The Party is not all-powerful.

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