How would you describe the dualism in Winston Smith's personality in Orwell's 1984?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dualism is a feature of Winston's personality and we see strong evidence of this in Part One, when Winston is battling between conformity and rebellion against the Party. The fact that Winston purchases the diary, for example, (and risks being imprisoned) suggests that he desperately wants to make a stand against the Party's oppressive regime. This is further reinforced by his writing of the phrase, "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER," over and over.

By Chapter Two, however, Winston's internal need to conform takes over. He realises that writing in the diary is an intensely risky business:

And in front of him there lay not death but annihilation. The diary would be reduced to ashes and himself to vapour.

Winston's fatalistic attitude contrasts strongly with his desire to rebel and to build a future in which the Party no longer exists. It creates an internal sense of conflict within Winston and it is this conflict which drives the plot of Part One.