In "1984," how does Orwell present Winston as an outsider in a rigidly controlled society?I just need help with key points that show Winstons seperation from society, the similarities and...

In "1984," how does Orwell present Winston as an outsider in a rigidly controlled society?

I just need help with key points that show Winstons seperation from society, the similarities and differences between him and the perfect party citizen, and the language techniques and parts of the book Orwell uses to show this.

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Winston is presented as an outsider in a number of ways. Firstly, Winston is presented as an outsider through his actions. In Chapter One, for example, he is shown breaking the rules by writing in a diary which he purchased in a prole junk shop. He writes the phrase, "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" over and over, a sign of his disdain for the regime.

Orwell also uses contrast to present Winston as an outsider. In Part One, Chapter Five, for example, Orwell draws a clear contrast between Winston and Syme when the two men are discussing Newspeak. Winston's "lack of enthusiasm" contrasts sharply with Syme's zealous defense of Newspeak and its aims. This also demonstrates the difference between Winston and the perfect Party member. Syme's support for the regime is made clear through his love of Newspeak. In contrast, Winston's general apathy and opposition to Newspeak sets him apart. 

It is important to note that Winston does not act rebelliously in an open and direct way. If he did this, he would be vaporized in the first few chapters. Instead, Orwell demonstrates Winston's outsider status and rebellion through his words and actions. Winston, therefore, looks like the perfect Party member but, deep down, is an enemy of the state.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For one thing, he thinks for himself.  He rebels in his mind and had done so for a long while.  His memories of his mother and sister help to fan the flames of his inner rebellion, and he buys a diary in which to write I HATE BIG BROTHER.  This is definitely outsider behavior. 

He thinks about the past and the fact that his job is making up the past every time the war opponent changes.  Everything is a farce, and he knows it. 

In addition, he looks for signs in others that they are thinking the same rebellion-thoughts.  He thinks he recognizes it in O'Brien, and then Julia makes her move to connect with him.  From there, he acts on his thoughts of rebellion and the "outsider" label becomes more evident.