How does the text "create" its characters in 1984?

The text "creates" its characters in 1984, particularly Winston Smith, by showing how they emerge out of their environment, primarily the dehumanizing world of Oceania's Party, but also, in Winston's case, from the time before the Party took over.

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If we look at the character whose interiority is most on display for us, Winston Smith, we can begin to understand how the text, which is the world of Oceania, 'creates' its characters. Winston starts the novel as an amalgam of a person, who was born before the Party came to power and has vague but powerful memories of life before the Party. The pre-Party self longs to have an identity separate from the Party, so Winston buys an old-fashioned diary and begins to write in it, a subversive act. Yet what he writes reveals a person whose humanity has been formed and deformed by the Party. For example, he enjoys a film in which enemy women and children are graphically blown up. His thoughts also reflects the violence and inhumanity that has been instilled into him. He fantasizes, for instance, about raping and killing Julia, whom he does not yet know, because the unavailability of her body focalizes his rage.

Yet the text also shows Winston evolving into a more humane person through entering into an old fashioned, loving relationship with Julia and setting up something akin to a normal domestic life in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop. He can do this, the text implies, because he can access memories of living and being loved in a family situation that existed before the Party took over. By the time he is arrested, he is turned into a more loving human being, one willing to sacrifice himself for Julia and one whose heart has expanded so that he can see the beauty of the heavyset washerwoman beneath his window.

The novel shows that societies form people so that we emerge out of the "text" of an environment. Julia too is a product of rebellion against the repressions of her society, as is the Parsons family.

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