1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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How does Winston Smith’s character develop throughout the novel 1984?

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Winston Smith is meant to be a character that readers can see themselves in. He initially criticizes the authoritarian world he lives in, reflecting on the implications of his job rewriting history in ways that are incredibly humanistic. Winston values individual thought and identity, even in a world where those things are forbidden. Over the course of the story, he rebels against Big Brother, seeking out the experiences, ideas, and pleasures that the government is trying to remove from the world. He is successful in this rebellion, but he also sees it as his death. Unfortunately, he does not simply die: Big Brother must take full control first. By the end of the novel, Orwell lets the reader see Winston's humanity—all the characteristics that the reader was likely to admire—completely stripped away.

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