1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What is Winston Smith's attitude towards the Party in 1984? 

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Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the beginning of the book, Winston’s attitude towards the Party is clear. He hates the Party and everything it stands for. He hides from the telescreen in his house to willingly engage in Thought Crime, the worst form of crime as stipulated by the Party. He owns a diary, even though documentation has been illegalized, and further commits heresy by writing “Down with Big Brother” several times in it. He is sure that it is only a matter of time before the Thought Police get him but this does not stop him. His hatred for the Party is also evident when he rents out a room so he and Julia can covertly meet and share in love, an act denounced by the Party. He is willing to go to any extent, even join the Brotherhood, to bring down the Party. However, in the end, after his encounter at the Ministry of Love and the threat of rats in Room 101, Winston’s sentiments changed. After learning of the Party’s win, he weeps with joy and we’re told, “He loved Big Brother.”

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Winston Smith is ostensibly a loyal member of the Party. He works in the Ministry of Truth, altering history to conform with the Party line. Yet the reader becomes aware early in the book that Winston chafes against the Party's restrictions and indeed begins to even conceive of the idea that the Party should be destroyed. Hiding in a corner of his flat, out of view of the telescreen, he keeps a journal in which he ponders the way that the Party maintains its power, and the nature of freedom itself:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

Winston's seditious journal entries sometimes end by repeating the same phrase: Down with Big Brother. He not only hates the Party, but is looking for others that feel the same way he does. His romance with Julia is born in this way, as is his ill-advised trust in O'Brien. Of course, by the end of the novel, Winston has been tortured and brainwashed to the point where he truly loves Big Brother.

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