Is Winston Smith a tragic hero. If yes, how? If no, why not?

Winston Smith does not meet the traditional qualifications of a tragic hero, but he is a tragic figure because he struggles to retain his individuality and human spirit in an oppressive society.

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Winston Smith does not fit the definition of a classic tragic hero. He does not hail from a prestigious family, is not royalty, and is certainly not destined for greatness. Also, Winston Smith does not possess an extraordinary talent or ability that makes him better than others. Unlike classic tragic...

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Winston Smith does not fit the definition of a classic tragic hero. He does not hail from a prestigious family, is not royalty, and is certainly not destined for greatness. Also, Winston Smith does not possess an extraordinary talent or ability that makes him better than others. Unlike classic tragic heroes, Winston Smith does not possess a tragic flaw that leads to his unfortunate downfall. Hamlet, Macbeth, and Marcus Brutus are examples of classic tragic heroes, who were destined for greatness but failed to fulfill their true potential because they fell victim to their tragic flaws. Despite the fact that Winston Smith does not exactly fit the mold for a classic tragic hero, he does possess heroic qualities and his failure to succeed against the Party does make him a tragic figure. Winston demonstrates his heroism by committing thoughtcrime, engaging in an affair with Julia, and even attempting to join the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, his quest to retain his humanity and individuality are futile when he becomes brainwashed by O'Brien into being a loyal supporter of Big Brother.

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Tragic heroes are usual slightly better than ordinary men and have an excess of a quality--may be positive or negative--which causes them to make choices that bring about their downfall and the downfall of the people around them.

Often this quality is pride (hubris); this is not Winston's downfall.

Winston has two issues: he wishes to be part of a revolutionary movement and he wishes to speak the truth, as he sees it. Both of these desires leave him vulnerable. Making the wrong friends and trusting the wrong people leads to his arrest, along with the arrest and eventual destruction of Julia; trying to speak the truth as he sees it leads to his mental breakdown and his ultimate destruction.

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Yes, he is, in my opinion, but it is sometimes difficult to see this because Winston is such a self-centered character, and thus a problematic protagonist.

He is motivated by his own agendas rather than any altrusim. However, is bitterness is understandable, given the stranglehold of the ruling party.

As a character, Winston is tragic because he eventually loses his desire to fight the party. They, in effect, "win."

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