What are some themes within the novel related to Winston's individualism?

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goreadabook eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the best ways to uncover the theme of a novel is to ask yourself what message the author is trying to get across.  In 1984, individualism is a broad concept that is explore.  To make it more specific in relation to Winton's individualism, we need to consider what point Orwell is trying to make through his character.  Here are a few ideas:

1.  A willingness to rebel against widely accepted ideas creates a sense of individualism.
Winston is not able to accept the philosophy and customs of The Party.  He is willing to take risks, including sleeping with Julia, renting the room above the antique shop, and writing in his journal.  Because he is willing to rebel against The Party, he is able to establish an identity that is unique from his peers.

2.  Individualism is essential to maintaining an identity.
Without his rebellious actions and ideas, Winston is just another face in the crowd.  He is not distinguishable from any of the other party members until he is willing to live his life differently from the rest.  Without unique qualities, ideas, and desires, a person is stripped of any sense of identity.