What is "existence" in 1984? What is it defined as? Does Winston exist at all?Discuss the society of 1984, with all the techniques for propaganda and manipulation and sepculate on Winston's life....

What is "existence" in 1984? What is it defined as? Does Winston exist at all?

Discuss the society of 1984, with all the techniques for propaganda and manipulation and sepculate on Winston's life. To what extent does he exist? To what extent is his existence proof of a society that has perfected it's own claims?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the notion of "consciousness" according to the Party is one where individuals are in total subservience to it.  Existence is seen as an extension of the Party and of Big Brother.  There is not a world that can be constructed outside of it.  Winston attempts to create an existence that is separate of it through his affair with Julia.  In the end, the Party ends up crushing it, forcing him to renounce it, as he becomes appropriated by the government, and an extension of it.  Winston exists in so far as the party allows him to.  His acts of resistance might allow him to exist on a philosophical level, but not in the eyes of the government and through the perception of Big Brother.  As a human being, Winston exists more in the beginning and middle and less at the end. According to his government, Winston only exists in the end.  This might be where Orwell draws the greatest amount of distinction between how individuals and external agents view the issue of individual consciousness.