What are significant changes in Winston's life throughout the book and why?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the most significant change in Winston's life is when he is captured and renounces Julia.  I think of the many changes he undergoes, this one is the most profound.  In renouncing Julia under torture from his greatest fear, of rats, I think that a couple of realities emerge.  The primary entity is that the government wins.  Big Brother does in fact know all and reflects all.  There is nothing that the external ruling order cannot attain.  Even the most private acts of sexual and emotional connection between two people are subject to the government's intervention and control.  Within Winston himself, his renunciation of Julia is the last step needed in order to fully change him or "reeducate" him so that he "loves" Big Brother.  In a sense, it is the last change that he undergoes as a human being for when he is released back into the world, he is a shell of a man, a visage of his former self.  This change removes the characteristics of Winston, and makes him someone who bides his time sipping bad alcohol.  No longer is the resistance and defiance present, the emotional belief in self is gone, and in its place is someone who is with life, but essentially lifeless.  I would say that this change is probably the most significant in the novel, reflective of its worst fears and the reader's sense of horror.