Winston is big brother.I am doing an essay on Winston dreams for my English class and I have noticed that in Winston's dream involving the disappearance of his sister and mother Winston's...

Winston is big brother.

I am doing an essay on Winston dreams for my English class and I have noticed that in Winston's dream involving the disappearance of his sister and mother Winston's personality represents the personality of big brother and the inner party. O'Brien mentions that the parties only purpose is to have power, but the same ideals revolve around Winston. When he takes the Chocolate from his sister and refuses to give it back. He is self fish as a child, much like big brother for he takes from the people around him and then does as he pleases. Though he may feel guilty for what he has done, his sister much like the Proles is weak, and unable to say anything against Winston's being so self fish. Also like in the first dream he has about his family, they are sinking and dying like the Proles, but Winston is unwilling to do anything to help them. (Though I am not certain if he can.) I was wondering if this theory made any sense to anyone else, as I am hoping to put it in my English essay.

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MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

It's also important to remember that these dreams involve a younger, "unenlightened" Winston. Could he simply be projecting his previous willingness to subvert others into his present identity? I also disagree with the characterization of the proles as "weak." While I think they are unorganized, ignorant, & generally content to be repressed, they do have freedom that members of the Party can't imagine. And, of course, as Winston notes, if there's any hope for revolution, it will come from the proles. Perhaps they're not so much weak as they are simply unwilling to use their untapped power.

Having said that, I would be very interested to read a paper based on this premise. As the other posters have noted, it all comes down to textual support. If the only scene you're using as evidence is the dream, you may have a tough time arguing this point. However, if you find more quotes throughout the story, your argument would be better supported.

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I certainly agree with the previous post regarding original thought--you just have to make sure that you can find legitimate support in a work to prove your thesis.

Something that you might consider is that although Winston might not reflect the attitude of Big Brother or the Inner Party in his dreams, he certainly reflects Orwell's view of human nature--man is basically self-serving.  You could definitely prove that theory through Winston's dreams.  For example, Winston not only wants and thinks that he deserves the chocolate more than other members of his family, but his thoughts about joining the Brotherhood, his view of the Proles, and even his relationship with Julia are centered upon himself.  So, I think that it would be more accurate to compare Winston and his dreams to Orwell's view of the human condition.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my opinion, what you are saying makes sense, though I'm not sure I agree.  As long as you can construct a reasonable theory with support from the text, I would think your teacher would be happy.  Teachers tend to like it when students come up with stuff that shows original thought.

One thing to think about -- Winston feels that the Proles are the only ones who are still human in the society.  Does this fit with your theory?

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