If Winston Smith is the hero of the novel, he is an unconventional hero in that he is utterly defeated by the novel's end. Explain Winston's role as the hero in Nineteen Eighty Four.
He works well as a protagonist, but as a hero I might agree with you- he isn't much of one because he ultimately fails- body and mind. He is a hero in the sense that we, the readers, are routing for him to find a way to commit thought crime and acts against the party. We want him to be successful so throughout the story his attempt at being the hero is valid even if the attempt fails in the end. He tried to overcome something bigger than himself. It is an unconventional story in the sense that the hero loses, but I think that was the point Orwell was making. If we give too much power to the government without question then the government will be so powerful we can never again dream of taking back freedoms lost.