Is Winston's politics of revolution right? Can revolution succeed from within?

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If by right you mean the correct thing to do, then it probably is, except that it is doomed from the beginning.  How could a revolution succeed if you never know who is part of the revolution.  His revolution is a sort of triumph of the human spirit, but that spirit is no easily crushed by the use of power which is not a tool but which is an end in itself, is disheartening.

In the face of power that is devoid of conscience, it's hard to know if revolution can ever succeed.  Orwell's other famous novel, "Animal Farm" presents you with a revolution that starts from within and ends, not with a utopia for all, but with the same state as the original with new oppressors (the pigs) taking over for Mr. Jones.  The implication is that changing the system through any means will just replace one tyrant with another.  A look at the history of revolutions in 1848 in Europe and their sad ending may help substantiate this.  The reign of Joseph Stain in Russia shows us how power can crush revolution.  It is rumored that he was responsible for the death of over 20 million of his own people, not to mention those he shipped out to the Guilag for even the suspicion of "revolutionary" behavior.

Not that either of these couldn't happen ... they just seem very unlikely.

slshcolnik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a question of opinion. You have to decide if you think the way Winston tries to revolt could be successful. Just because it did not work with Winston does not necessarily mean it could not work at all. Look at the themes in the link below. Ask yourself how the impediments and hardships Winston faced kept him from succeeding with his revolution from within or if it was because of his tactics. Think about other revolutions and whether or not they started from within and whether they succeeded. Then ask yourself how revolutions begin in the first place.