Presentation on theme: "George Orwell Victoriya Petrovych. Character Analysis Winston Smith – As is typical of the entire novel, Winston is the protagonist in these two chapters."— Presentation transcript:
Character Analysis Winston Smith – As is typical of the entire novel, Winston is the protagonist in these two chapters. There were many examples of indirect characterization concerning Winston in these two chapters; some of which being: “He knew that sooner or later he would obey O’Brien’s summons. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps after a long delay – he was not certain.” This is the author’s way of allowing us a glimpse into Winston’s inner thoughts and feelings. This shows us that Winston has already made his decision, and that he had made the decision to follow O’Brien’s summons, if they ever came, a long time ago. “ Winston had woken up with his eyes full of tears.” I think Orwell meant for this to show the reader Winston’s vulnerability to his emotions through his actions. Also, I believe that he wanted us to see how Winston reacts to some of the more traumatic events of his past. We see that Winston not only fears and respects the past, but he is also heavily susceptible to its influences toward his life. Winston is a dynamic character in the novel because in the end, after all the torture he endured after being caught by the Thought Police, he finally learns to love Big Brother and see everything through the Party’s point of view.
Character Analysis Julia – Because of the point of view in which the book is written, all of the information we have on Julia is indirect characterization. Some examples are: “I expect you were a beastly little swine in those days,” she said indistinctly. “All children are swine.” Orwell lets us hear the character speak. Through this phrase Julia reveals some of her personal opinions and feelings toward a subject, letting the reader understand her a little bit better. “From her breathing it was evident that she was going off to sleep again.” This statement lets us see, from her actions that Julia doesn’t really care about the story Winston was trying to tell her. This is only reinforcing the idea that she doesn’t care about the past. Julia seems to be a more static character throughout the story than Winston is. However, we don’t really know for sure since Orwell’s style of writing only gives us insight into Winston’s mind. We can only gather the things we know about her through her actions and the things she says.
Character Analysis O’Brien – At this point, the reader isn’t quite sure whether O’Brien is a part of the rebellion and therefore on Winston’s side, or whether he’s a member of the Thought Police and is only trying to trap him. O’Brien, in this chapter, is also mostly described through indirect characterization. “But you write it very elegantly,” said O’Brien. “That is not only my own opinion. I was talking recently to a friend of yours who is certainly an expert. Has name has slipped my memory for the moment.” Here O’Brien speaks about Syme, who is an unperson. This, to Winston, is a very clear sign that O’Brien is on his side. He is rebelling against Big Brother by referencing someone who, by Party standards, does not exist and has never existed. Because of the way Winston perceives O’Brien’s signal, the reader is led to lean toward O’Brien being a part of the rebellion. “Somewhat absent-mindedly O’Brien felt two of his pockets and then produced a small leather- covered notebook and a gold ink pencil. Immediately beneath the telescreen, in such a position that anyone who was watching at the other end of the instrument could read what he was writing, he scribbled an address, tore out the page, and handed it to Winston.” The author of the novel is showing, through his actions that O’Brien is clearly trying to communicate something to Winston. Orwell is showing something that is completely out of the norm for Party members. He is showing O’Brien’s deviation from what is socially acceptable at the time.
Character Analysis Winston’s Mother- Because of the dream Winston had, his mother plays a big role in this part of the story. She is described entirely as how Winston perceived her, and so everything we know about her is, again, through indirect characterization. “When his father disappeared, his mother did not show any surprise or any violent grief, but a sudden change came over her. … Her large shapely body seemed to relapse naturally into stillness.” The reader sees, through Winston’s eyes, how his mother if affected by the leaving of his father. Through his mother’s actions we see that she is devoid of spirit and hope. It is also stated that she is waiting for something that is inevitable in coming. Winston’s Sister- Information about Winston’s sister is scattered throughout his recollection of the dream he had. We learn that she is very young, probably two or three, and starving. Winston describes her to look like a monkey because of how thin she is. We also know that she is very sickly.
Newspeak/Vocabulary Unperson- A member of the Party who had been vaporized. An unperson is someone who, by Party standards, did not exist and had never existed as every trace of their existence was erased from history. “But Syme was not only dead, he was abolished, an unperson.” Telescreen- A telescreen is an instrument that was used to keep watch over the people of Oceania. They are two-way screens that are stationed around the city. “They were standing in front of a telescreen.” Thoughtcrime- The principle of the government of Oceania that states, “if you have thought about the crime, you have already committed it.” “By sharing a small act of thoughtcrime he had turned the two of them into accomplices.”
Newspeak/Vocabulary Fender- (n.) a low metal guard before an open fireplace, to keep back falling coals. “There was a gas ring in the fender, and a shelf where food was kept, and on the landing outside there was a brown earthenware sink, common to several rooms.” Sordid- (adj.) meanly selfish, self-seeking, or mercenary “Above all he remembered the continuous hunger, and the fierce sordid battles at mealtimes.” Pathos – (n.) the quality or power in an actual life experience or in literature, music, speech, or other forms of expression, of evoking a feeling of pity or compassion. “…or he would attempt a sniveling note of pathos in his efforts to get more than his share.”
Newspeak/Vocabulary Remonstrate- (v.) to say or plead in protest, objection, or disapproval. [remonstrance (n.)] “There was a long, nagging argument that went round and round, with shouts, whines, tears, remonstrances, bargainings.
Literary Elements Point of View George Orwell writes this novel in a third-person limited point of view. Therefore the narrator is an outsider who sees into the mind of only one of the characters. Conflict Man versus Society In a man versus society conflict, the customs and values by which everyone is living are being challenged. Winston is living in a society in which everyone is scared of their own shadows. The government and Big Brother seem to be all-powerful and practically omniscient. This is taken so far as to believe in the principle of thoughtcrime. And in the midst of this, Winston is one the few people who is thinking differently. He is concealing only his thoughts at first, but then he has an illicit relationship with Julia.
Literary Elements Foreshadowing In this section, there is a great example of foreshadowing. After Winston talk to O’Brien about the Newspeak Dictionary and O’Brien gives him his address, Winston is thinking about when he would answer O’Brien’s summons. The passage states: “But it was frightening; or, more exactly, it was like a foretaste of death, like being a little less alive. Even while he was speaking to O’Brien, when the meaning of the words had sunk in, a chilly shuddering feeling had taken possession of his body. He had the sensation of stepping into the dampness of a grave, and it was not much better because he had always known that the grave was there waiting for him.” This is one of the most obvious examples of foreshadowing in the entire novel. The fact that Winston feels as if he is “stepping into his own grave” foreshadows him literally choosing his own death right then and there when he agreed to accept O’Brien’s address, and when he chose to rebel against the Party. And the fact that he had known that “the grave” was there waiting for him signifies his feelings later in the novel that he always knew what was ahead, he was only loathe to admit it to himself.
Literary Elements Irony At the end of chapter seven when Winston and Julia are discussing that although the government may capture them and torture them into confessing everything they did and some things they didn’t do, both Winston and Julia believe that the government cannot take away or change their feelings and their love toward one another. This turns into Irony of a Situation when after Julia and Winston are captured and tortured they really don’t feel anything for one another any longer. We find out later that they very obviously underestimated the control of the Party over the human mind. Tone The entire novel is saturated with an undertone of pessimism, despair, misery and the inevitability of getting captured. This is demonstrated when Winston thinks about “stepping into his own grave”, and later when he and Julia are discussing what’s going to happen and what they should do to avoid getting caught. The words are nothing but hollow shells, because they both know that neither one is going to be able to go to a life of mediocre obedience and looking over their shoulder to make sure that the Thought Police didn’t catch a random twitch of their faces.
Literary Elements Symbolism The paperweight makes another symbolic reappearance in chapter seven. When Winston wakes up from his dream, he describes it as having taken place inside the paperweight. Winston sees the paperweight as a symbol of the past, and that little piece of coral, something from the past, is preserved forever. He feels the same way about the dream he had. The dream brings back to him a memory that had been hidden by his subconscious for years. He feels that his memories are preserved indefinitely and that whatever the Party does, they won’t be able to take it away from him. Simile “She did that was needed – cooked, washed, mended, made the bed, swept the floor, dusted the mantelpiece – always very slowly and with a curious lack or superfluous motion, like an artist’s lay-figure moving of its own accord.” The pace at which Winston’s mother moved is being compared to an artist’s lay-figure.
Discussion Questions 1. What was the significance of O’Brien referencing Syme in his conversation with Winston? Winston took it as a sign from O’Brien that he, too, was rebelling against the Party. O’Brien referencing Syme could have ended in death, since any identifiable reference to an unperson had fatal consequences. This proved to Winston that O’Brien was like him in the sense that he was willing to rebel against the party.
Discussion Questions 2. How and why did Winston compare the movement of his mother’s arm to the movement of the arm of the Jewish woman? Both women made a sweeping motion as if to protect their children from something that they couldn’t really be protected from. He compared them because his mother had sheltered his sister that way when Winston stole her share of the chocolate. She cradling gesture was not going to help her get the chocolate back, but she did the only thing she could do, which was to distribute love in the chocolate’s place. The same way the Jewish woman’s arms wrapped around her child were not going to prevent the child being killed, but the mother could give off love and a sense of security, if even for a moment.
Discussion Questions 3.Why did Winston feel that the proletarians were human while the Party members weren’t? He believed this because the proles still lived under the same conditions as he remembers living a long time ago. They weren’t loyal to a party or a country or even an idea, they were loyal to each other. They still had the primitive emotions that all Party members had been stripped of since birth. Winston recalls himself kicking a severed human hand into the gutter, and this really reinforces his newfound idea.
Discussion Questions 4.Why does Winston make the hollow suggestion that he and Julia should walk out of the flat and never seen each other again? He believes that Julia could still live out a normal life. He says that she is young and innocent looking and that she could still live out fifty more years. He realizes that even if they spend a few months or even a year together, they’re still going to get caught eventually and when they do, Julia’s life might as well be over. He asks her why she isn’t leaving because he cares for her, so he wants her to be safe and alive.
Discussion Questions 5.Why did Julia and Winston so naively believe that they could never betray each other, even if they got caught? Winston told Julia that there was no way that they could not betray each other under torture, and Julia presented the idea that the confession of facts wasn’t really betrayal. They believed that only feelings mattered. They believed that although the Party or the Thought Police could make you say anything, they could never make you believe it. Winston, at the very end of the chapter thought to himself, “They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or though; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourselves, remained impregnable.”
Chapter Six Summary In this short, yet significant, chapter O’Brien finally makes contact with Winston. They meet briefly in a hallway in the Ministry of Truth where O’Brien and Winston engage in a seemingly harmless conversation about the Tenth Edition of the Newspeak dictionary. However, during their conversation O’Brien references Syme, an unperson. To make an identifiable reference to an unperson could have fatal consequences. Winston took this as a sign that O’Brien was also a part of the rebellion. As if to fortify Winston’s suspicions, O’Brien gives Winston his address to come pick up the copy of the dictionary. Winston realizes later that the path he has chosen will ultimately lead him to his death at the Ministry of Love, but he does not regret making the decisions that led him down this path.
Chapter Six Analysis The exchange that happened between O’Brien and Winston is easily the most important event that has ever happened to Winston. Despite Winston’s belief that O’Brien is part of the rebellion, I, as the reader, was a little suspicious of whether he was really against the party of it he was a member of the Thought Police trying trap Winston into getting caught. The fact that O’Brien references Syme is a sign to Winston. Immediately he knows that O’Brien is not just making subtle chatter. Later when he gives his address to Winston, he thinks he knows that O’Brien is a part of the Brotherhood and that he is finally getting somewhere near the edges of it.
Chapter Seven Summary Winston wakes up crying with Julia next to him in the little room above Mr. Charrington’s shop. He had woken up from a dream that had brought back memories of his mother, father and sister. Until that moment he had believed that he killed his mother. He suddenly remembers some of his childhood. He remembers how his mother had lost all spirit and energy when his father left. He also remember hiding in air-raid shelters with his family. Something that really seem sot be important to him was the lack of food at the time. He describes digging through dumpsters for any scrap of food available. He recalls that he had single-handedly starved his family. When there was food, he would demand a larger share. He then remembers one particular instance when they had received a two ounce ration of chocolate. He stole the chocolate from his sister and ran away. When he came back his family was gone. He also thinks about the proles and he starts to think of himself inhuman because of their humane way of life. Winston and Julia also discuss the fact that sooner or later they are going to be captured. The topic of betrayal comes up and Julia tells Winston that no matter what the Party does, or how horribly they will be tortured they can never change their feelings, even if they revealed facts. They thought they wouldn’t be able to change the working of their inner hearts even if they wanted to.
Chapter Seven Analysis Winston’s dream brings about a surge of memory which allows him to see what his life was like before Big Brother’s reign. It wasn’t good, and he realizes that it wasn’t easy, but at the same time he remembers the compassion his mother felt toward him and toward his sister. He also remembers what his mother was like after his father left. All of this causes him to see that the party has turned people inhuman. He remembers the severed human hand that he kicked into the gutter as a symbol of how little human life means to him, especially the proles. He hates the Party even more for making him and everyone around him so emotionless. He and Julia then talk about getting captured, and Winston realizes that he’s not like the rest of the Party members and that although the government can torture him until he admits to anything, he will never actually have to believe something he doesn’t. He still thinks that the Thought Police and the Party can’t alter human feelings and emotions. He will find out otherwise in later chapters…