George Orwell’s 1984 – A Character Sketch

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1984 by George Orwell: Character Sketch

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The two main characters in 1984 are Winston Smith and Julia. Winston has his

beliefs. It is very hard to make him believe in someone else’s ideas or lies.

He is a little paranoid about people watching him. In the story 1984, people can

be watched through TVs (telescreens). Because of this paranoia, he found a

place in his apartment were he could sit without being seen. He spends much of

his time sitting in this corner writing in his diary. In his diary, he writes

things that could easily have him killed. Winston is a quiet person who has a

few friends. He has a strong feeling about how the world is and a stronger

feeling about how it should be.

Here is my example from the book that shows Winston’s character:

“Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw five fingers. Do

you remember that?”


O’Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.

“There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?”


And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind

changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity. Then everything was

normal again, and the old fear, the hatred and the bewilderment came crowding

back again. But there had been a moment – he did not know how long, thirty

seconds, perhaps – of luminous certainty, when each new suggestion of O’Brien’s

had filled up a patch of emptiness and had become absolute truth, and when two

and two could have been three as easily as five, if that were what was needed.

It had faded out before O’Brien had dropped his hand; but though he could not

recapture it, he could remember it, as one remembers a vivid experience at some

remote period of one’s life when one was in effect a different person.

Earlier in that section O’Brien had tortured him into believing two plus two

equals five.

Julia’s feelings are not nearly as strong as Winston’s. She is somewhat

sneaky, and she is very good at eluding The Thought Police. Julia is quiet, and

she likes to think of the future and the past rather than the present. She

enjoys small things that are old and simple. Julia is somewhat interested in

the way the world is turning. She enjoys nature and animals.

Here is my example from the book that shows Julia’s character:

She fell to her knees, threw open the bag and tumbled out some spanners and a

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