minor member of the ruling Party in near-future London, Winston
Smith is a thin, frail, contemplative, intellectual, and fatalistic
thirty-nine-year-old. Winston hates the totalitarian control and
enforced repression that are characteristic of his government. He
harbors revolutionary dreams.
in-depth analysis of Winston Smith.
lover, a beautiful dark-haired girl working in the Fiction Department
at the Ministry of Truth. Julia enjoys sex, and claims to have had
affairs with many Party members. Julia is pragmatic and optimistic.
Her rebellion against the Party is small and personal, for her own
enjoyment, in contrast to Winston’s ideological motivation.
in-depth analysis of Julia.
mysterious, powerful, and sophisticated member of the Inner Party
whom Winston believes is also a member of the Brotherhood, the legendary
group of anti-Party rebels.
in-depth analysis of O’Brien.
he never appears in the novel, and though he may not actually exist,
Big Brother, the perceived ruler of Oceania, is an extremely important
figure. Everywhere Winston looks he sees posters of Big Brother’s
face bearing the message “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”
Brother’s image is stamped on coins and broadcast on the unavoidable
telescreens; it haunts Winston’s life and fills him with hatred
- An old man who runs a secondhand store in the prole
district. Kindly and encouraging, Mr. Charrington seems to share
Winston’s interest in the past. He also seems to support Winston’s
rebellion against the Party and his relationship with Julia, since he
rents Winston a room without a telescreen in which to carry out
his affair. But Mr. Charrington is not as he seems. He is a member
of the Thought Police.
intelligent, outgoing man who works with Winston at the Ministry
of Truth. Syme specializes in language. As the novel opens, he is
working on a new edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Winston believes
Syme is too intelligent to stay in the Party’s favor.
fat, obnoxious, and dull Party member who lives near Winston and
works at the Ministry of Truth. He has a dull wife and a group of
suspicious, ill-mannered children who are members of the Junior
- Another figure who exerts an influence on the novel
without ever appearing in it. According to the Party, Goldstein
is the legendary leader of the Brotherhood. He seems to have been
a Party leader who fell out of favor with the regime. In any case,
the Party describes him as the most dangerous and treacherous man