May 10, 2013
Winston: A Hero or Coward?
The main protagonist in fictional books or films is often labeled as a hero. In 1984 by George Orwell, the plot follows a man named Winston who is trying to rebel against the totalitarian government called Ingsoc. Ingsoc, also known as the Party, defeats Winston and because he is defeated he does not remain a hero in the reader’s eyes. Winston’s lack of cunning, lack of courage, and lack of effort to defeat the Party shows that he does not fit the description of a hero.
Winston is not a hero, but some might argue that he displays heroic characteristics. One might consider Winston a hero because he is brave enough to oppose the Party and rebel. However, Winston is not brave. Instead he is merely angry because he has knowledge of what Ingsoc’s motives are and how the Party manipulates its citizens. If more people realizes the truth about the Party, they would likely rise up and rebel against the party like any reasonable person would. If Winston is truly brave, he would risk his life and fight the Party head on. Also, Winston opposes the Party and rebels, but his acts of rebellion have minimal effect on the Party. Winston may occasionally show signs of a hero but ultimately never lives up to it.
Winston does not have the cunning edge that most heroes possess. He is often careless in covering his tracks and takes many foolish risks. For example, in part two, Winston skips an event at the Community Centre. Orwell explains how Winston is skipping his second evening at the Community Centre, which is an audacious act and Orwell also notes that his attendance will be monitored (94). Julia on the other hand, attends as many community events as she can and her performances during the Two-Minutes Hate are convincing so that the Party does not suspect her of committing thought-crime. If Winston were to be hero, he would need the cunning edge like Julia to outsmart the Party. Winston is also easily fooled because he...
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