Winston is the protagonist of the story, whose unsuccessful attempts at questioning and overthrowing the Party and Big Brother symbolize the defeat of humanity at the hands of socialism. Winston becomes de-humanized when his thoughts and emotions are controlled by the Party and when all his ambitions are snuffed by Party propaganda. He lives under the close eye of Party officials and the telescreen every moment of his life, so that he has to control even his facial expressions so as not to reveal his antagonistic thoughts. His first act of rebellion is to start a diary - an act punishable by imprisonment and/or death in the eyes of the Party.
Winston has been married, but his wife Katherine had been too indoctrinated into the Party for Winston's comfort, and so they have been separated for over a decade. His main trouble with the Party is their manipulation of history, and he greatly fears the moment when no one will have any memories of actual history, and will only know history as the Party wants to tell it. He believes that O'Brien is in his same struggle from a short-lived glance that they exchanged one day, and this trust in O'Brien is Winston's ultimate undoing. He is enamored with Julia, since she is so young and because she likes sex for the pure joy of it (not like his wife), and he maintains his loyalty to her until the very end of his torture experience. Throughout his time questioning the Party, he still cannot understand "why" they are so repressive. He only gets the answer when he is being tortured by O'Brien, who tells him that the Party represses the people for the sake of power and power alone. Winston has great hopes of a society without the oppressive Party, even though he knows that he will not be able to see it in his lifetime, but all these hopes are dashed when he is captured by the Thought Police.
She is Winston's mistress, who inspires Winston to live at his weakest moment by revealing that she is in love...