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Winston Smith in 1984
If one were to look in the dictionary and seek a definition for the phrase “tortured soul” Winston Smith’s image would be an essential component of the entry. The lead character in George Orwell’s 1984, Smith was united in marriage to another and obviously had relationships he developed with others outside his home. For the purposes of this paper, his interaction with Julia, O’Brien and Mr. Charrington will be examined. All three illustrate betrayal and how Smith’s initial views of Big Brother were exactly on point.
Although Smith certainly was not pleased with the current state of affairs in the world, he initially did not really have any idea or motivation to outwardly display is inclination to loathing of the party. This is depicted by the quote, “Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version.” That is until he purchased a diary and a coral paperweight from Mr. Charrington, who owned a shop. Smith began to write his thoughts down in a diary and his quest towards freedom commenced as exhibited by, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” He views Charrington as an ally until he is betrayed by Charrington during his affair with Julia, as the shopkeeper is actually a member of the thought police and turns the couple in.
His relationship with Julia is much more complex. Although married, Smith feels trapped by that institution as well and is deeply attracted to Julia. When she slips a note stating, “I love you” he has no qualms about engaging in the affair for that is also an act of rebellion for she loathes the Party as much he, hence it is another behavior to experience freedom. Eventually, after the two are captured and Smith is brainwashed they meet and feel nothing absolutely nothing for each other.
Smith’s relationship with O’Brien is literally a dance fraught with suspicion and hope. He wants to see O’Brien as a beacon and savior, but always wonders about how opulently the man lives and his intentions. His fears come to life when O’Brien reveals himself as a member of the Party that has been watching Smith for seven years. He tortures and brainwashes Smith until by the end of the work, Smith truly loves Big Brother.