In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, Winston Smith is the protagonist who is clearly against the tyranny of the Big Brother. As the reader, we feel everything Winston is going through owing to the fact that the point of view is third person limited omniscient, resulting in us seeing the story only through our narrator’s eyes. The Big Brother is the titular head of Oceania, a powerful and totalitarian state in this dystopian society. The ruling party uses telescreens to keep surveillance over their subjects, excluding the proles, thus eliminating chances of revolutions. Although Winston works for the Ministry of Truth, he illegally begins writing a diary to free his own mind while secretly dreaming of a rebellion against Big Brother.
Winston starts writing his diary in the first chapter, knowing that he is doing an illegal act. When he writes “Down with Big Brother”, it sparks his hatred for the Party. “…but sooner or later they were bound to get you” (Orwell 19). Winston is pessimistic right from the start. He knows that what he is doing is considered a “thoughtcrime” and that eventually he will be caught. It is just a matter of when that will happen. He writes in his diary, “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death” (Orwell 28). Recognizing himself as an already dead man, Winston knew it was important to stay alive as long as possible. His pessimistic and fatalistic views illustrate how the government manipulates the people into fear.
Winston’s feelings against the government are also shown through his sexual desires and wanting love. His first diary entry about a trip to the movies, reminds him of a dark haired girl. He even dreams about this same girl in a scenery called the Golden Country. “He woke up with the word “Shakespeare” on his lips” (Orwell 31). The fact that he awoke saying “Shakespeare” foreshadows another forbidden love and it can be assumed that the government will be the ones who forbid this love. Furthermore, Winston confides in his diary about a visit to an aging prostitute and his wife, Katherine, whom he has not seen in 11 years. These factors cause his desire for a pleasant sexual experience to be exacerbated. Winston knows the Party does not allow even the most intimate of feelings between human beings. His repressed sexuality begins to play a major role in his growing dislike of Big Brother.
Winston has a couple other dreams that magnify his opposition of Big Brother. First, he had a dream about a man named O’Brien. “Seven years it must be-he had dreamed that he was walking through a pitch-dark room” (Orwell 25). In this dream, Winston claims that O’Brien was the man who told him “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” Winston believes that he shares the same feelings as O’Brien about the government and that there was an understanding between them. “With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien…” (Orwell 81). When, Winston writes in his diary about how freedom is to say that 2+2=4, he feels as if O’Brien is the one he is writing this diary for. Winston thinks that O’Brien is the only one that is also against the government. At another time, Winston has a dream about his mother and sister. His mother disappeared when he was 10 or 11 years old, while he could not remember his sister. Winston has difficulty remembering his childhood, but felt that he was somehow responsible for his family. This brings Winston to question the past and what the government has done to alter people’s lives. In the end of Book One, we see Winston actively digging for clues of the past at Mr. Charrington’s antique shop. His curiosity about the past and his memory is growing. All the events he dreams and writes about contribute to the reader’s understanding of the corrupt government and why Winston has come to despise it.