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Winston Smith: A Tragic Hero

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A tragic hero can be described as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering or defeat. In George Orwell's 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith is best described as a tragic hero. 1984 presents an imaginary future world where a totalitarian state controls all aspects of people’s lives. Oceania’s entire population is under totalitarian rule and is completely ignorant to the ideas of freedom of speech, action and thought. Winston Smith lives in a society where everyone must abide by government rules and regulations. British parliament has become a dictatorship, with "Big Brother" as it's leader and has destroyed and rewritten all evidence of history. Winston struggles to face the state of Oceania and ultimately loses everything in the end. Winston Smith is a tragic hero, for he is a man with a tragic flaw, which served as the catalyst to his ultimate failure. Winston's fatalism, selfishness and isolation ultimately lead him to his own destructive downfall. Fate is non-existent as one's future is based upon their own personal decisions. It is believing that life is based on the decisions made by a higher power in an overall plan. The power of free will is making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances such as fate or divine will. Everything that happens in one's life is a repercussion of the choices they have made. In George Orwell's 1984, Winston is aware that his rebellious thoughts and actions will ultimately bring upon his destruction. When he repeatedly writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his secret diary, Winston is positive the Thought Police will quickly capture him and punish him for his actions. ... ... middle of paper ... ...tely leading him to his downfall. Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell's 1984 struggles to face the state of Oceania and ultimately loses everything he loves and believes in. Winston is a tragic hero, for he is a man with a tragic flaw. Winston's fatalism, selfishness and isolation ultimately lead him to his own destructive downfall. A tragic hero can be described as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering or defeat.1984, represents an imaginary future world where a totalitarian state has control over every aspect of one’s life. Winston Smith lives in a society where he is a mere reflection of his dystopian environment. 1984 is a warning to our society of what is to come, which is why Winston was destined to fail. Works Cited Orwell, George. 1984. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1949. Print.
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