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By definition, an outsider is one who is isolated from society as a result of being different. The outsider in literature usually allows the readers to connect with the character on a personal level. Specifically in 1984, a novel written by George Orwell ,the character that stands out the most and fits the proper traits to be categorized as an outsider would be Winston Smith. Winston is an average guy and also the main character of George’s novel 1984. He makes it clear throughout the plot of the story that he does not feel understood nor loved. Winston Smith most accurately resembles an outsider by his beliefs and the fact that they are different than his peers, reacts to his social beliefs by rebelling against the government and society, and ultimately creating his own fate of punishment.
Winston Smith is best characterized as an outsider because he believes in different ethics compared to the rest of the society he lives in. Not having freedom in the life he is living does not change any of Winston’s beliefs. In the community he lives in, it was rare to so much as think about rebellion. However, Winston starts by rebelling mentally rather than physically. Winston thinks about living his own life and overtaking the party. Despite not being actual rebellion, he writes in his diary, ” DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER”(Orwell 18). This shows his raw emotion towards the life he is stuck in and how much he fantasizes of detaching himself from it. Although he is under stern control by the government and is constantly being watched, Winston keeps an open mind and does not let it stop him from having his own morals. For example, Winston believes in love along with love affairs. Julia, Winston’s companion in active rebellion, uses her relationship with Winston as a way to get back at the party for taking over her freedom. Whereas Winston views the affair as a way of being his own scandalous person. Both reasons for having sexual interactions with one another are related to a hatred for the party that controls them rather than an actual connection between the two. Winston Smith believes in freedom of being himself despite his lack of being able to do so, which defines him as an outsider.
Winston Smith is not like the other obedient citizens that surround him. He often is found rebelling whether it is deliberate or not. The first example of rebellion shown through Winston is his action of going to the “junk shop”. This was a forbidden place that he defiantly bought his diary from. Another example of rebellion that also happens to be the reason shown the most focus, is his job. “Who controls the past controls the future: Who controls the present controls the past”(34). Through controlling the past the party manipulates people’s lives and controls their freedom. However, having his own ethics and beliefs that do not agree with what he is asked to do, Winston knows what he must do. Winston rebels by not following the direction to take over and brainwash others. He simply does not comply with the party’s advisement and sets himself up for his own punishment. Winston rebels also through the previously stated relationship he has with his beloved Julia. They both know that it is prohibited to have this affair however they proceed at their own risk. He has hopes that through his relationship, others will join him in going against the party and he will no longer be alone. However, Winston is ultimately setting up his own failure by being so careless with his actions. Winston Smith rebels against the society and government he is controlled by, and through this he is an outsider.
As a result of active rebellion and possessing his own personal beliefs, Winston is tortured both physically and mentally. Although Winston is sure that his opinion and feelings towards Big Brother are unchangeable, they are in fact changed. After being taken to room 101 where his fear of rats is used against him as punishment, Winston is almost like a different person. Rather than hating the party and Big Brother as a whole, he now loved his association with them. Being a changed man due to his disloyalty also came with a new hatred for Julia, somebody he told himself he would never dislike. Ultimately, Winston Smith brought upon his own failure to be his own person and caused his own punishment.
Someone who is an outsider often is an easy character for readers to connect with. Whether it be because they are going through similar hardships, or simply the fact that they see some type of resemblance of themselves through that character. An outsider can be distinguished by many factors, often ones that should not be frowned upon but are. Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984 makes it clear that he is not mentally a part of the society he lives in. Smith does not feel as if he belongs there nor does he want to be there. Winston Smith follows his own beliefs, handles them by rebelling and sets up his own defeat which all together categorizes him as an outsider.

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