Winston Smith – The main character, Winston escorts readers through Orwell's elaborate universe. As a member of the Outer Party nearing age 40, Winston leads an insignificant and tragically average life. As a flawed and conflicted hero, Winston lacks the intelligence or physical prowess to use his knowledge of the past against the Party. The trust that Winston places in O'Brien and Mr. Charrington lead to his tortured demise. However, it is Winston's ability to trust that makes him human and heroic in a world built on deceit.
O'Brien – O'Brien represents Big Brother incarnate. O'Brien, a high-ranking member of the Inner Party, befriends Winston at his workplace then pretends to recruit him to The Brotherhood. However, when the Thought Police finally arrest Winston, O'Brien reveals himself to be Winston's captor and torturer. Despite enduring extreme pain at the hands of O'Brien, Winston continues to admire his enemy. Winston refers to O'Brien as a father, teacher, and confessor.
Julia – A young and attractive woman, Julia uses sex to rebel against the party. Since sex outside of Party-approved marriage is strictly forbidden, Julia's relationship with Winston begins as a political act against the State. However, the lovers form a deeper bond, vow never to betray each other, and try to join The Brotherhood together. Once captured, though, Winston succumbs to O'Brien's torture and betrays Julia.
Mr. Charrington – Winston meets Mr. Charrington in a secondhand shop in a prole neighborhood. Mr. Charrington seems harmless and allows Winston and Julia use a rented room above his shop for their illicit affair. But, as a member of the Thought Police, Mr. Charrington traps the lovers and seals their tragic fate.
1984 - Complete novel with publication data
Quotes from 1984
What is a dystopia?
Bye-Bye, Big Brother
The Hell of Nineteen Eighty-Four
Big brother a reality on Orwell's 100th birthday
Image: Opening paragraph from the manuscript of 1984