1984 Hero Essay Examples

Question description

Respond to the following in the form of a short essay. Your essay should consist of at least five paragraphs.

George Orwell once offered this definition of heroism: ordinary people doing whatever they can to change social systems that do not respect human decency, even with the knowledge that they can’t possibly succeed.

In Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, Orwell creates an ordinary person, an “everyman” who stands for all the oppressed citizens of Oceania. Yet, as the novel closes, Winston cries as his love for Big Brother overwhelms him. Is Winston the novel’s hero, by Orwell’s definition? Is he a hero that readers can admire and emulate? Explain your position by tracing Winston’s actions throughout the novel and considering the results of those actions.

Cite specific examples from the novel in your response. Use the notes you take and the questions you answer in the Student Guide to help you formulate your response.

What I am looking for in grading:

1- a min of a 5 paragraph essay

2- an intro with a thesis (the last sentence of the first paragraph that states one of the following:

- Winston is the novel’s hero, and readers can admire and emulate him.


- Winston is not the novel’s hero, and readers should not admire and emulate him.

3-3 body pargraphs that EACH contain reasons why you believe what you do-- the topic sentence should look like this for each:

One reason why readers should (or should not) view him as a hero who they should emulate is because...... (give a different reason for all 3)

4- Conclusion that starts with a restatement of the thesis

5-Each body paragraph should have at least one quote (or more) for support---- you should cite the quotes the following way:


Smith explains, "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious " (Orwell 7).

6-After each quote-- you must analyze and explain how it supports your reason

7- This is formal language---- so DO NOT USE SECOND PERSON "YOU"

8- The only time you should use "I" is if you are giving a personal example---- DO NOT USE "I" any where else in the essay--- you do not need to say "I think".... or "I feel.." etc.

9. Check for grammar and proofread!!!

Word Count: 900–1,500

Winston Smith: A Tragic Hero Essay

1198 Words5 Pages

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…show more content…

Winston participates in

many unnecessary risks such as trusting O'Brien, renting the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop and

having an illegal love affair with Julia. Although Winston is aware these choices put him at risk of

being caught by the party he is driven by his search to experience the truth, beauty and love that he

knows once existed. Winston lives in a world in which realistic optimism is impossible and does not

have the strength to successfully break free.

Winston and Julia are both very strong-willed people, which is essential to their relationship

and the point Orwell is trying to prove. Both Winston and Julia desperately want to continue their

relationship with each other. While in the meeting with O’Brien, the couple agrees that they will do

anything they have to, with the exception of betraying each other. Despite their promise to each

other, when Winston comes face to face with his ultimate fear, his promise to Julia becomes

meaningless as he says “ Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her.

Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!.” (Orwell 300) Winston also reflects


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