1984

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Winston Smith

The protagonist of the novel, a 39-year-old Outer Party functionary who privately rebels against the Party's totalitarian rule. Frail, intellectual, and fatalistic, Winston works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth rewriting news… (read full character analysis)

Julia/The Dark-Haired Girl

Winston's dark-haired, sexually rebellious 26-year-old lover, who works in the Fiction Department at the Ministry of Truth. Julia is opportunistic, practical, intellectually primitive, vital, and uninterested in politics. She believes that the Party is unconquerable… (read full character analysis)

O'Brien

The antagonist of the novel—a corrupt bureaucrat, member of the Inner Party, and symbol of dehumanizing and dehumanized despotism. O'Brien's charismatic appearance and manners fool Winston into believing that he too is working against the… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Charrington

The elderly owner of the junk shop where Winston buys the diary, then the paperweight, and eventually rents a private bedroom for his trysts with Julia. Charrington induces Winston to trust him with his… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Big Brother
An invention of the Party whose face appears on coins and posters throughout Oceania. Ostensibly a Party leader, he is a figurehead devised to focus the loyalty of Party members, whose feelings of love are more easily directed toward an individual than an organization.
Emmanuel Goldstein
An exiled former Party leader, who is vilified by the party as the Enemy of the People. He is the subject of the broadcast viewed at the Two Minutes Hate, author of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, and the supposed leader of the Brotherhood.
Syme
A politically orthodox linguist and colleague of Winston's whose job is to edit the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Syme's intelligence leads to his arrest and vaporization, as Winston suspects it will. O'Brien's mention of Syme after his disappearance encourages Winston to believe O'Brien is a secret ally.
Parsons
Winston's neighbor at Victory Mansions, a sweaty, pudgy, orthodox man who inadvertently criticizes the Party in his sleep and is reported to the Police by his vigilant daughter, a member of the Spies. Winston despises him for his unquestioning acceptance of Party doctrine.
Mrs. Parsons
Parsons' wife, who asks Winston to repair her sink and nearly discovers the diary.
Tillotson
A secretive and apparently hostile colleague of Winston's in the Records department who is employed on what Winston suspects are exactly the same tasks as himself.
Ampleforth
A colleague of Winston's whose job is to edit poems into compliance with Party ideology. He is eventually arrested for retaining the word "God" in a poem because he can think of no other rhyme.
The Woman With Sandy Hair
A colleague of Winston's whose job it is to delete the names of persons who are vaporized.
The Man With The Quacking Voice
A bureaucrat who converses with Julia in duckspeak in the canteen at the Ministry of Truth.
Katharine
Winston's wife. Orthodox and unimaginative, she considers it their duty to the Party to bear children, and leaves him when their efforts to conceive end in failure. Winston once considered murdering Katharine during a nature walk, but decides not to act on the opportunity.
Martin
O'Brien's servant. Vaguely East Asian in appearance, Martin is privy to the incriminating discussion between O'Brien, Winston, and Julia.
Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford
Formerly prominent Party leaders accused of traitorous activities. Winston observes them when they are released after torture and are drinking gin at the Chestnut Tree Café. He also briefly possesses photographic evidence of their innocence.
The Skull-Faced Man
A starving prisoner at the Ministry of Love who falsely incriminates others in order to avoid being taken to the dreaded Room 101.
Bumstead
A fat, chinless man who offers a crust of bread to the starving skull-faced man and is beaten by guards.
The Old Prole Man
An incoherent, drunken old man whom Winston questions about the quality of life before the Revolution.
Winston's Mother
A saint-like woman who became depressed after her husband's disappearance. Left to care for her two children alone in extreme poverty, she nonetheless was generous with her affection. Winston feels guilty about the selfish way he treated her.
Comrade Withers
A disgraced Party member who is vaporized and becomes an unperson. Winston is assigned the task of deleting references to him in a news article.
Comrade Ogilvy
The fictional hero Winston invents to replace Comrade Withers.