Winston and Bernard Characters Analysis

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From the very beginning Winston and Bernard makethem enemies of their society. These characters risk theirlives to try and recapture what we take for granted today.

Winston and Bernard try to keep their individuality andrecapture through their jobs, and the way they live. Both1984 and Brave new World show us that we must becareful to protect our ideas and way of life. Through the twomain characters, Winston and Bernard, the authors show thereaders that once tyranny takes hold reality and individualityare lost. Winston attempts to keep in his individuality throughthe apartment he rents. The apartment, which was rentedfrom the owner of the antique store, is one way he makeshimself different. The antique store owner could sense howWinston was different from the others, and he showed thatwhen he said, Theres another room upstairs that you mightcare to take a look at. (81) Winston is instantly charmed bythe rooms nostalgic look and furnishing.! At first it was, awild, impossible notion, to be abandoned as soon as thoughof.(82) One thing that leads to him later renting theapartment is the fact that their is no visible telescreen. Theowner told Winston the he never had one because, Tooexpensive. And I never seemed to feel the need of itsomehow.(82) In truth their was a telescreen behind theetching, which leads to the capture of Winston and Julia. Theapartment was a huge symbol of the past to Winston. Theapartment is decorated with relics of the past: a double bed,a metal etching of a church, a bookshelf filled with ancienttomes. Winston and Julia use these items as constantreminders of the past they are longing for. They believe thatthey can safely enter this world, separate from the one of theParty and Big Brother. In their mind it is a safe haven, inreality it is a rat, pest and filth ridden slum. It is not even safefrom the Party. As it turns out there was a telescreen in theapart! ment. It was hidden behind the etching of the church,that Winston thought was so nostalgic. In the end Winstonand Julia could not control their own lives, just like societywhere no one has a control. Bernard didnt have a nostalgicapartment, what he had was a way of life contrary to others.

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No one in his world wanted to worry about anything. Theywould drown their worries in the pleasure drug Soma. WhatBernard would do is think about his problems, tell them tohis friend, and find other ways to deal with them. Bernardrefuses to run away from his problems. In fact the way helives causes him to take on the problems of the society alongwith his own. Things like flying just to see the scenery andlook at the moon. For Bernard it was not where he lived,but how he lived. One of the biggest similarity betweenBernard and Winston is their jobs. The positions they holdallow them to hold links to the past and reality the way itwas. Winston would constant! ly review records about thepast as they actually happened. He would have to correctpast articles to delete people that had been vaporized. Hewould then know exactly who was dead. Though he did notknow how, he could only guess how those people had died.

They had not been 100% faithful to Big Brother. Bernardsjob as a hypnopedia specialist allowed him to see whypeople behaved the way they did. He knew that everythingwas actually conditioning. He realized that everything wasfake and programmed. He saw the methods by whichpeople were programmed. This caused him to question themethods. He saw how drastically these sleep treatmentschanged people. He also knew how people were breed,engineered and treated to be a certain way. He wanted toquestion the predestination. That was the reason thatBernard wanted to go to the savage reservation. He wantedto see that way people used to live. How he believed peopleshould live. However, the very real feeling of van! ity andfame caused him to lose sight of his goal to change society.

That was what both Winston and Bernard really wanted todo. They wanted to change society back to the way it was.

The way it is today. Winston articulated this so much better.

He was able to put down his feelings in his dairy. The diarywas an old, yellow paged, ancient book purchased from theowner of the antique store. It was supposedly a bookcreated before the great revolution and this is symbolic. It issymbolic because most books created before the revolutionwere destroyed. The best articulation that Bernard couldcome up with was his feeble attempts to make the directorof the hatchery feel bad by going to the reservation over hisobjections. Bernard tries to fight society and embarrass hisenemies, making them mad. He should have tried to showthe masses why the establishment is wrong. He should haveused the savage to show how a different life can meanhappiness. It should be fa! irly plain to the readers ofOrwells 1984 and Huxleys Brave New World thatWinston and Bernard are warnings over what society isheading towards. A time when only a very few will havetheir individuality and sense to question the establishment. Atotalitarian society in which thoughts, actions and feelings arecontrolled. A time were I has no meaning, and the debateover freedoms will cease. We live in an imperfect society,where people do wrong and make mistakes. The worlds inwhich Winston and Bernard live do not even allow them tomake mistakes. They can only do what their leaders see asright. In the end Winston and Bernard fail to achieve thegreat change for society. They do make their great changefor themselves. They may end up in bad situations, however,it was by their choice and doing. Something the rest ofsociety didnt have. I take this as a message to cherish themost important thing we have in our society, CHOICE.

Orwell, George, 1984, New Americ! an Library, NewYork, 1981 Ibid. Ibid.

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