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Winston Smith
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Winston Smith

Winston Smith is the protagonist of George Orwell's 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. His name has become a metaphor for the man in the street, the unwitting and innocent victim of political machination. In the book, Winston is a clerk for the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to rewrite historical documents so that they match the current party line, which changes on a daily basis.

Warning: Plot details follow.

In the novel, Winston is lured into joining a secret organisation whose aim is to undermine the dictatorship of "Big Brother". He does not realise that he is being set up by government agents (see O'Brien). When captured and tortured, he eventually betrays his friends in the underground movement, including Julia, the woman he loves.

The character was born in 1945 (the same year as Orwell's adopted son, Richard) and was probably named after Winston Churchill. Given Oceania's rewriting of history, it seems quite possible that Smith would never have heard of Churchill.

Winston Smith is an artist and anarchist who primarily uses the medium of collage. He is probably best known for the artwork he has produced for American punk rock group the Dead Kennedys

External link: Winston Smith the artist