Excerpt: Submission is Survival: An Interpretation of 1984 by ishi11

Winston’s beliefs at the end of the novel 1984 represent how even when one has an unorthodox opinion to towards society, it is submitting to ideals that finally leads to survival. At this point of the novel, Winston has been released from the jail and has successfully reshaped his beliefs into those that are considered orthodox. Winston ponders to himself why he has taken so long to understand these ideals set by the party. Now that he adheres to the Party’s societal values, Winston believed that “the struggle was finished” because “[h]e had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” The word “victory” means “an act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition.“ This highlights how Winston thinks of his original anti-government beliefs as an enemy, and is relieved and almost grateful that he no longer possesses them. Winston now believes that his mindset prior to his incarceration was a challenge that he overcame and believes that changing himself to fit the ideals of the party was a good thing. It was a victory because he can now love Big Brother. Therefore, the Party effectively brainwashed and rehabilitated Winston into an ideal citizen with ideal beliefs. Now that he loves Big Brother and adheres to the norms set by the Party, he is able to continue life. In other words, Winston’s ability to submit to society and its ideals led to his survival.

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