Other characters

Winston’s mother

Though Winston’s mother is not directly present in the story, she plays an indirect role when Winston thinks about her or dreams about her. Winston’s memories of her lack structure, but she seems to have been a kind and loving mother, dedicated to her children’s well-being.

We learn that she was ‘removed’ by the Party when Winston was a child and that he has not seen her since. In the story, she serves as a symbol of the past that has been lost, and of a type of human being that the Party is trying to eradicate:

[...] she had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own, and could not be altered from outside. It would not have occurred to her than an action which is ineffectual thereby becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love. (pp. 171-172)

Winston’s memories of his mother are disturbed by his memories of his own selfish behaviour towards her and his sister. As a child, Winston was very self-centred and even in times of great hardship he would often insist on receiving what little food the family had to himself, de...

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