Narrator and point of view

The story is told in the past tense by a third-person narrator, but it is mainly limited to Winston’s point of view.

We get direct access to Winston’s thoughts and feelings, but we only know about other characters when Winston observes them and draws conclusions. Sometimes Winston is unaware of a person’s true identity or the true nature of an event, but usually the truth is revealed to the reader at the same time that Winston discovers it.

For example, we get no indication that Mr. Charrington is a member of the Thought Police until it is brutally revealed to Winston during the arrest scene at the end of Part II. Similarly, Winston is completely mistaken about Julia’s motives throughout Part I, as he believes her to be a spy or a member of the ...

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