Winston Smith vs. Guy Montag
The two protagonists in Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 both started out somewhere, following the rules and doing what they were told, and towards the end of the book you see them change and become completely different people. In 1984, the reader experiences a nightmarish world that Orwell imagines through the eyes of the protagonist, Winston Smith. In Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist, Guy Montag is on a desperate search to find and understand his own life and purpose. These stories are set in the past tense but they both talk about what the future would or could be like.
Winston Smith, from the novel 1984, is a low status member of the Party who rules over the nation of Oceania. Winston is never alone, even in his own house. Everywhere he goes the Party is watching him through what they call telescreens. Oceania is run by a leader that is referred to as Big Brother. Winston is struggling with the fact that he doesn’t even have control of his own life, it’s controlled by the Party and Big Brother. When Winston becomes frustrated by the Party and Big Brother he illegally buys a diary in which to write criminal things like, “Down with Big Brother.” The Thought Police can basically read your mind, so even thinking anything rebellious or illegal will get you in trouble with them. Winston knows that he will soon get caught by the Thought Police for committing a thoughtcrime. He convinces himself that he will be caught no matter what he does, so he continues to rebel. Winston finds the courage to join a secret organization, called the Brotherhood, in order to take down Big Brother.
O’Brien, the Brotherhood’s leader, turns Winston in and he goes to jail. There he is questioned by O’Brien and tortured, then let go. Being in jail completely changed Winston Smith, he started to act like everyone else. He even admits that he loves Big Brother. Winston started as a unique man who hated following the rules and he made a complete 180 following the events in jail. Winston came out a new man, with respect for the Party and Big Brother as well as others around him. Winston had this to say about his new life at the end of the book, “it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished.” When he said the struggle was finished he realized he was done fighting Big Brother and the Party and finally was willing to accept them.