1984, by George Orwell, continuously presents obstacles to its characters through the use of Big Brother and the society he has establishes. Winston Smith, the main character in the novel, consequently undergoes various changes symbolic in not only his actions and thoughts but many of his surrounding objects. It is through items such as his diary and paper weight that we are introduced to Winston’s strength and perseverance. Meanwhile, we come to understand Winston’s change in character and weaknesses through his fear of rats and the shattering of his paper weight. .
It is through the course of the beginning and middle of 1984 that we view Winston as a strong and rebellious character. He stands up for what he believes in and does so both internally as well as externally. Writing in his diary signifies his true feelings towards the society in which he lives. It is within these pages that Winston can freely express himself. Such emotion, as shown when Winston writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” (19), is limited in the real world whose rules Winston must abide by. However, within his own home, he is not who they insist he must be. He hides from his telescreen and writes in his diary as if his words make a difference. He confesses his thoughts towards not only Big Brother but also towards freedom, war, & ignorance. Winston knows that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” (69) but until then, the liberty in which the party speaks of is artificial and without substantial support. Winston’s perseverance against the party is also indicated in his purchase and possession of the glass paper weight, bought at Mr. Charrington’s shop. Not only is it an item, bought against the party’s will, it is something beautiful and can be cherished by Winston. It offers him a sense of happiness, something the inner party has so willingly stripped him of.