Read the history of Gerald Smith
and see if you recognize that
Wisconsin's Smith and Winston Smith
have the same philosophy
and even the same "naturally sanquine" faces.*
WAS WINSTON SMITH GERALD SMITH?
Also read Huey Long as Superman:
Smith Defends the Kingfish.
To Orwell Today
(Winston) Smith and Jones - Is there any link between them or did Smith follow logically after Farmer (Gareth) Jones, or no link at all? Some might say that both were just common surnames, nothing more, nothing less... Though, if the first name, Jones, was chosen carefully, what about the second, Smith?
From memory, I recollect that symbolism wasn't the order of the day in 1984, so any name would have sufficed, and perhaps the most common British surname is facelessly most appropriate. Your thoughts, please...
You ask GOOD questions. Yes, now that we have ascertained that Orwell chose all the names in Animal Farm very carefully - including Mr. Jones - we can logically assume that he also put a great deal of thought into choosing the name of 1984's main character, ie Winston Smith.
In circles where people talk about Orwell it has always been assumed that he chose the name Winston to represent the privileged upper-class and Smith to represent the non-privileged lower-class.
But you demand a more specific explanation and so I've come up with one. Here it is:
When I started learning more about Orwell - by reading the biographies and more of his works - I discovered that he puts himself into all his books, and is recognizable usually as the main character. For example in Down and Out in Paris and London he's himself; in Burmese Days he's John Flory; in A Clergyman's Daughter he's Dorothy Hare; in Keep the Aspidistra Flying he's Gordon Comstock; in Road to Wigan Pier he's himself; in Homage to Catalonia he's himself; in Coming Up For Air he's George Bowling; in Animal Farm he's Major and in 1984 he's Winston Smith.
When those characters are speaking or thinking it is as if a person were listening to Orwell speaking and thinking. Reading his books is a way to get personal with Orwell - who was in person a very private man. Even his friends didn't really know any more than what he let them see. But in his writing he bares his soul.
In 1903, when Orwell was born, England was an extremely class-conscious nation. People's family origins could be ascertained by their accent and/or their surname. Orwell's family had some upper-class ancestors (on his father's side) and some middle-class ancestors (on his mother's side) but their fortunes had been lost or squandered by the time Orwell was born. Money-wise the Blairs weren't much better off than the working-class after most of their money went into keeping up appearances and living in the manner to which they'd become accustomed. That's why Orwell, as a child, had to win scholarships to be able to attend the best boarding schools in England (which is where his parents wanted him to go).
Orwell was such a brilliant student that he DID win scholarships - including to Eton - where he was amongst the elite of the academic elite. He was one of the fifteen smartest kids in England that year (he was thirteen years old). But there was a down side to being amongst the elite. At elementary school (St Cyprians) and then secondary school (Eton) Orwell experienced and witnessed class snobbery to an extreme degree. The top-level (with name) looked down on the middle-level (no name but money) who looked down on the bottom-level (no name; no money).
But Orwell, at the bottom level, never fit into any stereotype because he was a combination of every group. As a young child he played with working-class children, even though he was upper-class by accent and middle-class by lifestyle. But throughout his life Orwell considered himself more spiritually connected to the working-class than the middle or upper. He described himself as "lower-upper-middle class" because he was "of gentle birth but had no money" (see Road to Wigan Pier).
Knowing these facts about Orwell's life it becomes apparent that he chose the name "Winston Smith" as symbolic of himself. Winston represents his upper-class origins and Smith represents his working-class affinities, just like Orwell with his upper-class accent and his lower-class heart.
Now, as regards to your comment that you recollect that symbolism wasn't the order of the day in 1984, I beg to differ. I consider Orwell's masterpiece, "1984" to be the MOST symbolic book I've ever read. It is LOADED with hidden meanings to such an extent that it is almost written in secret-code. Once a person is able to break that code, they see that Orwell has provided them with a blueprint for world tyranny and an insight into how to oppose it. "1984" has many spiritual elements and is in essence a battle between good and evil; between the human being and the organization; between Winston Smith and Big Brother.
Thank you for your interest,
1.Winston's Diary - "[Winston's] hair was very fair, his face naturally sanquine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.
*sanguine - naturally cheerful and hopeful; having a healthy complexion, red color, ruddy
PS: An added possibility is that WINSTON SMITH is named partly after WISCONSIN'S SMITH (Gerald L. K. Smith, close friend and associate of HUEY LONG who launched the SHARE OUR WEALTH SOCIETY in 1932)
Read the history of GERALD L.K. SMITH: FROM WISCONSIN ROOTS TO NATIONAL NOTORIETY and see if you recognize that Wisconsin's Smith and Winston Smith have the same philosophy and even the same "naturally sanquine" faces. Also read "HUEY LONG IS A SUPERMAN": SMITH DEFENDS THE KINGFISH
Now read about ORWELL'S UTOPIA as described in 1984.
ORWELL'S BOYHOOD HOME and SUCH, SUCH WERE THE JOYS and WHY I WRITE
WAS FARMER JONES GARETH JONES? and ORWELL SPEAKS THRU MAJOR
WINSTON DIES INSIDE
ORWELL'S PUBLISHING PROBLEMS
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