what is the possible punishment for writing the the journal?

what could happen to winston if he got caught

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The punishment for a normal member of the Outer Party writing in a journal was most probably death. Winston would be "unpersoned." He could be sent to a work camp for a number of years but dying would probably be preferable. I hope I'm not spoiling things for you but the irony is that O'Brien knew Winston was writing in his diary all along.