literal and symbolic imprisonment of John and Winston
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John and Winston do not have freedom of speech. If they did, they would not be in prison. The regime is oppressive and kills or incarcerates anyone who is in opposition of their government and its policies. Being against the government is not only a political position, it is a crime for which a person can be arrested and imprisoned.
Winston has had great faith in political disobedience as a tool of change, but becomes disillusioned when he realizes that because he was trying to effect change, he has changed only his own life. In the play it is clear that those who exact oppression are very difficult to overcome.