Was George orwell a metaphysical realist?

The core of George Orwell’s novel 1984 is a debate—if the verbal and intellectual component of an extended episode of brainwashing can properly be said to constitute a debate—, the debate between Winston Smith and O’Brien in the cells of the Ministry of Love. It is natural to read this debate as a debate between a realist (as regards the nature of truth) and an anti-realist. I offer a few representative passages from the book that demonstrate, I believe, that if this is not the only possible way to understand the debate, it is one very natural way. I begin with some thoughts that passed through Winston’s mind as he was writing in his diary long before his arrest.
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