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Compare the lives of people in the outer party (like Winston Smith) to the lives of the...

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laserthend | eNoter

Posted July 18, 2013 at 5:51 AM via iOS

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Compare the lives of people in the outer party (like Winston Smith) to the lives of the proles in 1984.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:03 AM (Answer #1)

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It is clear from Chapter 7 in Book I that the proles enjoy considerably more freedom than those in the outer party, such as Winston Smith. This is because, as he explains, that the proles are not viewed as a threat by the Thought Police in the same way as members of the Party are. There is a link that can be made between the working class and the proles. The main problem is of course that the proles do not have an awareness of a comprehension of the bigger structural injustices that go on around them. They are far too caught up in their own individual lives and the struggle to survive in the difficulties that they face. Note the following description:

The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes. Even the civil police interfered with them very little. There was a vast amount of criminality in London... but since it all happened among the proles themselves, it was of no importance. In all questions of morals they were allowed to follow their ancestral code. The sexual puritanism of the Party was not imposed upon them.

The difference in the attitude of the Party to the proles is expressed in the rather ambiguous slogan, "Proles and animals are free," and this slogan lies at the heart of the reason for the different treatment between the proles. Because the proles are, in the Party's eyes, on the same level as animals, they are not seen as a threat and therefore do not need the same kind of attention and heavy supervision that the outer Party members do. Ironically, the proles enjoy a far greater level of freedom than Winston ever has.

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