What does the singing prole woman represent for Winston and for Julia?
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The prole woman singing behind Charrington's apartment is symbolic to Julia and Winston because she represents a "sort of melancholy" happiness. It would seem she was perfectly content with her lot in life, trudging on through the days, even if her days were full of endless lines of laundry. Winston muses that no member of the party would sing so "alone", "spontaneously" and thinks that it would be a "dangerous eccentricity" (148). The prole woman might be a Sisyphus of sorts, from the Myth of Sisyphus, constantly struggling against an isolated and alienated existence, or perhaps trying to be happy in a dire situation. She is an example of someone trying to make the best out of her situation in life.
The singing prole represents a life style which Winston and Julia can only dream about. It is a lifestyle of such simplicity that the only thing one needs to worry about is the simple things like getting the clothes washed and dry. It also involves a family and love for their family. Being party members love is not allowed (which is why they have to be secret about it) and in the proles life there is a certain amount of strength in the sense that their lives aren't as controlled and they are capable of being more allowed to think as they wish.
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