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Who are the Parsons and what do they represent?

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calichick | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 16, 2007 at 3:56 AM via web

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Who are the Parsons and what do they represent?

Tagged with 1984, 1984 parsons, literature

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jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Mr. and Mrs. Parson's live in the flat next door to Winston. Both are repugnant to Winston, representing the unthinking masses.

Mrs. Parson is tired, dirty and run over by her rotten, nasty children. She clearly has no life of her own.

Overweight and sweaty, Mr. Parsons swallows the Party lines whole. In addition to having to endure him as a neighbor, Winston has to work with the man. His unblinking acceptance of the Doctrine makes Winston think Parsons will never be vaporized. But he is surprised in the end to find him at the Ministry of Love, no poorer for having been denounced by his horrible children.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:52 AM (Answer #2)

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Tom Parson is Winston's neighbor and a representative of the proletariat, or working class. He participates in all of the government's programs.His children belong to scout-like organizations sponsored by the government. They are encouraged to betray their parents to the authorities if they see any disloyalty to the government. Mrs. Parsons lives in constant fear of her own children. This makes her look much older than 30 years old. When Tom's daughter hears him say "Down with Big Brother" in his sleep, she turns him in for Thought crime. The Parsons show that no one is completely safe in this society.

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bode774 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 27, 2012 at 5:15 AM (Answer #4)

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It's interesting how much Mr. Parsons sweats.  He is depicted as a large, overgrown child who constanly is "giving out from every fold of his body what seemed an inexhaustible supply of acrid smelling sweat."  He is large, dumb, Party to the core of his being, and totally disgusting to Winston.  He reeks of the stupidity which he exudes.

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parama9000 | Student , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2014 at 9:46 AM (Answer #5)

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They represents the innocent civilians, who have been extremely brainwashed from the very start and are loyal to the Party forever. His children are seen as Police, not his kids that he authentically feels a bond to. He instead feels fear and is always at the liberty of his kids and would be helpless if the Party does anything to him as it is for his own and the general good.

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