1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Explain Winston's position on attempting to overthrow the government of Ingsoc in 1984.

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Winston is convinced that the Proles, who form the majority of the population, could easily overthrow the government if they wanted to; they are probably the only force big enough to confront the Party, and according to him, they are the only hope of a revolution. However, what they lack is knowledge and intellect to do so. The Proles are happy and content in their ignorance, and the Party doesn't feel the need to control them, as they do not pose a serious threat. They are considered harmless, which is why they aren't constantly under surveillance. Every now and then a person who is capable of starting and even leading a revolution will appear, but they are quickly taken care of by the Thought Police.

Winston only sees how the Proles enjoy their freedom and are allowed to 'do whatever they want;' unfortunately, he fails to realize that this is all an illusion and that the government is keeping the Proles in check by forcing them to live in poverty and providing them with meaningless and frivolous "entertainment." Thus, Winston fails to understand that the Proles can't and won't fight against the oppressor—because they don't realize that they are oppressed.

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