George Orwell Questions and Answers

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In George Orwell's 1984, why does Winston follow an old prole into a bar and attempt to talk to him?

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In chapter 8 of Book One, Winston strolls through the prole section of town and wanders into a dingy little pub, where he sees an old man that appears eighty years old. Winston figures that the old man must have been middle-aged during the Revolution and attempts to have a conversation with him regarding what life was like before the Revolution. Winston has no proof that life before the Party was better and cannot trust the history books because he knows that the Party continuously alters historical documents to coincide with its current agenda. However, Winston inherently believes that the standard of living must have been better in the past and attempts to interview an older prole gentleman about his childhood before the Revolution. Winston buys the old man a beer and tells him,

People of my age don’t really know anything about those times. We can only read about them in books, and what it says in the books may not be true. I should like your opinion on that.(Orwell, 113)

Unfortunately, the old man offers no accurate information regarding life before the Revolution and Winston's questions remained unanswered.

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