1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In 1984, how are the proles superior to the Party members according to Winston? (Part 2)

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Within 1984, Winston Smith assigns all hope for a successful revolution (and for the eventual destruction of the Party's rule) with the proles. There are two key factors that seem to combine in creating this impression. The first is largely a matter of numbers: the proles represent the vast majority of the population (in the beginning of book one, chapter seven, Winston states that they make up eighty-five percent of it). From this perspective, were the proles to ever rise up collectively against the Party, you might expect this entire dystopian picture as Orwell presents it to collapse by weight of numbers.

More importantly, however, when you look at the 1984's brutal picture of suppression and control, you'll actually find that the State devotes far greater energy to the domination of the Outer Party than it does to the proles. As Orwell describes it:

A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumors and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who...

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