What are some examples of social division in 1984?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Chapter Seven is the section of this novel that you would benefit from re-reading. This is when we are introduced to the complex social heirarchy that forms the world of Oceania. The Proles, it becomes very clear, are presented as being very different from Party members, which we could equate to being the middle class. They are presented as having very limited lives:

Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, football, beer and, above all, gambling, filled up the horizon of their minds.

Yet, at the same time, they are spared the kind of intrusion and lack of liberty that Party members are subject to precisely because of their limited lives and lack of interest in ideas or ideology:

They were beneath suspicion. As the Party slogan put it: "Proles and animals are free."

The Proles therefore represent the biggest example of social division in the novel through their very different treatment compared to the way that Party members such as Winston Smith are treated.


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