What does Winston mean when he says, “The proles are human beings. We are not human.” How does the age difference between Julia and Winston affect their beliefs?
Winston recognizes that the proles have certain freedoms that Party members do not have and can express themselves in certain ways that Party members cannot. Unlike Party members, proles are not constantly under surveillance and are not required to attend government functions. They are free to engage in relationships with the people they choose and do not live in constant fear of the government. In contrast, Party members live restricted lives under the constant watch of government agents. Party members are forced to appear and act completely orthodox or else risk being arrested and tortured in the Ministry of Love. They are not free to love whoever they choose and must suppress their negative feelings at all times. In this sense, Party members do not enjoy typical, free lives like the proles, which is why Winston does not consider Party members human beings.
In regards to how the age difference between Winston and Julia affects their beliefs, she is less concerned with undermining the political system of Oceania and more focused on having a good time disobeying the strict rules of society. Winston is more concerned with understanding and challenging the entire government of Oceania. While Julia enjoys having an affair to fulfill her suppressed sexual desires, Winston views their first sexual encounter as a political act.