Why are the common criminals and political prisoners treated differently in the temporary lock-up?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The common criminals seem to be proles, as evidenced by the "enormous wreck" of an older woman who comes in struggling and is dumped on Winston 's thighs. Because they are proles and not Party members, as the political prisoners are, they are of far less interest to the state. They are prostitutes, racketeers, homosexuals: people engaged in petty crime. There appears to be no need to reprogram them, and the guards treat them with "a certain forbearance, even when they . . . handle them roughly," which is...

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