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Thread: Proles

  1. #16
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delta-fan View Post
    That's not what I meant at all. What I'm trying to say is that just because the Proles are uneducated, it doesn't mean that they are stupid. You don't need an education to have common sense.
    No, they're stupid.

    Orwell is careful to note that any prole who was likely to have enough brains to figure it out would be liquidated.

    Quote Originally Posted by delta-fan View Post
    What do the Proles not have? They have families, friends, jobs, pubs, happiness and normaility in their lives. That have it good, compared to the Outer Party members if you ask me!
    Happiness born of ignorance.

    They are used as cattle/beasts of burden, they have no rights, commodities are always in short supply (look what happens when a few saucepans arrive) and they suffer rocket attacks.

    Orwell doesn't spell out the deprivation of prole life, because it's not essential, but he makes it clear that while proles have some freedoms, their lives are generally far harsher than even an Outer Party member.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    But the outer party members have unhappiness born of knowledge, and fear.

  3. #18
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wat?? View Post
    But the outer party members have unhappiness born of knowledge, and fear.
    No, they use Doublethink and accept what happy lives they lead. The ones unable to do that are in Room 101. Outer Party members have no knowledge outside of that imparted by the Party.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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  4. #19
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    I don't think so, I think that outer party members are controlled to some extent by fear. In my opinion the character Tom Parsons symbolizes this. On the outside Tom Parsons is fiercely loyal to the party and appears to accept all of the parties doctrines and ideas without a thought; but somewhere in his conscious he realises the party is wrong and so 'in his sleep' he chants "Down with Big Brother".

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wat?? View Post
    I don't think so, I think that outer party members are controlled to some extent by fear. In my opinion the character Tom Parsons symbolizes this. On the outside Tom Parsons is fiercely loyal to the party and appears to accept all of the parties doctrines and ideas without a thought; but somewhere in his conscious he realises the party is wrong and so 'in his sleep' he chants "Down with Big Brother".
    Like you said, those are exceptions that are eliminated.
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  6. #21
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    Well obviously they do not all chant "down with big brother" in their sleep, but I think it would be a fair assumption that they all harbor secret doubts and grievances towards the party, which are controlled, almost entirely, by fear.

  7. #22
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wat?? View Post
    Well obviously they do not all chant "down with big brother" in their sleep, but I think it would be a fair assumption that they all harbor secret doubts and grievances towards the party, which are controlled, almost entirely, by fear.
    That's why Doublethink exists.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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  8. #23
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    Doublethink is not going to work on a subconcious level.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wat?? View Post
    Doublethink is not going to work on a subconcious level.
    I wonder though if it does after a time? Maybe not for everyone, but at least for some people. Most of the adults in the book were born before or around the time of the Revolution so they have some conciousness of something being different or not right even if it lies in suppressed memories. So what about the children? That's all they've ever known and all that's existed from before they were even born. Which is what makes them so dangerous. Especially as the generations go on and doublethink and Newspeak becomes more refined and mainstream, not just something that's still being developed.


    As far as the discussion of the Proles, I think I would much rather have been a Prole than a Party member. Even the Party members had crappy living conditions. I would rather have had the freedom to sing out on the street if I so chose without people thinking it odd or suspect. Like the lady hanging diapers in the alley...at least she had that moment of joy to herself. And the shopkeeper with all his knickknacks. It was not odd at all for him to collect and sell these things, but it even states that Winston was hesistant to buy some of this as it would draw too much attention to himself. That in itself shows that the Proles have much more freedom in these little things, outdated things from a history that no longer existed.

  10. #25
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    A prole uprising?

    Quote Originally Posted by emeli351 View Post

    ... if the proles ever wisened up or someone like winston wanted to plan an uprising in the prole section, they could because there are no telescreens down there.
    Having just finished 1984, I've a few questions on the proles.

    1. Are there no telescreens? Winston learnt otherwise. Even in his flat at Victory Mansions, concealed telescreens must have monitored Winston in his 'private' alcove.

    2. How many, so called proles, are party members in disguise. For instance, the 'prole', Mr Charrington, was not as he seemed. In communist East Germany, one in four proles was a Stasi agent. Is the ratio in Oceania, one in two?

    3. Therefore, is the narrator really infallible and omniscient?

    4. In 1984 we have the inner and outer party and proles. There is another category: 'the subject peoples of the disputed territories'. What surveillance occurs there? Do these 'most nearly rational' people offer a glimmer of hope?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Having just finished 1984, I've a few questions on the proles.

    1. Are there no telescreens? Winston learnt otherwise. Even in his flat at Victory Mansions, concealed telescreens must have monitored Winston in his 'private' alcove.
    1. No, I don't think so.

      That he went there was enough.

      The proles, in almost all cases are not watched individually. The odd one would come to the notice of the Party and be eliminated.

      Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    2. How many, so called proles, are party members in disguise. For instance, the 'prole', Mr Charrington, was not as he seemed. In communist East Germany, one in four proles was a Stasi agent. Is the ratio in Oceania, one in two?
    Nowhere near that high.

    As East Germany found out, it isn't economically possible to keep doing that. The idea of 1984 was more Pol Pot's style - crush the proles into a sub-human lifestyle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
  12. Therefore, is the narrator really infallible and omniscient?
Always!

Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
  • In 1984 we have the inner and outer party and proles. There is another category: 'the subject peoples of the disputed territories'. What surveillance occurs there? Do these 'most nearly rational' people offer a glimmer of hope?
  • No, they're slave populations.

    Africa is kept bereft of technology, so no progress is possible. It is stuck forever in the 17th century.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon
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  • #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    No, they're stupid.

    Orwell is careful to note that any prole who was likely to have enough brains to figure it out would be liquidated.



    Happiness born of ignorance.

    They are used as cattle/beasts of burden, they have no rights, commodities are always in short supply (look what happens when a few saucepans arrive) and they suffer rocket attacks.

    Orwell doesn't spell out the deprivation of prole life, because it's not essential, but he makes it clear that while proles have some freedoms, their lives are generally far harsher than even an Outer Party member.
    My initial thought was that, maybe the ones who do have brains and are intelligent just know to keep quiet about it. They're not supervised by the Thought Police or the telescreens. But then I thought, maybe they are. The owner of the shop turned out to be a member of the Thought Police. So were the proles just as well monitored and just allowed more simple freedoms? Perhaps there wasn't as rigorous surveillance and not as many telescreens, but as I recall, there was a telescreen in the upstairs of that shop.

    How are the Proles lives harsher than that of the Party members? The Outer Party members also lived in dirty, undesirable homes. What did the Outer Party members have that made it better than being a Prole? From what I read, I would have rather been a Prole and been allowed simple freedoms and joys.
    Last edited by Stargazer86; 05-15-2009 at 04:37 PM.

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    Question

    It doesn't make sense to me. If you know someone's stupid then why do you not watch them? It seems to me you would want to watch them for fear they would not follow the laws and/or take matters into their own hands. I agree that the proles are stupid, but they make up 80% of the population. That seems like they could be considered at least somewhat of a threat and would be watched more closely. Why does the government not watch them?

  • #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20soccer12 View Post
    It doesn't make sense to me. If you know someone's stupid then why do you not watch them? It seems to me you would want to watch them for fear they would not follow the laws and/or take matters into their own hands. I agree that the proles are stupid, but they make up 80% of the population. That seems like they could be considered at least somewhat of a threat and would be watched more closely. Why does the government not watch them?
    The Party looks on them like you look on some homeless crazy drunkers 99 years old - no threat for your safety.
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    I'm wondering if the proles make up 80% of the population, then the Party only induces its control over a small portion of society? Because we get insight on Winston's perspective, we feel the power of the Party overarching all of society..

    The proles live as though in the past so..is society really that bad for everyone?

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