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Thread: Proles

  1. #31
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mou View Post
    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?
    The past the proles live in isn't the one you'd pick.

    Analogous times in human existence would be:

    The Great Russian proletariat.
    German subjects during WWII.
    The peasants ih Pol Pot's Cambodia.

    Lack of direct surveillance and minimal freedoms don't make for a state of being anyone would really want to achieve.

    It's important to realise that Orwell's proles were not some kind of happy-go-luck manual workers, but beasts of burden - like a team of oxen, endlessly ploughing infinite fields.

    Inner Party was the place to be.

    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

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    The past the proles live in isn't the one you'd pick.

    Analogous times in human existence would be:

    The Great Russian proletariat.
    German subjects during WWII.
    The peasants ih Pol Pot's Cambodia.

    Lack of direct surveillance and minimal freedoms don't make for a state of being anyone would really want to achieve.

    It's important to realise that Orwell's proles were not some kind of happy-go-luck manual workers, but beasts of burden - like a team of oxen, endlessly ploughing infinite fields.

    Inner Party was the place to be.

    Hm, I see. Although it seems that Winston perceive that they are the only people of hope and, it almost feels like he is envious of them because they have the kind of liberty and the rights that he never has--even if still very minimal. Take this quote for example:

    "Held apart by the walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same--people who never learned to to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world" (220)

    This is a way to analyze how ignorance is strength. If I'm not mistaken, the proles are the ones who are the most in touch with reality. Each day is the same for them, and the continuous war is meaningless. They have the chance overthrow the Party because their lives preserve little left of the past life there. And now understanding how much of the population the make up, the Party never really wiped out history they way they intend to.

    What do you think Orwell is trying to address here?

    I'm trying to understand from what I read so far I appreciate your opinions!

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mou View Post
    They have the chance overthrow the Party because their lives preserve little left of the past life there. And now understanding how much of the population the make up, the Party never really wiped out history they way they intend to.
    Powerless, with dissenters liquidated, the proles pose little threat to Ingsoc: their history is unimportant. Only the middle class, the Outer Party, threatens.

    So Winston looks to the proles with unfounded hope.
    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

  4. #34
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    I disagree, the proles argue over stupid stuff like pots and pans. Also proles are consumed over money and nothing else. The proles do not see life and live life, they cannot even question what they are fed by all the propaganda. Like all others they do not show emotions other than argument with each other. So in my opinion the proles have it worse than the others.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by emeli351 View Post

    Do you think the party underestimates what the proles could do?
    Its true that they are uneducated and unaware of whats going on, but 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.

    I think the Party does underestimate what the Proles could do. The fact that they are not under surveillance proves how much the Party believes they are harmless. If they were to rebel then the most certainly would be watched like the rest of the society.

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    The proles may not evn have a common sense becuase when all do for their lives is drink at the pubs and hope for the their lottery ticket to win they may have a different perspective on life. If they were educated and knew what was happening around them I'm sure a prole revolt would of happened earlier in the story.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by markerboy View Post
    I disagree, the proles argue over stupid stuff like pots and pans. Also proles are consumed over money and nothing else. The proles do not see life and live life, they cannot even question what they are fed by all the propaganda. Like all others they do not show emotions other than argument with each other. So in my opinion the proles have it worse than the others.
    Are cattle unhappy? I think you're looking at it from the wrong angle - you're missing that the proles are of low intelligence, and are happy with small pleasures. They aren't really consumed by money - they have enough to get by on, just that items are deliberately kept in short supply by the Party.

    Quote Originally Posted by tokool4puppets View Post
    I think the Party does underestimate what the Proles could do. The fact that they are not under surveillance proves how much the Party believes they are harmless. If they were to rebel then the most certainly would be watched like the rest of the society.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kram View Post
    The proles may not evn have a common sense becuase when all do for their lives is drink at the pubs and hope for the their lottery ticket to win they may have a different perspective on life. If they were educated and knew what was happening around them I'm sure a prole revolt would of happened earlier in the story.
    You also both need to take the lack of intellect among proles into account - and they are watched, just not to as great a degree as Party members.

    Revolt is impossible - no leaders, no propagandists. Cattle.
    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

  8. #38
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    The Proles cannot revolt as they are not educated and not aware of anything better. What reason would a prole have to revolt?

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    I feel as if that even though the proles may be uneducated, they are possibly still aware of their surroundings. I believe that the proles are greatly underestimated. If they were truly unhappy someone would have enough believe if themselves to say something. The proles are not under as strict of a watch that the rest of their society is, i belive that this is Orwell is foreshadowing with these details. But then again, its just a thought i have not finnished the book yet

  10. #40
    Since there are no telescreens someone like Winston could plan an uprising, couldn't he? Unless he thinks it's to risky because there are secret thought police among the proles. I would think that he could maybe start something of the sort but I'm just not sure. He says that eventually he will get vaporized so why not go out with a bang! Would be have time to educate the proles and get them on their way to an uprising?

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    I don't exactly understand how the proles are so uneducated. I know that they don't have jobs changing history, reading the truth and making it into lies, as Winston does, but wouldn't there be any clue showing the truth? How do they not see the telescreens and hear words descibing the conditions, such as constant surveillance? If the proles did know, would this make a difference? In thinking about the proles understanding the truth, do you believe this means the proles might actually rebel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazarov View Post
    Name proles comes from latin work for worker; used also by Karl Marx as a proletariat referring on working class. Party is using them as a labour in factories; actually that's their only purpose. They are uneducated and stupid, and Party doesn't wish that to change. They are not aware that history existed, that there once was a free will, free ideas and freedom of speech. They are kept in constant fear and they believe that Party keeps them from safe from Oceania's and Eastasia's treat. Party does not control their way of life like they control Party members. They can have friends, family, lovers and sex is actually welcomed: more kids will produce more labours for factories.

    Keeping them in fear and uneducated assures peace to Party and removes any possibility of rebellion. They cannot understand what is really happening, that everything looks like Party wants it to look, and not like it really is. But, like Winston said, hope is in the proles; they are the only one who can change something because there is no way that any Party member would act against Party.

    P.S. Any comments and ideas are welcome; unanswered questions also.
    Um, not too sound condescending here, but... Doesn't 1984 take place in Oceania? So wouldn't the Party be making them think they are being kept safe from Eastasia's or Eurasia's, depending on who they say they are war with, threat? Er, you said "treat" rather than threat there, as well... Sorry. I have a habit of noticing other people's mistakes(my own is another story)...
    But, hey, this is just me checking this out. For all I know, you meant to say what you did... It's just that reading it in context made it seem... Off. But like I said, that's just me.

  13. #43
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    In order for a revolution to start, you need ideas. Who makes ideas? People with lots of free time, usually higher socio-economic state. That came with being able to afford education. Those people spent their time learning, and had the habit to think. So they thought, and imagined, and in their head they invented all sorts of stuff that could be different and they think would be better. Maybe they have read about history and how people lived differently, or how people live differently presently, in other places, or even how the gentry lived or whatever. They had time to look around at how other people live and think about it. That's what eventually led to revolutions.

    The proles are busy with their everyday lives, they do not have time to think about "higher" subjects. Even when they are not working, after a long day of harbor you do not particularly feel like contemplating about society. They just want to give their brains, and bodies, a rest.
    The proles are not even necessary "stupid", they are just occupied in their daily lives and surviving from day to day.

    Another reason may be, they have nothing to compare their lives to. They work all day, their ancestors worked all day, so doesn't it mean that's just how that is? How are they to know something else can exist? If you lived all your life under the water, and nothing ever came into the water from outside, would it occur to you that something MIGHT be there? Probably no.


    As for the party, the members there are happy, and do not want to be proles. In their opinion proles are little less than animals, while party members are actual humans. And besides, proles do not have the "joy" of worshiping big brother, and all the great stuff like 2 minutes of Hate! How could you want to replace that for being a prole?? And really, the party-people might be living bad, but they also do not really have much to compare to, except for the inner party maybe, but it also said in the book they theoretically CAN become inner party members. And some do. But anyway, they are generally happy with their part. As someone mentioned, doublethink and all that.

    Or at least so I see it x:

    Lol sorry for a ridiculously long comment
    Here's a dancing banana that doesn't actually dance to add some variety to all the letters:

  14. #44
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    From reading chapter 8, the Proles seem like the 1940's British working class who have just adapted to the new reality. Their lives do not seem much different to what it would have been like during WW2, when bomb attacks and rationing were already occurring.

    Proles can be pushed too far. Occasionally they do rebel, but generally they need a charismatic and capable leader to follow. Otherwise you just get a general riot which is easily suppressed.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazarov View Post
    Name proles comes from Latin work for worker. used also by Karl Marx as a proletariat referring on working class...
    Actually proles means children.
    It is a collective noun as in progeny. The reason Marx used proletariat to refer to working class is that the working class supposedly didn't have any possessions other than their own children.
    Last edited by gciriani; 11-08-2012 at 10:32 AM.

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